Over the summer students around the country opened up their results full of numbers rather than the traditional ABC grades. All subjects at GCSE will have to make this move to the numerical grades by 2020, but what do they actually mean.
Teachers, students, colleges and employers are all trying to get to grip with this new system. Ofqual produced this handy table to try to some sense. A grade 4 is classed as a standard pass whereas a grade 5 is a strong. This implies that the 4 will be the new C grade, being the minimum pass and expectations for most courses. However this has scope to change and as more exams are set it is very likely they will decide to make the grade 5 the new bench mark.
So what does this mean for you?
With so much confusion out there you may be lucky and more experience lenience when people look at your grades, for now. But as we get used to this new system we will get a better idea of what actually is a good garde. Those who have GCSEs with the old grading system will have to compete more with the higher grades of this new system. Their C grade, standard pass, only had 3 grades higher where as the grade 4, standard pass, has 5.
Why did they do it?
You have to question what is the point of this? Why fix what isn’t broken? There is a rational behind making it a fairer system for all allowing more grades to be considered a pass. What is interesting is that they have chosen 9 to be the highest rather than a 1 which seems opposite to the A – F grades. The worry is that they will start adding higher grade 10, 11, 12 and so on as more and more people achieve higher grades, adding even more confusion in comparing grades over generations of workers/students. You do have to ask why they have not decided to change the A-level garde in the same way. As with all changes we will all just have to adapt and we get used to it, lets just hope they don’t change their minds too quick.