New Reformed GCSE Assessment Criteria

Reformed GCSEs are being introduced in three waves. The first wave has certificated in Summer 2017 in English, English Literature and Maths. They are graded from 9-1, instead of A*-G. The second wave subjects that will certificate in Summer 2018 will include Art, Music, Drama, Geography, History, PE, Science (including Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Philosophy & Ethics, MFL (French & Spanish), Computer Science and Food Technology. All other subjects will certificate for the first time in Summer 2019.

The new GCSEs will be significantly more difficult as they have additional content and are primarily assessed by examination. A new grade 4 will be the new 'standard pass' level, which is equivalent to a legacy C grade. A new grade 5 will be considered a 'strong pass' which is equivalent to a legacy high grade C. Students awarded GCSEs in 2017 and 2018 will therefore receive a mixture of 9-1 and A*-G grades. The government have said that:

  • Approximately the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and 7 or above as currently achieve a grade C and A or above
  • The bottom of grade 1 will be aligned with the bottom of grade G.
  • The top 2% of students will be awarded a grade 9.

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