I can’t believe it’s been 19 years since I was collecting my own GCSE results. Time sure does fly! Today, it’s my niece’s turn. I asked her earlier on what grades she is hoping for, and she told me she needs 4’s to get onto her college course. This bamboozled me totally, so I set about trying to work out the A-G equivalent of the new GCSE grades. Read on to find out what they are.

New GCSE Grades

The new GCSE grades are numerical and go from 1 to 9. Grade 9 is the highest grade, while grade 1 is the lowest. Only 4% of students will achieve a grade 9 (Which is harder to achieve than A* was on the old system).

In terms of what college courses are looking for, you need the following:

To study A levels at our local College, you must obtain a minimum of six GCSE grades. These have to include 4/5 in English Language and mathematics (minimum combined total of 9 points). Plus, a minimum of two additional GCSEs at grade 4 or higher. As well as a minimum of two additional GCSEs at grade 5 or higher.

Back in the year 2000, you needed 5x GCSE grade A*-C to get on to study A levels. Entry requirements have definitely increased since I left school.

students collecting GCSE's - New GCSE Grades Explained
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If you want to study vocational subjects like BTECs (which were known as GNVQ’s back in my day, you can opt for levels 1-3.

Level 3 BTEC Health and Social Care needs Four or more GCSEs at grade 9-4 (A*-C) including English Language. Additionally, level 2 requires Four or more GCSEs at grade 9-3 (A*-D) including English Language. Level 1 requires Four or more GCSEs at grade 9-2 (A*-E) including English Language.

New GCSE Grades VS Old A*- G GCSE Grades.

Traditional A* to G grades have been replaced with a 9 to 1 system. With 9 the highest mark. So this is how they compare to the old system:

  • Grade 9 = Above an A*
  • Grade 8 = Between grades A* and A
  • Grade 7 = Grade A
  • Grade 6 = Just above a grade B
  • Grade 5 = Between grades B and C
  • Grade 4 = Grade C
  • Grade 3 = Between grades D and E
  • Grade 2 = Between grades E and F
  • Grade 1 = Between grades F and G

I have no idea whether the change from letters to numbers has been beneficial or not, but I hope this has helped you to understand them, compared to the A*-G system from previous years.

New GCSE Grades Explained

Finally, if you’ve found this post useful, why not check out more of my education posts here.

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