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Everything you need to know about changes to GCSE results

PUBLISHED: 17:30 23 August 2017

Hannah Price, Gabriel Jones and Lucy Bushrod at Clevedon School GCSE results day. Picture: Jeremy Long.

Hannah Price, Gabriel Jones and Lucy Bushrod at Clevedon School GCSE results day. Picture: Jeremy Long.

(C)2016 Jeremy Long / JCLPhotography, all rights reserved

The GCSE grade system is changing this year, and it will affect North Somerset students when they pick up their envelopes from school tomorrow (Thursday). It means some students will receive the normal letter grades in some subjects, and a number in others. Here is our guide to what will look different this year...

What will change?

Those familiar A* to G grades are being phased out and replaced with a scale from nine to one – with nine the highest result, and one the lowest.

Only a few subjects are being switched over this year, so some students will forever boast a CV with an 8 in maths and B in geography.

Students will receive their results tomorrow. (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto) Students will receive their results tomorrow. (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

What subjects are different?

Students who sat English language, English literature and maths will notice the changes first.

For most other subjects, including science, the grades will come into force in 2018. Other subjects, such as psychology and business, will be unaffected until 2019.

So the next two GCSE cohorts will have a mix of letters and numbers in their envelopes.

What does this mean?

Put simply, 9s, 8s and 7s are broadly the same as A*s and As.

The middle grades, 6s, 5s and 4s are about a B and C, and 2s and 1s will be E, F and G.

The exams regulator says fewer 9s will be handed out than A*s, so it will be, in theory, harder to get those top marks.

The latest guidance is three are two pass grades: a standard pass is grade 4, and a strong pass is grade 5.

Has anything else changed?

These GCSE courses are the first to rely almost solely on exams at the end of two years, rather than coursework being built up during the year as well.

How are schools being measured?

Schools will be measured on the number of pupils who achieve a grade five or better in English and maths, and in the English Baccalaureate (a core five academic subjects: English, maths, history, geography, the sciences and a language).

The Times will be featuring GCSE results as they come in tomorrow (Thursday) at

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