From this 12 months, some GCSE papers in England are being graded numerically on a scale from 9 to 1.
Bear in mind politicians saying GCSEs have been too straightforward and wanted to be made extra rigorous?
Properly that is what has been occurring, as new exams have been developed and are being phased in over a lot of years.
This 12 months’s college students are the primary to take a seat exams within the new GCSES in English (literature and language) and maths – arguably the most important topics within the curriculum.
One other 20 topics may have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019.
New numbering system
Opposite to what you may anticipate, 1 will not be the best grade, 9 is.
Nonetheless, 9 will probably be awarded to fewer pupils than A* is at the moment.
Actually, three quantity grades, 9, eight and 7, correspond to the present high grades of A* and A.
That is designed to offer extra differentiation on the high finish.
A grade 6 is a bit larger than the previous B grade.
Two move marks?
And – in contrast to the present system, beneath which a C is seen as a “good” move – the brand new system has a “commonplace move”, a grade four, and a “robust move”, grade 5.
The Division for Training has harassed that the previous and new grading programs can’t be instantly in contrast.
However there are factors the place they align.
The underside of the present grade C and the underside of the brand new grade four might be the important thing level of alignment.
This has prompted some employers to say the system is complicated.
Colleges will probably be measured on the proportion of pupils reaching grade four and above.
However they may even be measured on the proportion of pupils reaching grade 5 and above.
And this grade 5 is being described because the benchmark, consistent with the expectations of the robust performing schooling programs world wide.
Training secretary Justine Greening stated she anticipated extra pupils to get a grade 5 over time as England’s schooling system improved.
In the meantime, on the backside, the brand new system has much less element, with grades D, E and F equivalent to grades 1 and 2, and the underside of a grade 1 equivalent to the underside of a grade G.
The quick reply is sure.
The Division for Training has intentionally required examination boards to make examination content material extra “difficult”.
The way in which the questions are set out in maths, for instance, could be very completely different to what has come earlier than.
And the best way the are taken, with exams on the finish, fairly than with modules – examined in phases alongside the best way at completely different elements of the 12 months – can be seen as extra demanding.
However, and it’s a large however, examination boards will use statistical measures to make sure that requirements stay the identical.
So regardless of what are actually fairly vital adjustments, broadly the identical proportion of scholars that obtained a grade C or above in 2016 will obtain a grade four and above this 12 months.
Is it honest?
And the identical share of scholars will obtain a grade 7 as obtained a grade A final 12 months.
Nonetheless, if candidates discover an examination paper tougher than anticipated the grade boundaries will probably be set a little bit decrease.
So they could want just a few much less marks to get a sure grade than they’d have finished beforehand.
Thus, continuity of requirements is maintained in order that the primary crop of scholars to take these exams aren’t deprived.
Nonetheless, some lecturers’ leaders have complained in regards to the degree of issue within the new exams.
Maths has been notably difficult – with pupils from high units of their faculties popping out of exams saying they might not perceive complete sections of the examination paper.
And head lecturers say they’re involved in regards to the scale of strain being positioned on pupils, because of the excessive stakes nature of those new exams.
The remainder of the UK
This 12 months additionally marks a divergence in between the nations, with candidates in England, Wales and Northern Eire now all finding out completely different exams.
In Wales, exams in English, Welsh and maths (six GCSEs in complete) have additionally been toughened, however the qualification continues to be taken in models. New GCSEs in different topics are being phased in.
In Northern Eire, pupils are usually sitting old-style GCSEs in all topics this 12 months, however adjustments are forward.
Scottish college students already research utterly completely different .