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What's changing about GCSEs?

What's changing about GCSEs?GCSEs began changing from September 2015. Find out about the differences.

The changes are being introduced for different subjects at different times. The first to change were English language, English literature and maths: students started studying the new versions of these from 2015, with the first results under the new system coming out in 2017. Other subjects will have moved to the new system by September 2017.

Letter grades replaced by numbers

As, Cs and Es are out for the new GCSE system. Instead, exams are graded from 1 to 9, with 9 being the best result. The idea is to have more different grades, and to make it clear whether a person's results were under the old system or the new one.

The new grades aren't directly equivalent to the old ones. For example, grade 4 under the new system will cover most people who would have got a C, while grade 5 will cover those who would have got a high C or a low B.

Focus on exams

There is less coursework under the new system: you will always be tested using exams, unless something about the subject means that this isn't possible.

Most subjects will have one exam for everyone

At the moment, many GCSE exams are split in two: a foundation paper and a higher paper. If you do the foundation paper, you can get a grade between G and C, while if you do the higher paper you can get from E to A*. Under the new system, most subjects will have one exam paper for everyone.

There will be some exceptions - for example, maths will still have two different exams, one graded from 1 to 5 and the other from 4 to 9.

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