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©2018 by Thurston & Jones. 

Making sense of the new GCSEs

January 21, 2019

“GCSEs in England have been reformed to keep pace with universities’ and employers’ demands. They are based on new and more demanding subject content…”. Ofqual



Noticeable Differences


-No more A*-U. In its place is 1-9.


- All assessment, now exclusively examinations,  will be carried out at the end of the two-year course as opposed to the previous system of throughout the various modules over the two years.


-Coursework and controlled assessment will disappear.


-The content is more substantial, with several new topics in maths as well as more texts in English. Across the spectrum of subjects, the volume of content has increased.


-Their is more essay questions rather than smaller “bite-size” ones. So a greater emphasis on the ability to write as well as the ability to retain information.


-No more single science options, students must choose at least two of the three science options; Chemistry, Biology or Physics.


What is the 1-9 grading scale?


By 2018, 1-9 has replaced A*-U across all subjects. The lowest achievable grade is now 1, the equivalent of the G in the old system.  The A/A* grade is now represented by the letters 7-9, 9 being the highest achievable grade.

The addition of more grades to the scale is thought to add a more nuanced differentiation between the highest achievers and the lowest achievers, in response to the competitive nature of the modern world.   The new grading system claims to indicate a more thorough evaluation of the individual. 

This diagram presents the new grading scale with the previous system.

Things to Consider


At Thurston & Jones, our staff work in unison with the formal education system. All of our passionate tutors understand the pressures that GCSEs place on the individual. If you feel like your son/daughter may be struggling we will provide people that are qualified in the subjects they teach, and they also understand the need to find an effective revision technique for their student and the importance of exam practice. The ethos of all of our tutors is to instil confidence in each of our students.


If you are interested in learning more, get in touch at; enquiries@educatinglondoners.co.uk. 















[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-45282518


[2] https://schoolsweek.co.uk/gcse-results-2017-the-7-most-interesting-things-we-have-learned-2/

















[1] https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/02/gcse-9-to-1-grades-a-brief-guide-for-parents/

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