GCSE results can be somewhat bewildering, and as the new grading system is being phased in from 2017 onwards, getting your GCSE grades explained is even more of a necessity if you want to make informed decisions concerning your child’s future.
Current GCSE grades explained
Forming part of the UK’s National Qualifications Network, GCSEs are currently graded on a Level 1 or 2 qualification basis.
- Grades D to G (or, under the new system, 3 to 1) are classed as Level 1 qualifications
- Grades A* to C (or, from 2017, 9 to 4) are classed as Level 2 qualifications.
The latter, A* to C grades (Level 2 qualifications), are much more desirable; often the only ones considered as passes and frequently insisted upon by both educational institutions and employers.
Grades U, Q and X mean:
- U – Standing for ‘unclassified’ or ‘ungraded’, the U indicates that a pupil failed to achieve anything worthy of credit, so no grade was awarded.
- Q – This indicates that the exam board requires clarification and should be contacted by the school.
- X – An X indicates that either only part of a course was completed or key elements (like coursework, for instance) were missing and an appropriate grade could subsequently not be awarded. An X may also indicate that offending material (typically hate speech) was found within exam papers by an examiner.
Both Q and X are typically temporary grades that will be replaced with regular A* to G or U (9 to 1 or U) grades once the issue necessitating these grades is resolved.
Future GCSE grades explained
The new numerical grading system will be phased in over 4 years, with the first exams (2017) under the new system coming into play for mathematics, English language and English literature only. A timetable showing which subjects will be affected is available at Gov.UK.
Under the new system, a ‘good pass’ (formerly a Grade C) would be a 5, which will be comparable to a high C or low B, so getting a good pass will be more difficult. Grade 1 will be the lowest grade and grades 9 to 7 will replace the current A* and A grades (with grade 9, which is often referred to as an A**, expected to be achieved by only the top 3% of pupils).
What to do if grades are low
If your GSCE grades were ‘below par’ and you wish to re-sit them, or if you are preparing for exams in the coming year/s, you can make sure you get the results you want or need by getting extra tuition with a private tutor. We here at Genie Tutors are dedicated to helping pupils get the grades they desire. You can find a tuition centre near you here, or you can get in touch with us to have your GCSE grades explained in more detail and/or discuss your options by requesting a call-back here.