New GCSE Levels

GCSE grades in England are changing watch the video

9 things to know about the new GCSE Grades

1.GCSEs in England are being reformed and will be graded with a new scale from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade.

2.New GCSE content will be more challenging.

3.Fewer 9's will be awarded than A*.

4.English languages, English literature and Maths will be the first to be graded from 9 to 1 in 2017.

5.Another 20 subjects will have 9 to 1 grading in 2018, with most others following in 2019.

6.The new grades are being brought in to signal that GCSEs have bee reformed and to better differentiate between students of different abilities.

7.In the first year each new GCSE is introduced, broadly the same proportion of students will get a grade 4 or above as would have got a grade C or above in the old system.

8.These changes are only happening in England. Wales and Northern Ireland are not introducing the new 9 to 1 grading scale as part of their

changes to GCSES.

9.You can see how the 9 to 1 scales compare with the A* to G scale in our GCSE grading postcard below.

What is the EBacc?

The English Baccalaureate - or EBacc - is a performanced based measure introduced in 2010 used by the government to see many students get a grade C or above at core academic subjects at GCSE.

Core academic subjects consist of:



Geography or History


A language

Government plans means that all students who start year 7 in September 2015 will take the EBacc subjects when they reach their GCSEs in 2010.