TEENAGERS across the country are collecting their GCSE results today.
Here’s everything you need to know and how the grading system works for the different exam boards…
What are GCSE grade boundaries?
Grade boundaries set out the minimum number of marks required for each grade.
These change each year depending on how well pupils perform as a whole.
Exam chiefs will lower the grade boundaries for harder exams to allow more students to get the top grades on account of the difficulty of the tests.
But if students do well on an exam nationwide, the boundaries are likely to be raised.
What are the GCSE grade boundaries 2018?
There are five different exam boards used in every school in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
This list includes Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA), Council for Curriculum and Examinations Assessment (CCEA), Pearson Edexcel, Oxford Cambridge and RSA Exams (OCR) and Welsh Joint Examinations Committee (WJEC).
Each exam board has its own boundaries, and if your marks are within the top end, it might be worth getting a paper remarked to bump you up a grade depending on the examiner.
The GCSE grade boundaries 2018 are available via exam board websites from 6am on August 23
What are the new GCSE grades?
GCSEs in England are changing, with grades for certain GCSE subjects now graded via numbers.
Historically, GCSE students would get a letter assigned to their performance in each subject, from an A*, the best possible mark, to a U, for a paper which failed to achieve any grade.
This year’s results day will see the second wave of students receive certain marks in number format.
The GCSE exams took place during May and June and results will be given out in August[/caption]
However, the change has been designed to be gradual, with Maths, English language and English literature the first subjects to change to the new grading format.
How do the new GCSE grades work?
The new system is numerical as opposed to letters:
- 9, 8 and 7 are equivalent to A* or A
- 6, 5 and 4 are equivalent to B or C
- 3, 2 and 1 are equivalent to D, E, F or G
- A U is equivalent to ungraded
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Why are GCSE grades changing?
The government is shaking up GCSEs to make them tougher – in the hope that they’ll be taken more seriously by employers.
Part of this change involves using a new grading system, to signal that there have been reforms to the exams, and to make it easier to differentiate between results.
The shift to numbered grades also fits better with European exam results, with Germans – and most of Britain’s other global competitors – using numerical exam grades.