Education > New GCSE grading system confuses pupils and teachers

Posted on March 13, 2017

Image by College Degrees 360

Baffour Antwi reports on why school has now become even more of a challenge
The new GCSE grading system is really confusing to students taking their GCSEs in 2018. In September last year the new system came into effect and, since then, it has caused a lot of controversy over the equivalence between the old and new systems.

For example, when I’m in class and we get our test results back we don’t know whether it’s good or bad as teachers themselves aren’t sure what that grade means.

There are three grades in particular which have caused the most debate, which is the grade C from the old system being equivalent to both a grade 4 and 5 in the new system.

Some teachers say that grade 4 is equivalent to a ‘low C’ and is the passing grade while others say that grade 5 is the passing grade and equivalent to a ‘high C’ or ‘low B’. So now my question is, when I get a grade 5 have I got a grade C or B?

Another thing I’ve been told is that not all subjects will be using the new system when we get our results in 2018 which means many students will be left puzzled.

This will also confuse parents who are looking for schools for their children as they won’t know which ones are doing better or worse because the grades won’t make sense.

Lauren McInerney, ex-teacher and editor of Schools Week magazine, said, “the signs of catastrophe are already there.”

What I think
These changes will confuse parents and pupils when they get their results and there was no need to change the grading system.

Baffour Antwi
Baffour’s favourite subjects in school are business studies and chemistry. In the future he wants a career which involves YouTube or investment banking.

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3 Responses to New GCSE grading system confuses pupils and teachers

  1. shakira393 March 17, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    >there was no need to change the grading system

    What was the need to change the grading system, if there was one?

    Apparently AQA says it ‘provides more differentiation, especially among higher achieving students’ – http://www.aqa.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/policy/gcse-and-a-level-changes/9-1 So under the old system of A*-G, if one person got a high C and the other got a low C, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference beause they’re both marked a C.

    However, although there’s some confusion about what they actually do stand for or where the pass mark is. you’d be able to tell that the person with a low C, grade 4, gained less marked than the person who got a high C, grade 5. I guess it still needs some clarification.

    Everyone studying for their GCSEs, just keep trying your best!

    Question: Is this also extending to A Level?

  2. shakira393 March 17, 2017 at 11:12 am #

    There’s also a video in the link I posted by AQA explaining more.

  3. shakira393 March 17, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    Sadly, this could also make the person with a 4 feel bad, because they didn’t get high enough to get a 5- when both of them were a C grade in the old system.

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