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GCSE Exam System Shake-up From September 2015

The long awaited new GSCEs are almost here! Starting in September 2015, the first cohort of year 10 students will be studying the new English and Maths qualifications, due for sitting in summer 2017.

And it really spells quite a marked change from the previous generation! Here are a few questions and answers to help you understand what’s ahead.

How will numerical grading work?

For starters, the graded A*to G system has been replaced by a numerical scale from 1-9 – with 9 replacing the previous A* grade. Grade 4 roughly equates to a C grade, leaving grade 7 to match a low grade A and grade 1 covers the previous F and G grades.

This will take some time to get used to, for both students, parents and (no doubt) future employers.

Will course content change too?

Apart from grade changes, content has also had an overhaul. All subjects will be linear in nature, meaning that assessment isn’t staggered through a two year course any more. Instead, students will sit an end of course exam.

Here’s more information regarding the Maths GCSE changes, and English.

Will the exams be harder?

We think they will as higher and foundation tiers are being removed. And without coursework to fall back on, the new year 10 cohort will need to draw on different skills: memory, exam technique and essay skills, for instance.

Inevitably, special needs students with memory issues (such as Dyslexia) or those who struggle in exams will need more support than ever. And because English now gives more weighting for grammar, it will be essential for students about to embark on the new syllabus to brush up on the basics.

Can private tuition help?

Definitely – especially with exam technique. If your child is about to start year 10, give us a shout. We’ve a team of experienced English and Maths tutors across the Manchester and Cheshire area ready to help…


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