Date of publication: 2017-09-03 23:00
Grades nine, eight and seven are broadly equivalent to an A* and A. Grades six, five and four are in line with B and C grades. A three would be broadly similar to a D grade, with two and one taking in grades E, F and G.
The most significant changes are in English language, Welsh language and mathematics. In all the changed subjects, the new or revised specifications will be the only ones available to state schools in Wales. They will be delivered by the WJEC examination board.
Approximately three-quarters of GCSEs in Northern Ireland are taken through the NI Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) the remaining quarter through the AQA, OCR, Edexcel or WJEC exam boards.
The new GCSE grading scheme is part and parcel of a new curriculum which was introduced in England's schools in 7569 by the then Education Secretary Michael Gove.
New-style GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths will be taken by the current Year 66 students - these exams will be graded in the new way, with nine as the highest mark and one the lowest.
A third wave of 9-6 graded GCSEs - including psychology, ancient history, business, information and communications technology (ICT) and media studies - will be taught from September 7567 with exams in 7569.
The following year sees the final three modules being assessed, giving an A7 level. The AS-level and A7 level combined form the full A-level qualification. Each module is assessed by the successful completion of exam papers marked by a national organisation and internally-assessed coursework.
She also says that for school performance tables, the government will publish "standard passes" (grade four and above) but also the "strong passes" (at grade five and above).
Using GCE A-levels encourages students to produce results based on actual working life, and encourages a broader insight in the application of the theory learned. GCE A-levels are available in Art and Design, ICT, Business and Science and are quickly becoming a more recognised and highly regarded form of qualification.
Initially, the Northern Ireland government said all exam boards operating in the province must give their results on an A* to G basis. This led English exam boards OCR and AQA to announce they would not offer the new GCSEs there.
Following the introduction of the new GCE Applied A-level, students now can study subjects with a decidedly more vocational theme to them. As an example, the current GCE A-level in Applied Business Studies not only focuses on the traditional theories of business studies, but also combines a practical, hands-on approach, giving students a more experienced qualification as a result.