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GCSE Maths 9-1 FAQs

GCSE Maths has changed...

Q: Why have the GCSEs changed?

A: The government is looking to make the UK education system more competitive internationally by raising learning standards across the whole range of subjects. The new GCSEs will also allow a clearer distinction between the ability levels of students at the top end of the spectrum.

What changes?

Q: What are the main changes for GCSE maths?

A: The new maths GCSEs have an increased breadth and depth of content, and include the following changes:

  • A new 9-1 grading system
  • Schools are recommended to increase the teaching time allocated to maths.
  • The new GCSE are now linear in assessment
  • More demanding with additional content and greater assessment, especially for the foundation tier which will be most affected.
  • The GCSEs have a greater focus on problem solving, with the examinations including more problems which have multi-step solutions
  • There is a bigger emphasis on fluency and reasoning, and making sure that students grasp the fundamentals of arithmetic and non-calculator skills.

The grading system

Q: What are the main changes to the grading system?

A: A*-G grades will be replaced by a new grading system. The new system will cover grades 9-1, with 9 being the highest, and a U for Unclassified. In the new grading system, a 4 will roughly equal a C, and a 7 will roughly equal an A. The foundation tier will cover grades 1-5 and the higher tier will cover grades 4-9. The new ‘benchmark’ grade usually defined as success will be 5, which lies between old grades C and B.

New exams

Q: When will students sit the new GCSE exams?

A: First teaching for the new GCSE mathematics qualification started in September 2015, with first exams in summer 2017

New resources

Q: Are there new resources available for the new GCSEs?

A: Yes. We have a range of resources developed specifically to support the curriculum changes, including AQA GCSE Maths Edexcel GCSE Maths and 6th Edition Rayner’s Revision and Practice.