The New GCSE Grading System Explained: The Ultimate Guide for Employers

After the GCSE Grading system made a dramatic switch from letters to numbers in 2017, many employers may not be aware of the new grading system. You may look at a potential candidate’s grades and ask yourself ‘what does this mean?’

As more school and college leavers begin to start their careers in the big wide world, they will be eager to showcase their academic results using the numerical grading system. With this in mind, we thought that we would give you a detailed insight into how it works, what the numbers mean and why it has changed.

Why did the GCSE grades changed?

The new GCSE grading system was introduced in 2017 to allow sixth-forms, colleges, universities, and employers to differentiate and better understand the level young people were working to.

For example, if you were one mark off an A grade, you would be simply shown as a B and in the same bracket as those who merely scraped the grade.

As well as this, the new GCSE grading system came in when the curriculum was changed, as this allowed employers to easily differentiate between those who are on the old GCSE and those who completed the more complex GCSE curriculum and exams.

What are the new grades for GCSEs?

The new GCSE grading system is a scale from 1 to 9, with 1 being the lowest grade (not including an ungraded mark) and 9 being the highest grade you can get.

You may now be wondering what this number grading system looks like, in comparison to the letter grading system so, without further ado, here it is!

What are the new GCSE grades equivalent to?

9 = High A* Grade

8 = Low A* or High A Grade

7 = Low A Grade

6 = High B Grade

5 = Low B Grade or High C Grade

4 = Low C Grade

3 = D or High E Grade

2 = Low E or High F Grade

1 = Low F or G Grade

U = Remains the same as ‘Ungraded’

When do the GCSE results for 2021 get released?

Despite GCSEs being cancelled for 2021, results day will still be going ahead, and teachers will be issuing the grades based on performance throughout the course. The official date for the GCSE results day in 2021 will be on Thursday 12th August.

Even though the updated GCSE grades do look daunting at first, when you break it down and compare them to the old letter form, it begins to soak in. If in doubt, just remember, anything that is 4 and above is classed as a C or above, which is the common requirement for jobs.

If you are looking for a new starter who has just left school, college or university, our award-winning recruitment team have helped many companies find the right people who are eager to learn, develop and grow within their role.

Give our Nottingham HQ a call on 0115 924 0010 or you can email us your requirements to jobs@

Leave a Reply