https://ofqual.blog.gov.uk/2018/03/23/grading-the-new-gcse-science-qualifications/

Grading the new GCSE science qualifications

The new GCSE science qualifications can be taken in different ways – students can take single GCSEs in one or more of biology, chemistry and physics, or they can take a double GCSE in combined science. Students who take combined science will study all three sciences and they’ll cover roughly two thirds of the content of the single GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics.

If they take the single GCSEs they will receive a single 9 to 1 grade for each subject, in the same way as for other reformed GCSEs. If they take the combined science qualification, they’ll receive an award worth 2 GCSEs. It will consist of two equal or adjacent grades from 9 to 1, giving 17 possible grade combinations – for example, (9-9); (9-8); (8-8) through to (1-1).

Why a double grade?

Since students will have covered two GCSEs’ worth of content and the overall exam time is similar to that for two GCSEs, it’s right that the grade they get recognises that. The double grade will be based on their overall mark across the three subjects; they won’t get a separate mark for each science, and good performance in one area will compensate for weaker performance in another, as in any GCSE. This is reflected in the available grade combinations, which can therefore only be either the same (for example 5-5) or adjacent (for example 5-4) grades from 9 to 1.  So students won’t end up with grade combinations such as 5-3 or 7-4.

Why have a 17-point grade scale?

We considered a scale that only included (9-9); (8-8); (7-7); etc but we said it would be unfair for students to lose (or gain) two whole grades at each grade boundary. After all, a student studying single sciences who just misses a grade 5 by one mark in biology would not also lose their grade 5 in physics or chemistry. As such, it’s fairer for all if those who just miss, say a (5-5) get a (5-4). Exam boards will set 17 grade boundaries for combined science, as shown on the postcard.

Why is the bigger number first?

We are asking exam boards to adopt this convention to avoid any suggestion that there are more than 17 possible grade combinations.

Predictions for 2018

Several people have asked us about the basis of predictions for the new science GCSEs, and in particular for the combined science award.

Let’s start with the single science GCSEs. In biology, chemistry and physics, exam boards will use statistics so that broadly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as previously achieved a grade C and above in the legacy GCSE single science qualifications. The same holds for grades 7/A and 1/G. That means that if the national cohort for chemistry remains similar to previous years, we would expect to see a similar proportion of students nationally at the key grades.

In combined science, those anchor points are less clear, because there is no previous double GCSE award for comparison. We also know that exam boards will need to take account of the fact that some schools previously entered students for science in year 10 and additional science in year 11, while others entered students for both at the end of year 11, and some students were entered for science but not additional science. We are working with the exam boards to make sure that the predictions used in the summer take account of these different practices. We’ll be looking carefully at the provisional entry data in April to see if there are any changes.

For schools who want an indication of the likely percentage of students at grade 4-4 in combined science, we suggest a reasonable indication would be the percentage of students that, in previous years have achieved a grade C in both science and additional science, whether they took them both in year 11 or one in year 10 and one in year 11. Similarly, the percentage of students who previously achieved a grade A in both would be a reasonable indicator of the likely percentage of students achieving a 7-7. But do bear in mind that if your school cohort has changed or if you have changed your approach to selecting students for separate sciences/combined science, that might mean your results are more variable compared to previous years.

 

Cath Jadhav

Associate Director for Standards and Comparability

112 comments

  1. Comment by Judith Cave posted on

    Is there any way to determine where a students strengths/weaknesses lie in this grading system to help choice of A levels?

    • Replies to Judith Cave>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      It will depend on which specification the student has taken. Some specifications divide the content into the separate sciences so students will take two biology papers, two chemistry papers and two physics papers to get an overall combined science result. Schools/colleges will be able to see how well students have performed on each of the papers, and so will get an idea of strengths and weaknesses. Other specifications integrate the content so that the papers cover a mixture, and in those cases it will be more difficult to get any feedback about the separate science elements.

      • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

        Comment by Emma posted on

        My son has a 32 in foundation tier can u tell me what this means please thank you

        • Replies to Emma>

          Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

          Hi Emma, it seems that the way some schools/colleges have rendered results data has made them look slightly different and removed the dash between the two grades, so it could be that your son has a 3-2 grade. There is information about these double-grades in the above blog post (in particular the second paragraph) and you can see where the grade sits in the full grade scale here, but you'll need to confirm the grade itself with the relevant school/college.

  2. Comment by Brittany posted on

    How much do you need on each paper to achieve a grade 4?

    • Replies to Brittany>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Brittany, grade boundaries are not set in advance of the exams being taken for several reasons, so there is no answer to that yet. For an explanation on how grade boundaries are set, please see this blog post.

  3. Comment by Ian Taylor posted on

    This link doesn't work. Are you sure it is correct.
    Thankyou

  4. Comment by Lolly posted on

    So how is a grade generated? Say you do really well on the first set of sciences and not as well on the second is an average formed since the grades have to be equal or adjacent

    • Replies to Lolly>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      The grades are not separate. A double grade is calculated at the overall qualification level. The marks for all the papers will be added together, and 17 grade boundaries (9-9, 9-8, 8-8 through to 2-1, 1-1) will be set on the overall marks.

  5. Comment by lisa simm posted on

    for GCSE combined science, if a student gets a grade 3 in physics, is it still possible to get an overall result of say a 5-5 if he gets say a 6 in biology?

    • Replies to lisa simm>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      In the combined science qualifications, students will not be graded for each individual science. Marks from all the combined science papers will be added together and grade boundaries (for example, 5-5) will be set at the qualification level. Higher marks on one paper or on one of the science content areas can therefore compensate for lower marks on another. In your example, it is the case that better performance on the biology papers/questions could compensate for poorer performance on the physics papers/questions. The overall grade will be determined by the total number of marks achieved.

  6. Comment by Nicky Smith posted on

    Will a Grade 4 still be the benchmark? If so, will a 4-3 count as meeting the benchmark?

  7. Comment by Caroline Vize posted on

    If a student is taking a combined science course consisting of separate papers for physics, biology and chemistry how does that get turned into just 2 grades. If they get a 7 in physics, a 3 in chemistry and a 4 in biology....where does that end up?

    • Replies to Caroline Vize>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      It's best to think of this as a double grade rather than two separate grades. The marks for all the combined science papers are added together, and the double grade boundaries (9-9, 9-8, 8-8, 8-7, 7-7, etc through to 2-2, 2-1, 1-1) are set on that total mark. Students taking combined science won't get grades for the separate sciences or separate papers.

  8. Comment by David Hunter posted on

    "The new GCSE science qualifications can be taken in different ways – students can take single GCSEs in one or more of biology, chemistry and physics, or they can take a double GCSE in combined science. Students who take combined science will study all three sciences and they’ll cover roughly two thirds of the content of the single GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics".

    Does the first sentence suggest that students can take Biology alone without the need for the other, or either of the other sciences?

    • Replies to David Hunter>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      The GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics are separate qualifications and students can choose to take one, two or all three of them. Previous practice suggests that most students will take all three, but there is no requirement to do so. Computer science also counts as a science for Progress 8 and Ebacc.

  9. Comment by Kitty Lewis posted on

    In gcse higher science can you get 1s 2s and 3s or is anything below a 4 a U)

    • Replies to Kitty Lewis>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      There is a 'safety net' grade 3 allowed on higher tier, which is about half the normal grade width, but below that would be a U.

  10. Comment by Melanie Delve posted on

    How can you give two grades when there are three separate sciences in the double award? Do the paper 1's determine the first grade and the paper 2's the second grade?

    • Replies to Melanie Delve>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      It's best to think of this as a double grade rather than two separate grades. The marks for all the combined science papers are added together, and the double grade boundaries (9-9, 9-8, 8-8, 8-7, 7-7, etc through to 2-2, 2-1, 1-1) are set on that total mark. Students taking combined science won't get grades for the separate sciences or separate papers.

      • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

        Comment by andrew lowe posted on

        My Son on Science Combined : Triliog Tier H got a Grd1 of 54 and points Grade 9
        can you explain pleasw

        • Replies to andrew lowe>

          Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

          Hi Andrew, I'm afraid I don't understand your message. Could you elaborate please?

          • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

            Comment by Krisy posted on

            Hi Hannah thanks for your help it was driving me nuts lol.x

        • Replies to andrew lowe>

          Comment by Krisy posted on

          Hi Andrew my son got the same but Grd1 65 and 11 points .I can't find any info on what it means .Did you manage to find out what it means.

          • Replies to Krisy>

            Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

            It seems that the way some schools/colleges have rendered results data for distribution means that the dash in the combined science grades has been left out. So it could be that Andrew, your son may have got a 5-4 and Krisy, your son may have a 6-5. You can see where these sit on the full 17-point scale here. There is also information in the above blog post, but you'll need to confirm the grades with the relevant school/college.

  11. Comment by Lily posted on

    if 6th forms are looking for one specific grade atleast or above in the chosen science then how do we find out what we have achieved in just that one science as double award get one grade all together?

    • Replies to Lily>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      The grade for combined science is a double grade that reflects performance across all three sciences. It is not broken down into biology, chemistry and physics.

  12. Comment by Manahel Afzal posted on

    If sixth forms are looking at one specific grade or more in a chosen science how do we know what we have achieved in that specific science as we only get one grade ?

    • Replies to Manahel Afzal>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      The grade for combined science is a double grade that reflects performance across all three sciences. It is not broken down into biology, chemistry and physics.

  13. Comment by Tony Morris posted on

    How will this be reported to students and their parents?

    If a student has a 4-3, does that mean they have a grade 4 and a grade 3 in Science?

    If a student has English 5, Maths 5, Geography 4, Science 4 -3 have they achived 4 GCSEs at Grade 4+? Our students will be going to colleges tomorrow with these results and this would be crucial if the requirement for the course is 4 GCSEs at Grade 4+

    • Replies to Tony Morris>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Combined science is the same size as two GCSEs, which is why students will get a double grade. Students will therefore count those double grades in their 'total' so in the example provided the student would have achieved four GCSEs at grade 4 and above. Colleges will, of course, have their own requirements for entry.

      We have also been asked whether a 4-3 should be considered a 'pass'. We have aligned 4-4 to a C in the old science qualifications. We know, however, that where students are required to have a science GCSE for entry to teacher training or similar, that a 4-3 in combined science will suffice.

      • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

        Comment by Paul O'Brien posted on

        I don't quite understand the answer you gave to the question by Tony Morris. In your answer, you suggested that "If a student has English 5, Maths 5, Geography 4, Science 4 -3 have they achived [sic] 4 GCSEs at Grade 4+"

        You replied: "Combined science is the same size as two GCSEs, which is why students will get a double grade. Students will therefore count those double grades in their 'total' so in the example provided the student would have achieved four GCSEs at grade 4 and above. "

        Forgive me if I'm wrong, but surely the example given is actually five GCSEs since you say combined science is the same size as two GCSEs. If I've missed the point, please could you clarrify this for me?

        • Replies to Paul O'Brien>

          Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

          Hi Paul, it is five GCSEs, but four of those GCSEs are a grade 4 and above. The fifth grade is a 3 because the combined science grade is 4-3. Does that clarify?

          • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

            Comment by Paul O'Brien posted on

            Thanks Hannah. It's clear now.

  14. Comment by Jerome posted on

    Apparently,in the newspapers, the grade boundaries are lower for the combined sciences.
    Is it the same for triple (separate) sciences as well .
    If not what much of a difference will it be compared to last year.

  15. Comment by Charlotte Tatler posted on

    My daughter got a score of 54 in combined science:Trilogy Tier H.
    What does this mean please?

    • Replies to Charlotte Tatler>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Charlotte, if you mean that her grade was a 5-4, you can see where that sits on the grade scale here (there is more explanation if you scroll down). If you mean that was the number of marks she got, you will need to speak to her school about the grade boundaries on the qualification she took.

    • Replies to Charlotte Tatler>

      Comment by Alison stafford posted on

      Hi, did you figure out the gcse result, my son only has 32 under grd1 fir combined science....dont know ehat it means?

  16. Comment by ada ukwu posted on

    what doea 54 mean in a tripple science course in 2018 gcse

    • Replies to ada ukwu>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      If you're talking about combined science: trilogy, it may be a grade 5-4, worth two GCSEs. There is more on what this means in the blog post above and you can see where the grade sits on the scale here. If you are talking about the number of marks in a different qualification, you will need to speak to the school about where the grade boundaries are for the respective qualification.

  17. Comment by Karen posted on

    What does 22 mean as a grade?

    • Replies to Karen>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Karen, if you mean a 2-2 in combined science, there is detail on how combined science is graded above. You can also see where 2-2 sits on the grade scale here (scroll down for more info).

  18. Comment by Derek Barnes posted on

    My daughter got a 5-4 grade in combined science will that count as a 5 so that she can do A Level Psychology

    • Replies to Derek Barnes>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      It depends on the specific requirements she needs to meet. Combined science is the same size as two GCSEs, which is why students will get a double grade.

      It's best to speak to your school or college. They will have set their own requirements for students who want to do particular subjects at A level.

  19. Comment by David posted on

    Hi. Trying to decipher Combined Science Option F grade of 43 / 139 what is this?

    • Replies to David>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi David, please contact the school/college who may get in touch with the exam board to help explain.

  20. Comment by Helen O'sullivan posted on

    Really confused - my son has got 3.5 which according to the info above is impossible! He has the lower number first and the 2 numbers are not adjacent - what does this mean? I can't work out if it's enough to get him into college.

    • Replies to Helen O'sullivan>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Helen, please contact the school/college who may get in touch with the exam board to help explain.

    • Replies to Helen O'sullivan>

      Comment by Zara Axon posted on

      Hi Helen my son received the same grade 3.5 - have you managed to find out what this means?

      • Replies to Zara Axon>

        Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

        Hi both, it seems that the way some schools/colleges have rendered results data for distribution has made them look a bit different. In some cases it looks like the dash between the two grades has been removed, but there may be other anomalies. There is also information about the double-grades in the above blog post, but you'll need to confirm what grades were actually achieved with the relevant school/college.

  21. Comment by jan mccormack posted on

    My son got a Grd1 of 54 in combined scienceB(21 cntry sci)-Fnd(no points mark) does this mean 5-4,therefore 2 gcses?thank you

    • Replies to jan mccormack>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Jan, please contact the school/college who may get in touch with the exam board to help explain the results given.

  22. Comment by Jeffrey posted on

    Where is the Link for Lower Tier Grade Results?

    Many thanks.

  23. Comment by Jo H posted on

    Hi my son got 45 for combined science and teachers have told him, they don't know? Can anyone tell me?

    • Replies to Jo H>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Jo H, if the teachers at the school don't understand the results they should contact the relevant exam board.

  24. Comment by Natasha Rouse posted on

    What dose grd1 32 mean in combined science.

    • Replies to Natasha Rouse>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Natasha, you'll need to speak to the school/college or the exam board to confirm, but if you mean a 3-2 you can find an answer to your question in the second paragraph of this blog post.

  25. Comment by Jo posted on

    My son got a 124/280 in Maths foundation. can you tell me what the boundary was for this year please.
    In some reports it suggests its 125. if this is the case I think its worth getting the paper re-marked.

    • Replies to Jo>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Jo, please speak to your son's school or college, who will be able to explain or contact the exam board if they are unsure.

  26. Comment by Rach posted on

    My daughter got a 6 6 in higher combined science so is this is a B equivalent x

    • Replies to Rach>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      The combined science grade is worth two GCSEs, but you can see how the 9 to 1 scale compares with the A* to G scale here.

  27. Comment by Joanne posted on

    My son on combined sci: Trilogy F got 44 so it that counted at 2 x grade 4 gcse?

    • Replies to Joanne>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Joanne, We think that some of the ways schools/colleges are printing results seems to have omitted the dash in between the two grades, so it may well be that your son has got a 4-4, which is worth two GCSEs, yes. But it is worth talking to the school/college to confirm.

  28. Comment by Melissa posted on

    Hi - we are still confused as to whether a grade 4-3 would count as one grade 4 ( in terms of measuring progress); with legacy spec - Core grade C and Additional grade D would still have counted as one grade C - for progress measures and college entry etc).

    Thanks

    • Replies to Melissa>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Combined science is the same size as two GCSEs, which is why students will get a double grade. Students will therefore count those double grades in their 'total' so a 4-3 would be counted as one 4 and one 3 when tallying up their results. Colleges will, of course, have their own requirements for entry.

      We have also been asked whether a 4-3 should be considered a 'pass'. We have aligned 4-4 to a C in the old science qualifications. We know, however, that where students are required to have a science GCSE for entry to teacher training or similar, that a 4-3 in combined science will suffice.

  29. Comment by Obi Ohanu posted on

    What does a 3-4 combined science trilogy actually mean. Please explain

    • Replies to Obi Ohanu>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Obi, the higher grade is always first, so I assume you are asking about a 4-3? The thinking behind the grade scale is detailed in the above blog post, and the graphic you can see linked to in the second paragraph.

      We have been asked whether a 4-3 should be considered a 'pass'. We have aligned 4-4 to a C in the old science qualifications. We know, however, that where students are required to have a science GCSE for entry to teacher training or similar, that a 4-3 in combined science will suffice.

  30. Comment by Lesley posted on

    Hi Did anyone find out what a score of 32 or 54 meant? Not 3-2 or 5-4 thanks.

    • Replies to Lesley>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Lesley, if it's not a 3-2 or a 5-4 then they are not grades and the answer will depend on the exam board, so your best bet is to ask the relevant school/college who will contact the exam board if necessary.

  31. Comment by Tee posted on

    Does 5-4 mean that two of the subjects grades was equivalent to a 5 grade but one of the subject grade was a grade 4

    • Replies to Tee>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      No. For all combined science results the marks are added up to a total and then grade boundaries of the 17-point scale are applied. See this link.

  32. Comment by Anne posted on

    Hi, in combined science trilogy tier H is a 6-5 graded as a 6 or do you take it as a 5, I was told Ofqual takes the lower number the bigger number is just there. I thought it would be the bigger number.

    • Replies to Anne>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Anne, both grades count as part of one double-grade but Ofqual doesn't 'take' them as such. As the independent regulator we ensure standards of the new GCSEs are maintained. Take a look at the post above and this postcard for more informations on what the 6-5 grade means.

  33. Comment by Jacqui posted on

    What is a 11 in combined science as a pose to an 1-1

    • Replies to Jacqui>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Jacqui, you might want to check with the school/college that it's definitely not a 1-1, because it seems that the way some schools/colleges have rendered results data for distribution means that the dash in the combined science grades has been left out. In any case, the school/college will be able to explain the grade, or there is some information in the blog post above.

  34. Comment by Samantha Croft posted on

    My son got a 54 what does that mean in grade wise as all I can see is 5-4 not both together. I am so confused

    • Replies to Samantha Croft>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Samantha, it seems that the way some schools/colleges have rendered results data for distribution means that the dash in the combined science grades has been left out. So it could be that your son may have got a 5-4. You can see where these sit on the full 17-point scale here. There is also information in the above blog post, but you'll need to confirm the grade with the relevant school/college.

  35. Comment by Nadine .Z posted on

    My son was consistently predicted a B in science, however he has come out with a combined sci trilogy tier f grd1 score of 32 , he then in the points collumn has a 5. I take it the 32 mean 3.2 which is below a C right ?
    What does the 5 points mean please ? All other points in this collumn reflect the exam grade, for example maths grd1 4 =points 4 , Geography grd1 4 =points 4 etc.
    This is all so confusing .

    • Replies to Nadine .Z>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      It seems that the way some schools/colleges have rendered results data for distribution means that the dash in the combined science grades has been left out. So if your son got a score of 32, it is probably 3-2. You can see where these sit on the full 17-point scale here. There is also information in the above blog post, but you'll need to confirm the grades with the relevant school/college.

  36. Comment by GILL posted on

    Hi can you advise whether a grade 5 for maths with a score of 84/240 is equivalent to a C or B on the old system please.

    • Replies to GILL>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Gill, you'll find information on this here. There are no direct equivalencies between the grades but there are some useful comparable points on the scale.

      • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

        Comment by Gill posted on

        Thank you. Also what % of results overall might change? Its a worry when it says the results are provisional only!

        • Replies to Gill>

          Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

          Hi Gill, Boards issue them as provisional results because of the opportunity to request a review of marking, ahead of certificates being issued in the autumn.

  37. Comment by Jessica posted on

    What does it mean when it says 25 on foundation combined science results

    • Replies to Jessica>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Jessica, it's very difficult to say without seeing the context. The best way to get an explanation is to contact the school/college or speak to the exam board who issued the result.

      • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

        Comment by Jessica posted on

        Is it a mistake does it mean a grade 2 and 5

        • Replies to Jessica>

          Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

          No, because with the double grades for combined science the numbers will be adjacent or equal (9-9, 9-8, 8-8, 8-7 etc) and the larger number is stated first. There is more information in the above blog post.

          • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

            Comment by Jessica posted on

            Would it be a grade 2 and 5 or is it a mistake

          • Replies to Jessica>

            Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

            As I say, we cannot be sure without some context, so you should contact the school or the exam board to confirm.

  38. Comment by Emma posted on

    Can you clarify what a 4-3 is equivalent to please? Is it a c or d grade? Ive rung aqa and they seem unable to give me a decent answer!! And your table doesn't really help. It would be more helpful if it was like:
    9-9- A*
    9-8- A
    and so on.........

    • Replies to Emma>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Emma, as there are 17 combined science grades ranging from 9-9 to 1-1, it's not possible to make direct equivalencies across the whole scale between these grades and the A* to G scale, which has just 8 grades. We have, however, aligned 4-4 to a C in the old science qualifications, so a 4-3 is just below that. Colleges can make their own requirements as to what they deem an acceptable grade for a particular course of study, however, and we know that where students are required to have a science GCSE for entry to teacher training or similar, that a 4-3 in combined science will suffice.

  39. Comment by Liz J posted on

    does the 5/5 in foundation tier combined science compare favourably with a 5/5 in the higher tier paper? I believe there is a cross over of 30% like for like questions? my son is going from an English school to a Welsh 6th form college who are unsure of the standards for the reformed grades and are therefore confused as to whether to accept a 5/5 for entry into A level biology as they require a B/B? should I request the numerical percentage. from AQA to see how well he did at 5/5? This may help persuade the college he is good enough. He got 9 GCSE's at grade 8,four 6's and four 5's

    • Replies to Liz J>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Liz, a 5-5 in the foundation tier paper is directly comparable with a 5-5 in the higher tier. The tiers are designed to be comparable, with specific questions aimed at students to achieve the respective grades. It is worth noting that neither the results slip nor the certificate says which tier was entered. You can get a good idea of how the A* to G scale compares with the 9 to 1 scale here.

  40. Comment by Cheryl Rickles posted on

    My daughter got a 43 on her combined foundation exam, what grade boundary is this familiarised with?

    • Replies to Cheryl Rickles>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Some of the software schools and colleges have used to render results for distribution to candidates has removed the dash, so it may be that your daughter got a 4-3. The best thing to do is to contact the school/college that issued the result and ask them to double-check it with the exam board. We have aligned a 4-4 with a C grade, and a 4-3 is just below this, but you can see how the A* to G scale compares with the 9 to 1 scale here, and where all the science grades sit in comparison with each other here.

  41. Comment by m Amar posted on

    Hi my son has grd1 32 and points 5. what grade is this?
    I have checked the table above but still confused

    • Replies to m Amar>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Having seen a few results slips given out by schools and colleges, I think your son may have got a 3-2 but the dash has been removed owing to the software used to distribute the results. You will, however, need to check with the school or college to be certain of this. You can see where a 3-2 sits in the grade scale here.

  42. Comment by Sars posted on

    Hi. My son got an 8.5 for double science, according to your sake this isn't possible. Please could you explain what this actually means. Thanks

    • Replies to Sars>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Some of the software schools and colleges have used to render results for distribution to candidates has made the combined science grade look a little odd in places. Some have removed the dash and it looks like some may have produced an average result across the double grade awarded. The best thing to do is to contact the school/college that issued the result and ask them to double-check it with the exam board.

  43. Comment by John posted on

    Hi Will the results for foundation and higher papers in 9-1 Science be published separately anywhere? I'm interested in comparison of say the grade 4s obtained on a foundation paper compared to the higher tier paper.
    In addition will Ofqual publish the grade distribution to enable comparisons between exam boards?
    Thanks

    • Replies to John>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi John, we don't routinely publish results broken down by tier, but there is a high-level summary on our infographic here (bottom left-hand corner) and results for combined science and separate science GCSEs are published on the exam boards' websites. What I can say on the subject of tiers, if it is helpful, is that for each exam board at least 20 per cent of the marks available on foundation and higher tiers are from what we call common questions, which are identical exam questions on both tiers.

      • Replies to Hannah Bradley>

        Comment by john posted on

        Hi Hannah Thanks for the reply
        Could you please comment on the second part of my question as to whether or not there will be any source to compare the grade distributions between the exam boards?
        Thanks

        • Replies to john>

          Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

          Hi John, sorry I meant to say - each exam board publishes results broken down by grade on its website.

  44. Comment by Charlie L posted on

    My stepdaughter received a D grade for combined science. How does that work? My understanding was that this was one of the reformed GCSEs and the grading would work as above, but the school is adamant it is a D grade???

    • Replies to Charlie L>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Charlie, combined science is a reformed subject and is worth two GCSEs, graded 9-9 to 1-1 (so it is both on the numerical grade scale and the grades are double) so it's not correct for a student to get a single D in combined science. I suggest you check the subject and the grade with the school, and ask the school to check these details with the exam board.

  45. Comment by Kelly Markham posted on

    My daughter received a 44 in combined science (no dash and points column shows 4). We understood this to mean 2 x GCSE’s at grade 4. However she has been declined a place on the Level 3 college course she applied for as the college are stating this is only being considered as 1 GCSE (meaning a total of 4 GCSE’s at grade 4 and above instead of 5 GCSE’s which is what we thought she had). I have contacted the exam board who confirm it should be counted as 2 x GCSE’s but the college maintain they have been advised by the same exam board that it is only 1 GCSE for ‘further education purposes’. I am finding it impossible to clarify what the situation is. Please can you advise?

    • Replies to Kelly Markham>

      Comment by Hannah Bradley posted on

      Hi Kelly, we have found that the software some schools/colleges have used to render the results for distributing to candidates has removed the dash from the double grade, so your daughter probably did get a 4-4 by the sounds of it, especially as it appears the exam board has confirmed this. This is a double grade and is indeed worth two GCSEs. Further education institutions, however, make their own decisions on the grade requirements they have. Please email public.enquiries@ofqual.gov.uk with more information as to the relevant exam board and we may be able to give you more information.