Since GCSEs were first introduced in 1988 its fair to say that things have evolved and changed during that time.
The most noticeable change is the revision to the grading system switching from letters to a numerical system which started being phased in in 2017.
This means as employers, you need to get familiar with what to look for when screening CVs from school leavers who sat their exams under the new system to stay ahead of the game.
So what do the numbers mean?
Exams under the new system will be graded from 9 - the very best grade achievable - to 1 - the lowest pass grade and equivalent to a current grade G.
With more students achieving the upper grades, A* to C, the new system will have 6 grades covering this span running from 9 to 4. Grade 4 is the equivalent of the old Grade C.
If you are seeing grades of 7 and 8 on cvs, you've got a high achiever on your hands with these being the equivalent of A and A*.
The hope is that the new grades will help in matching candidates to jobs and being better able to identify specific training reqiurements.
When will the changes take place?
English Language, English Literature and Maths were the first subjects to transition to numercial grades 9 to 1 in 2017 with a further 20 subjects following during 2018. By 2019 the majority of subjects will be under the new system and eventually all new GCSE's in England will be graded by numbers only. During this period, students will receive grades comprising of a mix of numbers and letters, depending on the subjects studied.
Numbers will soon feel as recognisable as the letter grades we've all been used to. Whether you employ school-leavers or graduates, the new grades will help you better differentiate between each candidate.
By getting to grips with the new grading system now, you’ll be comfortable with what to look for and better equipped when selecting the best matched candidates for the jobs you are recruiting for.
Please note our blog posts contain general information and are intended as guidance only and should not be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. Please ensure that you obtain advice tailored to your individual situation before taking action. These posts apply to the UK only.