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GCSE Maths grade as a percentage?

(11 Posts)
gillybeanz Tue 10-Oct-17 22:31:52

So are papers marked as a percentage and the percentage give the grade.
Also, if a child is constantly getting around the same percentage in class tests would that be an indicator as to the grade they'd get.
If this is right what are the grade boundaries in percentages.
Is a 4 an old pass at c, or does it have to be 5 as a minimum for a pass.


noblegiraffe Tue 10-Oct-17 22:51:23

Not really, because it would depend entirely on the level that the test was written at. If you're consistently getting 100% on tests, but the test is way easier than the higher paper at GCSE, then you're not going to get 100% on the GCSE.

Because the 9-1 GCSEs are new then there's no real way of converting percentages to grades with any degree of accuracy. There's only one set of GCSE papers that have actually been sat and given grade boundaries at the moment (there'll be another set from January, when the November sittings results come out), and the grade boundaries will go up for the next couple of years as teachers get more used to the spec.

A 4 is a 'standard pass', equivalent to an old C, and is supposed to be good enough for everything a C was good for. A 5 is a 'good pass' which is a high C low B.

gillybeanz Tue 10-Oct-17 23:01:15

So does this mean for kids sitting in 2020 they will be expected to get a higher percentage than now for the same grade?
Thanks for your response btw thanks

If this is the case it's going to be hard for teachers, kids and parents to know what sort of percentages they should be getting in relevant tests (obviously those set at the level/ paper the individual child will sit)

We are so hoping for a 4 (well old C) as you know, but with significant recent improvement I was asked to gauge a possible grade.
Apparently, it's not cool to ask the teacher in front of students who know you're crap.

cantkeepawayforever Tue 10-Oct-17 23:10:20

Gilly, yes, it is very likely indeed that the percentages required for each grade will go up over the next few years - teachers know the spec better, pupils will have done the new curriculun for longer, they will have more papers to practise from, and the papers will be better (one of the issues this year was that the papers weren't properly trialled).

It is impossible at the moment for teachers to set trial tests at the right level and know what percentage = a particular grade (DS went up from a 6 to an 8 in his GCSE, though his actual percentages in each paper in mocks and real exams were very similar - the school just set the grade boundaries harshly for the mocks as they didn't have any better information)

cantkeepawayforever Tue 10-Oct-17 23:11:15

It will obviously also depend on foundation or higher paper. A very, very high percentage on the foundation paper may get a 5, which may only require 20-30% on the Higher paper.

noblegiraffe Tue 10-Oct-17 23:11:26

Yes, in 2020, if the standards of the paper remain the same, it's likely that a higher percentage will be required for the same grade. Teachers were completely in the dark about the standards required so grade boundaries were a complete mystery, but by then they should have a much better idea of the standards needed. Obviously that's not much help now!

I just had to predict GCSE grades for my Y8 students, it's real licking your finger and sticking it in the air stuff. Her teacher would be the best person to ask, but don't expect any degree of accuracy, more a ballpark figure.

Glad to hear your DD is improving! smile

gillybeanz Tue 10-Oct-17 23:23:17

Thanks very much, she called me and said she got 57% in her test and she is working so hard bless her.
School haven't a clue, and poor love thought I should have the answers grin no pun!


Thank you so much for sharing your experience your ds did really well, I can't imagine how stressful it was for the first lot.

I'm not sure whether to advise her to push herself for the Higher paper or work hard for foundation.
I know she doesn't have the choice, but she thinks she does.
Getting the right balance of extra work may be a problem as she's an all or nothing and very determined. This has never stretched to Maths before, as "I can't do it"

TeenTimesTwo Wed 11-Oct-17 11:15:37

OP, if she's doing GCSEs in 2020 then isn't she only just starting y9 now?

In which case, stop stressing about levels of paper etc and just encourage hard work at maths?

My view on predicting (just an interested parent) is this:
Look at school's maths results. Work out therefore which sets get the 7-9s, which the 4-6 and which probably fail.

Then see what set your DD is in and go from there.

e.g. 80% get 4 or above, 10 sets, so broadly speaking sets 1-7 probably pass (lower sets tend to be smaller).
20% get 7-9 relates to top couple of sets, but not all of them, plus a handful from set 3.

catslife Wed 11-Oct-17 11:57:53

Agree with teen. Some schools will also say which sets (usually) take Higher level papers and which ones Foundation.
This decision isn't usually made in Y9 though.
There may be some adjustment to the above, if the year group is more able than previous years (or vice versa).
Once your dd reaches Y11, many schools will give out much more information about what pupils need to do to achieve the best grade they can. The fact that your dd is working hard at the moment is a good sign.
If she is achieving roughly consistent marks, that sounds good. But it may go up (or down) depending on the topic and the level of tests used.

gillybeanz Wed 11-Oct-17 12:01:17


Thank you, it's not that simple though, the range isn't that great in results.
They all tend to do well except a couple every year who have sn or struggle or both.
It's dd who stresses and has asked me to find out as she is embarrassed to ask teachers, although she will seek them out if she is struggling.
I suppose I thought if I could get some info, maybe understand it better I could support her and also know whether she was heading in the right direction iyswim.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 11-Oct-17 18:59:32

I agree with teen. I wouldn't worry about the papers/end point at the moment.

If she's working hard and putting the effort in, then her best bet for the moment is probably making sure she's secure on the KS 2 and 3 curriculum so she can build on it.

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