Marking of the UK’s GCSE exam system is being ‘toughened up’ from 2017 following an announcement by the exam watchdog Ofqal.
The reforms are part of a major overhaul of GCSE grading which will see the old A*-G system replaced with a new 1 to 9 scale, with 9 being the top grade.
The new grading system is designed to allow for more differentiation at the top – with a 7, 8 or 9 grade being equivalent to A or A* grade in the current system. Only the top 20 per cent of these A* or A students will be awarded the highest grade – 9 – in revamped GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths.
Around a third of Dubai’s 225,000 private school students currently study in a UK curriculum school.
For the first time, the new exam will be tied to an international benchmark, with a grade-5 pass chosen to be broadly in line with the average performance level of 16-year-olds in countries such as Finland, Canada and Switzerland that perform highly in the Programme for International Student Assessment tests run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.