Breakdown of the 9 – 1 GCSE Mathematics achievement criteria

Below is a breakdown on the 9 – 1 GCSE Mathematics Grade Structure, provided by our expert Mathematics Teachers and former examination officers.*

Grade U

This grade expresses the student’s inability to demonstrate sufficient use of Mathematical knowledge or application to achieve any of the Grade scores below.

We suspect that this would be awarded to students whom achieve 0 – 14% in the Foundation Tier examinations or 0 – 8% in the Higher Tier examinations.

Grade 1

This is linked to the current F and G Grades. This grade is also important as it would be the minimum content required to be able to achieve a score.

We assume that the assessment requirement for this grade is to demonstrate an ability to apply content to 15 – 30% of the marks of the Foundation Tier examinations.

Grade 2

This grade correlated to an E or low D Grade in the current GCSE system.

We assume that this grade will be attributable to an achievement of 30 – 55% of the Foundation Tier examinations.

Grade 3

This grade is correlated to a high D Grade in the current GCSE system.

This is an important grade since it forms an unsatisfactory passing grade. We assume that this would be attributable to an achievement of 55 – 70% of the Foundation Tier, or between 8 – 15% of the Higher Tier examinations.

Grade 4

This grade is used to represent a C Grade in GCSE.

This grade is important since it forms the official “pass” of the GCSE qualification. This will most likely be attributable to a 68 – 85% in the Foundation Tier examinations or 23%+ in the Higher Tier examinations.

Given the significance of the Grade 4 Pass, we suspect that the student will be required to demonstrate over 50% of the marks for the level 4 questions in the Foundation Tier as well as achieving 68%+ in the Foundation Tier examination. We expect that the Higher Tier examinations will already have Level 4+ Questions making this criteria automatic for the Higher Tier level 4 assessment criteria.

Grade 5

This grade represents a higher C Grade award or a lower B Grade award.

We suspect that it will require a student to achieve 90%+ in the Foundation Tier examinations.

We assume that a student will need to achieve 40 – 50% in the Higher Tier examinations to achieve this score, of at least half of those marks need to come from level 5+ questions.

We suggest that student will only need to demonstrate a limited aptitude of applying higher tier content to unfamiliar questions.

Grade 6

This is meant to represent a higher B Grade in the current GCSE grading system.

We assume that a student would need to score between 50 – 70% of the marks in the Higher Tier examination.

We would imagine that this grade would require students to demonstrate use of higher tier content in questions where students need to state relevant mathematics and use the content correctly to solve complex problems. We would also suggest that students be able to interpret information from graphs for use in solving problems.

Grade 7

This is meant to represent the A Grade in the current GCSE marking system.

I assume that a student would need to be able to achieve 70 – 82% in the Higher Tier examinations while demonstrate an ability to achieve a significant number of marks in the Level 7+ Questions where one would need to apply mathematics to complex problems such as quadratic simultaneous equations and similarly difficult problems. I also would imagine that these questions would require a student to apply information or relevant mathematics to unfamiliar / tricky questions.

Grade 8

This is meant to represent the A* Grade in GCSE.

I would imagine that a student would need to achieve 85% + in the Higher Tier examinations while also being able demonstrate an aptitude in applying relevant mathematics to tricky complex problems.

Grade 9

It is aimed that the top half of the A* achievers will achieve the score 9.

I suspect this will be awarded to students achieving 90%+ in the Higher Tier examination AND demonstrate a creative use of relevant mathematics to solve an unfamiliar problem or use mathematics to provide an answer to an ambiguous problem to which there is no categorical answer, only an educated opinion.

I assume that the Level 9 content will be aimed to test the advanced ability to apply subject content to unfamiliar questions.

It may be suitable to look at Core 1 tricky questions as a guide for these questions.

 

*The notes are educated guesses by teaching experts. We have had our notes reviewed by OfQual and the AQA, OCR and EdExcel examination boards, whom have provided us excellent content and feedback. Please note, our material is not endorsed by OfQual, or the stated examination boards.

 

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