GCSE Combined Science: new grading system

New GCSEs are graded 9 to 1. From summer 2018, GCSE Combined Science students will receive a double grade on a 17-point scale, from 9-9 to 1-1.

This double award is worth two GCSEs, and is made up of two equal or adjacent grades. There are 17 possible grade combinations, for example, (9-9), (9-8), (8-8), (8-7) – through to (1-1).

Grade boundaries

The method used to set the grade 9-9 boundary for GCSE Combined Science is similar to the one used to set the grade 9 boundary for the first 9 to 1 GCSE results in 2017, but adapted for the double grade.

Generally, a student who would have got an average grade A across science and additional science in 2017 would get grade 7-7 in GCSE Combined Science from 2018 onwards.

In summer 2018 Ofqual introduced a new allowed grade 3-3 for combined science, and a full-width safety net grade 4-3 on combined science. They also allowed a full-width grade 3 in separate sciences. Ofqual have said that they will not repeat these special arrangements in 2019. You can read more about this on Ofqual’s recent blog published on 15 January 2019.

For additional guidance, see our GCSE Science tiering guide. >

Ofqual information on grading GCSE Combined Science