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Combined science GCSE grades: a letter to heads

Science testtubes 389x267

Ofqual is keen to raise awareness among parents, students and employers of the way in which the new GCSE science subjects will be awarded and has written a letter to schools and colleges.

Students taking the single science GCSEs will receive a single 9 to 1 grade for each subject, in the same way as for other reformed GCSEs. Students taking the combined science qualification will receive an award worth two GCSEs. It will consist of two equal or adjacent grades from 9 to 1, giving 17 possible grade combinations – for example, (9-9); (9-8); (8-8) through to (1-1).

Explanatory resources

It has produced some new resources and refreshed others, which include the following:

  • A film that explains how combined science will be graded and it is worth two GCSEs. You can watch the film here
  • 'postcard' in conjunction with this film, which you can find as part of its postcard pack here
  • poster that you may wish to print and put up around your school here
  • PowerPoint presentation that you might consider using at parents' evenings or teacher training events. You can view it here.

You can find more resources and information by subscribing to their '9 to 1 news' newsletter. And if you have any suggestions about other resources you think would be of benefit, do not hesitate to email

AQA has released a short factsheet outlining how the 9 to 1 grading scale will be applied to the GCSE combined science.

First published 26 March 2018