Is a Grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics a Pass?

Students need a 4 for a standard pass and 5 for a strong pass in order to be considered as having passed their GCSE Mathematics exam. This means that if a student receives nine fourth-grade grades, they have technically passed all of their exams. However, government school leaderboards are based on the percentage of students who achieved 5 or higher in GCSE Math. Before the system changed, a grade C was accepted as a pass in GCSE. This translates into a fourth grade in the new system, which is considered a “standard pass”.

It is expected that, when a C grade was previously accepted as a requirement for entry into higher education or employment, a grade 4 will now be accepted. Grade 4 is the Standard Pass qualification. If students do not reach fourth grade in mathematics and English, they will have to continue studying these subjects. The Department for Education (DoFE) initially said that a grade 5 would be seen as a good pass. But they also stated that students who get a fourth grade wouldn't have to go back to studying mathematics and English.

Earlier this year, Secretary of Education Justine Greening announced that grade 4 will be a Standard Pass and grade 5 a Strong Pass. This means that students now need 4 for a standard pass and 5 for a strong pass, replacing the traditional limit of a C grade. The GCSE exams will be held in May and June, as usual, and the examining boards have already released their final summer exam schedules. If students want to achieve higher than a pass in mathematics and English (4 or higher), they may be able to retake the exam. Advance information will be implemented for both subjects in July, and a formula sheet will be available for mathematics.

On Thursday, August 12th, students will receive their GCSE results, despite not having taken any tests since they were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the state school my children attend is applying for grade 5 in Math and English to stay in the Sixth Form. Students from England can choose to retake their GCSE exams in November, giving them the opportunity to improve the grade they receive. To study A-Levels, students generally need a minimum of five GCSEs with grades between 4 and 9, including math and English. While changes are being made to the GCSE curricula in Wales and Northern Ireland (NI), these will maintain the old grading system. The percentage of students who reach grades 9-4 in mathematics is lower than the percentage who receive grades 9-4 in all subjects.

The consultation gathered more than 6,000 responses from almost a quarter of the students, and showed that more than 90 percent of students and parents were in favor of giving advance information about the approach to exams next summer to support students with the review, and about 80 percent or more were in favor of agreement with offering topic options in some GCSE subjects. The results of the GCSE English language are similar to those in mathematics, and one factor in this could be that each student has to take math and English, while other subjects are chosen by the student. Thousands of students are eagerly awaiting their GCSE results, which will be released to students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on August 12th. While some students may be very happy with their GCSE results, it is inevitable that others will be disappointed with what they have received.

Shahid Lakha
Shahid Lakha

Shahid Lakha is a seasoned educational consultant with a rich history in the independent education sector and EdTech. With a solid background in Physics, Shahid has cultivated a career that spans tutoring, consulting, and entrepreneurship. As an Educational Consultant at Spires Online Tutoring since October 2016, he has been instrumental in fostering educational excellence in the online tutoring space. Shahid is also the founder and director of Specialist Science Tutors, a tutoring agency based in West London, where he has successfully managed various facets of the business, including marketing, web design, and client relationships. His dedication to education is further evidenced by his role as a self-employed tutor, where he has been teaching Maths, Physics, and Engineering to students up to university level since September 2011. Shahid holds a Master of Science in Photon Science from the University of Manchester and a Bachelor of Science in Physics from the University of Bath.