Is Grade 4 a Good Pass in GCSE Mathematics?

The Department for Education (DoFE) initially stated that a grade 5 would be seen as a good pass, while those who achieved a fourth grade would not have to go back to studying mathematics and English. However, earlier this year, Secretary of Education Justine Greening announced that grade 4 would be considered a Standard Pass and grade 5 a Strong Pass. This summer, a new grading system for three GCSEs will be introduced in England for the first time: Mathematics, English Language and English Literature. This score expresses the student's inability to demonstrate sufficient use of knowledge or application of Mathematics to achieve any of the grading scores below.

The state school my children attend is applying for grade 5 in Math and English to stay in the Sixth Form. Widespread anecdotal evidence suggests that negative test experiences have deterred students from studying mathematics after age 16, even though their grades were intended to indicate that they were well prepared to do so. The decision to appeal a GCSE score must always be made in conjunction with the school; they will have information on how close the results were to a grade limit. England lags behind most other developed countries in participation in mathematics education after age 16, and evidence suggests that this reduces both people's income and national economic performance.

Students who achieve a D or grade 3 in GCSE mathematics are less likely to take A levels or earn a degree than those who earned a C or a grade 4, but there is little evidence that it makes a difference in their overall life satisfaction by age 20, according to new UCL research. The study showed that students who earned a C in mathematics were more likely to progress further in education and get better grades. You will need to do Mathematics and English at the appropriate level for you until you get a fourth grade in the subject. Each GCSE subject is assessed using the 9-1 grading system, with all exams set at the end of Year 11. The paper suggests that it might be necessary for GCSEs to move away from a defined set of grades and approach a continuous measurement scale with students scoring between 1 and 100, for example.

This would mean that improvements in national achievement would result in more students reaching grade 4 or higher. In the coming years, the intention is that participation in mathematics after 16 will increase dramatically. Government research shows that if you get 5 GCSEs from 4 to 9, including English and Math, you'll earn more than £80,000 more in your life than someone who hasn't.

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.