UAE Students Receive First Set of International GCSE Results Based on New 9-1 Grading Scale

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  • The 9-1 grading scale was applied across all Pearson Edexcel International GCSE subjects this year

On 22nd August all students across the UAE and other GCC countries received their Pearson Edexcel International GCSE results, which were awarded using the new nine-point grading scale (9–1), introduced by the UK government to raise standards and recognise top-performing students.

Making a decision from the outset to move to 9–1 grading, Pearson Edexcel have ensured that their International GCSE qualifications have been carefully re-developed to be appropriate for this grading scale. This has been set out in the design of the updated qualification content, assessment objectives, and question papers, and ensures effective targeting of the requirements of the new scale and prepares students to be fully equipped for the A level standard.

Last year, only English and Mathematics International GCSEs were awarded using the new 9-1 grading scale. This year’s Pearson Edexcel International GCSE results have seen the scale being applied to all other subjects as well. By using this method of grading, it is ensured that the grading meets the same standards as Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) set in the UK for GCSE, so students can successfully progress to qualifications such as GCE A level, International A level and on to university.

With nine levels of performance rather than eight, the numerical grading scale also provides greater differentiation of the highest performers at the top end, rewarding student achievements and, in turn, helping them make informed decisions about their A level and university choices.

Kathryn Booth, Head of Academic Qualifications for Pearson Middle East congratulates all students in the UAE receiving their IGCSE and GCSE results today commenting, “We welcome the expansion of the new 9-1 grading scale to include more subjects. As there is so much exceptional performance at the top of the scale, this new system better rewards student achievements. It provides greater differentiation of the performers at the top end, helping them make decisions about their A level and university choices.

We’re delighted to expand the number of Edexcel qualifications for which we award the new 9-1 grading system. For all learners, today marks the culmination of much hard work and determination, and I wish them every success.”

Paul Asir Joseph, Principal, St Mary’s Catholic High School, Dubai added, “At St. Mary’s, we aim to give the best education to every student in our care, preparing them for life beyond school and as global citizens. We believe that our children can achieve this through the British Educational System which we have adopted since 1968. Currently, we offer Pearson Qualifications GCSE/IGCSE as our advanced program at the secondary level because it provides enhanced support to our students, along with OECD-defined transferable skills and better preparation for A Levels. It also provides guidance on specific teaching approaches and assessments to ensure progress for all. The new GCSE/IGCSEs (9-1) grading scale provides greater differentiation, which rewards the top-performing students. Our students’ attainment for the first batch of results as part of the full suite of 9-1 qualifications is outstanding, and we strongly believe this is because specifications are well-aligned with local requirements. We also believe Results Plus had an important role to play here, is a unique online service from Pearson which is free of charge and one that enables teachers to analyze students’ exam performance. This, in turn, helps teachers modify and improve their teaching and learning strategies.”

Pearson Edexcel International GCSEs (9-1) are globally recognised qualifications with academic content and assessment designed specifically for international learners.

“Over 5 million GCSEs and International GCSEs are awarded using the 9–1 grading scale worldwide, including in the UK, making it the most used and recognised grading scale for GCSE and International GCSE globally. Pearson Edexcel led the way with 9-1 grading, as the first international examination board to adopt this awarding scale, to fully align with the UK government’s intention to raise standards. We also wanted to ensure that international students have the same opportunities as students in the UK, which is why our International GCSEs now use the 9–1 grading scale, instead of the A*–G grading scale,” added Booth.

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