About Time: Replace Letter Grades with Number GradesBy Angelica Malin
Last summer, pupils across Great Britain were impatiently waiting for their GCSE results after they had passed their summer examinations. However, they were confused with their results as their traditional letter scoring system had been replaced with number grades. In this article, we will find out everything about a new scoring system and how it affects modern pupils.
What is a New 9 – 1 Assessment Scoring Scale?
The UK government believes that educators can better differentiate students in accordance with their achievements with number grades rather than with letters. Two years ago, this number scoring system was only used for evaluating student performance in Math, literature, and language. In 2018, it was used for more than twenty subject areas, and over the next few years, it would be used for the rest subjects.
It is believed that this scale is a good substitution of the traditional letter grades that schoolers, their parents, and educators have been using for many years. Nevertheless, it is closely related to the letter scoring scale: the bottom of 7 coincides with the bottom of A, grades 4 and 5 are similar to traditional B and C, and the bottom of the score 1 coincides with the bottom of G. New assessment scores are supposed to be given according to the tried-and-true procedure that we have been using for the letter scoring scale.
Government’s Expectations and Regulations
The UK government is sure that pupils, who used to receive Cs according to the letter grading scale, are likely to score 4 or more this year. With this grading system, it is expected that exams will become more rigorous which allows for more differentiation between straight-A students. In 2018, it was expected that only 200 excellent pupils would receive top scores under the new assessment scoring scale. To compare, the year before, there were as many as two thousand A-level students.
The government has already done huge work in explaining the new number assessment scoring system to educational institutions, educators, and their pupils across the country. Nevertheless, there are still those who think that the top grade is 1.
However, much confusion is centered around exactly what number coincides with C, which gives a lucky ticket into most apprenticeship programs and sixth form colleges. In fact, a grade 5, which corresponds to a high C or low B, is a passing score.
Meanwhile, in order not to pass the exams in Math and English on a mandatory basis, pupils had to receive at least 4. This made academia wonder whether a grade 4 is enough to enter a six form college. Nowadays, it is settled that a grade 4 is a standard passing score, while 5 is a strong one.
Why Letter Grades Were Replaced with Number Ones
In 2014, a new assessment scoring system was incorporated into new school curricula to shape educational standards. Experts from Pro-Papers admit that it is more challenging for former straight-A pupils to receive a grade 9.
With the implementation of this scoring system, courses have been changed too: they include now two years of study and are not split into modules. What students like most about this system is that they now take exams only at the end of their study and not during the course.
The main idea behind replacing letters with numbers is to improve differentiation between excellent students to allow universities, six form colleges, and employers understand the level of every student better. Since there are two passing scores, all schools will be judged by the number of pupils who achieve a standard passing score and those who get a strong one – 5 and above.
Even though the replacement of a letter scoring system with a new one is considered by the UK government, many educators, and recruiters as a good change in the sphere of education, many pupils and their parents do not think so. In 2017, there were many pupils who gave up on their desire to continue their education and go to college as they mistakenly believed that they wouldn’t be accepted.
In 2018, the number of pupils tending to join colleges is much lower than it was expected. Many link such a tendency with the confusion over a standard passing score and a strong one. In fact, many kids believe that if they receive 4 instead of 5, they will not get in.
Therefore, it needs some time to move on so that not only the government and educators benefit from the incorporation of the new scoring system into education but also pupils and their parents can enjoy such a novelty. Since there is still much confusion over the incorporation of this assessment system, it requires much more work to be done to avoid any kind of misunderstanding concerning this