There's something special about being awarded an A* grade at an exam. I mean, it's a bloody star! What's not made better through association with a celestial body? Which makes the news of a fully-numeric new GCSE grading system for students studying in England so disappointing. It's not all that exciting to be striving for a "9", is it?
From 2017, those sitting their GCSE grades will be awarded a number between 1 and 9 for their studious efforts, with a 9-grade being a talented student's ultimate target. English and Maths will be the first subjects to have the new scoring system introduced, with 20 other subjects following suit in the proceeding years.
The new scores should allow for examiners to be able to more clearly rate the efforts of students, particularly those at the top end of the scale. But, of course, the roll-out already sounds as though it's been botched, with the first students set to sit the revised exams receiving both numeric grades from some subjects and lettered grades for others, sure to cause confusion for prospective employers, sixth form colleges and universities. [BBC]