The Grade 9 will be awarded to approximately 20% of the learners who achieve a Grade 7 or above. This will result in fewer learners achieving the new Grade 9 than the number who currently achieve an A*.
In summer 2019, when the new letter grades are awarded, the A* will be adjusted to reflect the Grade 9. This will mean that proportionally fewer learners will achieved an A* from 2019.
The introduction of the Grade C* will reduce the number of leaners achieving a Grade B. The Grade B will align with the Grade 6 in the numeric scale.
The new Letter and Numeric scales will introduce more grades at the higher end of the grading scale. This allows for greater differentiation among higher achieving students.
There will be no direct equivalent in the new Letter scale and the Grade 8. A Grade 8 falls between a grade A and A*.
The new grading scale will not affect application to University. Universities are aware of the changes being made to grading systems across the UK. They will manage these changes as they manage applications from Scotland, ROI and further afield, which all have different qualifications and grading systems.
There will be no advantage or disadvantage to taking qualifications with Letter or Number grades.