How to get a 9

How to get a 9

When studying GCSE, we understand you are aiming to achieve high marks. So, we have put together a guide on how to get a 9.

All teachers and students are hopefully now aware of the fact that a new grading system has been instituted in England to reflect the shift of focus with GCSE’s traditional combination of course work and exam results to a focus primarily now on classwork and exams. It is felt by the government’s department of education that this new marking system will better reflect students’ true capabilities.  

So, with university places very much at a premium and now more competitive than ever. Students are keen to know how to get a 9, the highest GCSE marks possible. Below is a general guide to the new marking system which has been introduced by the government in England and general suggestions on how to get a 9.

GCSE students - How to get a 9

Understanding the marking system

The new marking system now is numerical and is between a grade 9 thru to a grade 1, with 9 being the highest mark possible and 1 the lowest (excluding the traditional U for unmarked). The grade marks of 9,8, and 7 now replace the former A and A* marks.  For students hoping to achieve a mark of 9 in their GSCE subjects examiners will be looking for the following.


How to get a 9 in Maths, students must demonstrate an outstanding understanding of their chosen subjects.  An example of this in Math would be students who demonstrate an excellent ability to problem solve.  Math is, traditionally a subject where the application of knowledge is as important as the knowledge itself. So, simply knowing math theory will not automatically lead to the student achieving a grade of 9. Therefore examiners will be looking for students who apply that knowledge creatively in a variety of different situations. Henceforth, demonstrating how Math theory can in fact be practically applied.      


The same would apply to GSCE Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Those students who achieve the highest marks will be those who do not simply regurgitate the correct answers. But demonstrate that they can solve problems in a creative and intuitive way.  

Students sitting GCSE Exams

How to get a 9 in English

How to get a 9 in English language. Students need excellent understanding of all the assessment requirements from A01 through to A06.  Examples of this would be in A01 where examiners will be looking at a student’s ability to extract both implicit and explicit information in their selective text. An assessment which often can easily be the difference between how to get a 9 over an 8. For A05 which is primarily important in terms of questions that address creative writing. 

Students will be expected to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively.  They will be expected to adapt the tone of their writing, its style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. They will be expected to demonstrate an ability to organize information and ideas. Using structural and grammatical features to support a coherent and cohesive text is how to get a 9.  With creative writing, structure is perhaps the most important feature for students to focus on if they are aiming to achieve the highest possible mark.

How to get a 9 in English literature. A grade 9 is achieved by students who thoroughly understand characters, themes, and plots.  Students who make good use of quotes but also be sure not to use overlong extracts.  Students who can make use of different interpretations, perspectives and can place the assigned text in the context in which it was written.

How to get a 9 in History

How to get a 9 in History. A grade 9 would be achieved by students who have been diligent in their revision. Those who have extensive knowledge of the periods of history which they will be examined. They can, therefore, respond to specific questions not only accurately but with an understanding of its historical context. This could be achieved for instance in each student perhaps constructing their own in-depth timeline for paper one which will highlight key events which take place throughout that period and for those students to study it rigorously. 

Paper 2 for instance since it is based on historical general knowledge a suggestion would be to make use of notes or flashcards so that students can remind themselves of key facts from the period.  Finally, those students who make extensive use of past papers particularly for history in order to practice exam techniques are much more likely to score highly.  

So in conclusion in general a mark of 9 is achievable if students go beyond the general boundaries of their selected subject.  It is important that students demonstrate an ability to think outside their set course parameters, for them to do targeted and consistent revision. It is also important for students to have produced strong and consistent classwork throughout their time preparing for their GCSE exams. If a student does fulfil these tasks they are then very likely to score quite highly on their GCSE exams. This is how to get a 9! 

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