In 2017 GCSEs were updated with new GCSEs being linear in structure rather than modular. Students now have all exams at the end of a two-year course. The changes were made to make GCSEs more challenging and to help students leave school better prepared for work and further study. GCSEs will now be graded from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade a student can achieve, compared to the previous grading system which gave students a grade between an A* and G grade. A grade 4 is now what the Department of Education recognises as a ‘standard pass’ which previously would have been a grade C. All students will need a minimum of a grade 4 in English and math or they will be required to retake the subjects.