THE nerve-wracking wait is almost over. 

Teenagers will be collecting their GCSE results tomorrow morning and as if sitting the exams wasn't stressful enough, a new grading system has been introduced this year.

But don't worry if you're not sure what's changing and why - we've got your back with a handy guide to the new grades.

And don't forget to follow our live blog to get all the news and pictures from schools across the town tomorrow morning.

What is changing with GCSEs?

The government decided to change the way GCSEs are taught and marked.

The new courses will be graded from 9 to 1, with 9 being the highest grade instead of A*.

GCSEs will also be taught differently as exams boards stop dividing courses up into modules and put all of the exams at the end of a two-year programme instead of spreading assessments out.

Why have GCSEs changed?

The new courses are designed to be more challenging for pupils.

The government said the qualifications will be more demanding, meaning that teenagers will leave school ‘better prepared’ for work or university.

And it is hoped the new system will bring England up to the standard of education in other countries.

Which subjects have changed?

Maths, English language and English literature are the first courses to change and will be graded 9 to 1 this year.

Every other subject will be marked A* to G.

Next year history, some languages, science, art and several other courses will also be marked 9 to 1.

In 2019, GCSEs in economics, engineering, media studies, psychology and other courses will be graded by the new system.

And from 2020 year 11 pupils will get all of their grades under the 9 to 1 marking scheme.

What will the results letter look like?

This year students will get a mixture of A* to G grades and 9 to 1 grades on their exam certificates.

Will my child get a lower grade under the 1 to 9 system than the A* to G system?

The Department for Education said although the new exams are more challenging, children will not get lower grades that they would have scored under the old system.

Exam boards will use statistics to make sure that roughly the same proportion of students will achieve a grade 7 and above as the amount of pupils who received a grade A and above in 2017, and so on.

But they said it depends on the number of pupils who enter an exam. If more teenagers enter an exam, the average ability of those taking the test will be lower and therefore results will also be lower.

How do the new grades compare to A* to G marks?

The 9 to 1 marks are designed to distinguish between the highest performing students.

The Department for Education said a 4 is a ‘standard pass’ under the new system and all pupils need to score 4 or higher in English and maths. If they do not they will have to continue studying English and maths as part of their post-16 education.

The marking systems are not directly comparable but the bottom of grade 7 is roughly a grade A, a 4 equates to a C and a 1 is akin to a G.

How will schools be measured under the new grading system?

The Department of Education will publish the amount of pupils achieving grade 4 and above and the amount who got grade 5 and above.

Grade 5 is considered a strong pass.

A school’s progress 8 score, which is used to measure school performance, will not be affected by the new thresholds because it looks at the progress pupils have made during their time at the school rather than overall grades.

Have the new GCSEs been rolled out across the UK?

No, the courses are only changing in England. Wales and Northern Ireland are also changing their GCSE systems but will not be using the 9 to 1 grades.