GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. GCSEs take two years to complete.
For GCSE’s, a grading scale of 9 to 1 will be used, with 9 being the top grade. This will allow greater differentiation between students and will help distinguish the new GCSEs from previous versions. Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.
There will be new, more demanding, content which has been developed by the Government and the exam boards. Courses will be designed for two years of study – they will no longer be divided into different modules and students will take all their exams in one period at the end of their course.
Exams can only be split into ‘foundation tier’ and ‘higher tier’ if one exam paper does not give all students the opportunity to show their knowledge and abilities. The exams are structured like this to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to show what they are capable of without being put off by questions that are too hard or too easy. Subject teachers will decide which is the most appropriate tier of entry for each student.
GCSEs are the main entry requirements for continuing study at Level 3. They are also the minimum educational requirement for many jobs.