General certificate of secondary education and

Alternatively, students can take separate qualifications in chemistry, biology, and physics. Perhaps the most controversial issue relating to GCSE is the longstanding contention that exams are too easy and are getting easier - a claim given credence by the fact that overall pass rates have increased every year since GCSEs were introduced.

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The exact qualifications taken by students vary from school to school and student to student, but schools are encouraged to offer at least one pathway that leads to qualification for the English Baccalaureaterequiring GCSEs in English language, English literature, mathematics, 2 science GCSEs, a modern or ancient language, and either history or geography.

Performance at GCSE improved by 0.

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The intention is to allow parents and pupils to see how schools are performing in key academic subjects and to encourage schools to give all pupils, including those from the poorest backgrounds, the opportunity to study academic subjects. The inclusion of coursework in GCSE assessments was a novel innovation, which many teachers at the time regarded with scepticism. This is the first reported decrease in Spanish since What are GCSEs? Below 5 there was a U ungraded grade. In , Conservative Education Secretary Sir Keith Joseph decided to proceed with a merger, on the premise that the new qualifications should be based on general and subject-specific criteria approved by himself; that the O Level exam boards should take responsibility for carrying forward the O Level A to C grade standards into the new scale, while the CSE boards should do the same for grades D to G, which were to be based on CSE grades 2 to 5 respectively; and that most subjects should be examined through tiered papers focusing on different parts of the grade scale, ensuring that each grade reflected "positive achievement" on appropriate tasks, rather than degrees of failure. Over time, as deregulation allowed schools to choose which boards to use, mergers and closures led to only 5 examination boards remaining today. Under the Callaghan Labour government, Education Secretary Shirley Williams now Baroness Williams of Crosby took the political decision to proceed with a merged "GCSE" system, but the election of the Conservatives in postponed any action for several years. The measure shows where pupils have attained a C grade or above across a core of academic subjects - English, mathematics, history or geography, the sciences and a language.

What are GCSEs? In January the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, announced there would be another "major review" of the National Curriculum in England at both primary and secondary levels.

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The entry for Physics is up This decrease, however, is more than balanced by the increase in the entry for the Religious Studies Full Course. Some subjects will retain coursework on a non-assessed basis, with the completion of certain experiments in science subjects being assumed in examinations, and teacher reporting of spoken language participation for English GCSEs as a separate report.

The awarding bodies decide on a "Common Timetable" each year, so as to co-ordinate the scheduling of examinations.

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The Baccalaureate itself does not garner a certificate for students. General secretary Chris Keates described the EBac as "a classic example of the relentlessly elitist approach of the Coalition to education".

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