GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. It is a secondary school leaving certificate for schools in the UK.
GCSE exams were being introduced as compulsory secondary school leaving certificate by the UK government in the late 1980s, with the first exam taken in 1988. Since then, GCSE has replaced the Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) and GCE Ordinary Level (O-Level) examinations.
Curriculums And Grading
GCSE has moved its focus away from merely theoretical studies. It teaches students about real-world implications and issues relating to ICT and citizenship. At the same time, students are required to do course work as part of the contribution for each subjects’ grades.
Students are being graded from A*?G, with A* as the highest and G as the lowest. Students will be given a U (unclassified) for failed subjects, and an X grade for incomplete test such as not able to submit their course work.
After completing GCSE, students will continue their studies to Advance Level (A-Level) in their current schools’ sixth form, or enroll into Foundation Course in universities or colleges.
Students are required to obtain five or more A*-C grades, including English and Maths to further their studies to A-Level. Most universities are typically required minimum grade C in both English and Maths in GCSE, regardless students’ achievements in A-Level or Foundation Course.