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GCSEs: New-look tougher exams revealed

Garry Tue 11 Jun 2013 07:11

New-look GCSEs for schools in England are to be unveiled, with exams graded from eight to one rather than A* to G.

From 2015, GCSEs will move from coursework and continuous assessment to exams at the end of two years.

Pupils will face more rigorous content, with those studying English, for example, having to read a 19th-Century novel and a whole Shakespeare play.

But a leading MP warned against a rush towards separate exam systems for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Wales and Northern Ireland are keeping GCSEs, but so far are not adopting the changes proposed for England.

There is no sign of a change in name to I-level for the English exams - as had been suggested. The format, though, may be familiar to anyone who once took O-levels.

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The changes to GCSEs in England will be presented on Tuesday in two reports. Exam regulator Ofqual will explain how the exams will be structured and ministers will give details of the course content.

The reforms will initially apply to a group of core subjects - English language and literature, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, combined science, history and geography.

Hundreds of thousands of pupils will begin studying these revised GCSEs from autumn 2015 and the first candidates to take the exams will be in summer 2017.

Apart from exceptions such as practical experiments in science, there will be a strong push towards exams being taken at the end of two years, rather than in individual units during the course.

Read more... (BBC News - 11 June)