The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academically rigorous, internationally recognised qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by pupils in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over two years (three years in certain schools).
The GCSE and its international counterpart the IGCSE form the basis of entry requirements into post 16, '6th form' study - to A' Level or IB Diploma studies.
Recently the GCSE exam has been in a period of flux with some quite radical changes, notably a move from a "modular approach" to a "linear one". In a modular approach a course is split into different units, or modules, with an exam at the end of each unit. In the new linear system, exams are taken at the end of a two year period - much like the older O' Level exams.
In the exams there are fewer ‘bite-sized’ questions and more essay-style questions.
There are fewer course options in the new Science GCSEs: Most students will either take the new Combined Science course (worth two GCSEs) or three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Finally coursework and controlled assessment will disappear from most subjects, apart from practical ones such as art, dance and drama.
All new GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths, were launched in September 2015, with the first qualifications due to be awarded in August 2017. These subjects will be graded between 1-9, with 9 being the highest grade awarded.
It is hoped that this new grading will introduce greater differentiation between high performing students and will also mark out the new GCSEs from their older counterparts.
Schools in a country can do both GCSEs and its international counterpart, the IGCSE.
In many countries outside the UK, IGCSE is used predominantly for languages and humanities.
However curriculum changes are making some schools - in both the UK and elsewhere - reconsider the international qualification.
In the UK that is because IGCSEs will no longer be considered or accepted for school league tables.
Internationally some schools, notably those with a large UK student population, have expressed concerns about the ability to transfer back to the UK given the increasing divergence between the two qualifications.
|Ardingly College||West Sussex||South East England|
|Ashbourne College||Kensington||Greater London|
|Bedales||Hampshire||South East England|
|Bede's Senior School||East Sussex||South East England|
|Benenden School||Kent||South East England|
|Bradfield College||Berkshire||South East England|
|Brighton College||East Sussex||South East England|
|Charterhouse||Surrey||South East England|
|Cheltenham Ladies College||Gloucestershire||South West England|
|Concord College||Shropshire||South West England|
|Cranleigh School||Surrey||South East England|
|Downe House||Berkshire||South East England|
|Dulwich College (UK)||Surrey||Greater London|
|Epsom College||Surrey||Greater London|
|Eton College||Berkshire||South East England|
|Frensham Heights||Surrey||South East England|
|Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls||Hertfordshire||East of England|
|Harrow School||Harrow||Greater London|
|Kent College, Canterbury (Senior School)||Kent||South East England|
|King's College School||Westminster||Greater London|
|King's School Canterbury||Kent||South East England|
|Lancing College||West Sussex||South East England|
|Marlborough College||Wiltshire||South West England|
|Millfield (Senior School)||Somerset||South West England|
|Mount Kelly||Devon||South West England|
|North London Collegiate School||Harrow||Greater London|
|Oakham School||Rutland||East of England|
|Roedean School||East Sussex||South East England|
|Rossall School||Lancashire||North West England|
|Royal Grammar School Guildford||Surrey||Greater London|
|Rugby School||Warwickshire||West Midlands|
|Sedbergh School||Cumbria||North West England|
|Sevenoaks School||Kent||South East England|
|Sherborne International School||Dorset||South West England|
|Sherborne School||Dorset||South West England|
|Shrewsbury School||Shropshire||South West England|
|St Paul's||Richmond||Greater London|
|Stonyhurst College||Lancashire||North West England|
|Stowe School||Buckinghamshire||South East England|
|Summerhill||Suffolk||East of England|
|Taunton International School||Somerset||South West England|
|Taunton School||Somerset||South West England|
|The Mount, Mill Hill International School||Barnet||Greater London|
|The Sylvia Young Theatre School||Westminster||Greater London|
|Tonbridge School||Kent||South East England|
|Tring Park School for the Performing Arts||Hertfordshire||East of England|
|Warwick School||Warwickshire||West Midlands|
|Wellington College||Berkshire||South East England|
|Westminster School||Westminster||Greater London|
|Whitgift School||Surrey||Greater London|
|Winchester College||Hampshire||South East England|
|Wycliffe Senior School||Gloucestershire||South West England|
|Wycombe Abbey||Buckinghamshire||South East England|