The General Certificate of Secondary Education is generally taken by students of the age group 14-16 years. In Secondary schools, GCSE is available in a variety of subjects and these subjects are decided by the students themselves in the year 9. Since the beginning of Class 10th, the students can take up these subjects as their courses of study. The final two years of compulsory schooling is officially termed as Key Stage 4 and incorporates GCSEs in maintained schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – normally known as Year 10 and Year 11 in England and Wales, and Year 11 and Year 12 in Northern Ireland, when pupils are aged between 14 and 16.
• There are now examination boards offering GCSEs in England:
• Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA)
• Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment (CCEA)
• Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR)
• Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC)
These boards specify the course content, exam questions, assess the projects and mark papers. Schools can choose one subject from one of these boards and thus a student can do different subjects from different boards. Throughout GCSE a student has to undergo controlled assessment and the time and date can be decided by consulting the teacher. There is a provision for access arrangement as well wherein students with certain disabilities or language barrier are provided with certain aid tools to finish off their exam paper. There is a provision for getting one’s paper re-evaluated as well if one is not satisfied with the generated marks.