The General Certificate of Secondary Education, or GCSE, is a rigorous academic qualification that is awarded in specified subjects to pupils attending secondary education in the countries of Wales, England, and Northern Ireland over a two-year period. Grades are designated from A to G, with U given to students whose papers are ungraded.
How the GCSE is Set up
Around fifty different subjects are studied that are considered GCSE. Each subject is critiqued by coursework, formal exams, or both. GCSE represents Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum. Depending on the grades they receive, pupils in some GCSE subjects are entered for foundation tier or higher tier GCSE exams.
How the Process Works
Pupils who are expected to receive grades A to D take the higher tier, and, in turn, can receive any grade. Pupils who take the foundation tier can only obtain grade C or below. Most of the GCSE subjects have two tiers. However, some subjects, such as physical education, music, art, and history do not have tiers. Mathematics, on the other hand, has three tiers.
How GCSEs Originated
GCSEs were initially introduced in 1986 and replaced the prior O Level and CSE systems, which were merged together. Throughout the decades of the 1970s, educators were pressured to merge the systems, especially since the age for compulsory education was raised to 16 years old. As a result, more pupils were in the position to receive qualifications.
The first examinations for GCSE courses were held in 1988. The coursework for GCSE assessments were a unique innovation at the time, which caused teachers to feel sceptical. A growing concern about the pertinence of academic coursework and a lack of technical proficiency led to the debut of vocational GCSEs in 2002.
Therefore, GCSE courses are important to students, whether they are taking them for academic or vocational purposes. The desire for strong qualifications for GCSE courses leads some parents to find a tutor for their child’s studies and GCSE results.
Receiving GCSE Results
Results are released early by exam boards, or the organisations that set the GCSE exams, sometimes as early as 6am. However, the time a pupil can pick up their results depends on the school they are attending. Typically, the results are available at 10am. So, the ensuing wait is not too painful for most students.
What to Do If You Are Unhappy with Your Results
If you are a student and do not receive the results you desire, you should not initially panic. The first thing to do is to consult with your sixth form or university. They can tell you if the results you received are established, or whether they can admit you even if you did not quite meet your offer.
If you really needed the grades and you are determined to follow your academic plan, you can always plan to resit. After all, you do not have to redo the complete lot. You just need to study for the subjects where you did not meet the requirement.