Pupils are being pushed into taking exams early and often to meet "damaging" official targets, according to exam board heads in the wake of a larger than expected fall in national GCSE grades. Full story >>
The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was introduced in 1986 (with the first examinations taking place in 1988) replacing the former O Level / CSE qualifications. As well as amalgamating the two fomer examination systems, one of the main changes was to allow students to complete Course Work during their two years of study, which was marked by their teachers and contributed to their final examination grade. [source: Wikipedia] • The proportion of students getting good grades in their chemistry, biology and physics GCSEs has fallen to a 20-year low after exam papers were made tougher.