More exams in GCSE shake-up

Michael Gove has unveiled plans for a reform of the GCSE system with less emphasis on coursework and more on exams.

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Ofqual publish details of new GCSE plans

The exams regulator Ofqual's has published a report for consultation, confirming planned changed to GCSEs, including:

  • Grading GCSEs on a scale of 8 to 1
  • Examine pupils at the end of their two-year-courses, abolishing the modular system which allows pupils to take papers throughout the course. Exams will only take place in the summer, except for in English language and maths, where November re-sits will be allowed
  • Cutting the number of subjects which have "tiered" exams - papers aimed at high and low ability students
  • Only allow coursework where exams cannot test certain skills or knowledge

Ofqual's role is to make sure that qualifications are of high quality. GCSEs are important and valued qualifications, but we have seen over the last two years that they can be improved.

We want to see qualifications that are more stretching for the most able students, using assessments that really test knowledge, understanding and skills essential to the subject, and that are designed so that outcomes are well regarded.

– Glenys Stacey, Ofqual chief regulator

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