New GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths will be taught in schools in England from September 2015, with the first results issued in August 2017.
Further subjects will see new GCSEs introduced over the following two years.
2. What new GCSEs will look like
The main features of the new GCSEs are:
A new grading scale of 9 to 1 will be used, with 9 being the top grade. This will allow greater differentiation between students and will help distinguish the new GCSEs from previous versions.
Assessment will be mainly by exam, with other types of assessment used only where they are needed to test essential skills.
There will be new, more demanding content, which has been developed by government and the exam boards.
Courses will be designed for two years of study – they will no longer be divided into different modules and students will take all their exams in one period at the end of their course.
Exams can only be split into ‘foundation tier’ and ‘higher tier’ if one exam paper does not give all students the opportunity to show their knowledge and abilities.
Resit opportunities will only be available each November in English language and maths.