What is GCSE in England?

What is GCSE in England?

England has always been one of the most popular countries for international students. Internationally recognized universities, quality education, a unique culture, and opportunities offered by the English educational system are some of the reasons that have made England one of the best destinations for further education. Most of the students who want to study in England have heard of GCSE at least once, but what is GCSE in England? and what does GCSE stand for in England? GCSE stands for (General Certificate of Secondary Education) which is a set of exams taken in England by students aged 15–16, after the last two years of study in secondary school. Compulsory education finishes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland after GCSE exams in year 11 when the students are 16-17 years old. However, taking GCSEs is not compulsory and it is up to schools whether to enter pupils for examinations.


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Average GCSE grades in England

Generally, GCSE outcomes were constant recently with just a few changes in top grades. According to researches, top GCSE grades are on the rise as a third of students awarded up to a grade 9 in some subjects. The average grade of GCSE in England is C, with a large amount of B to D’s being 64.2% of all students. The percentage of candidates gaining grade C is 25.7% which shows how difficult GCSE exams are and shown by where grade boundaries were set for Pearson papers.


What year is GCSE in England?

When do they do GCSE in England? Many students ask this question and here is a clear answer to this question. GSCE is taken by the pupils in their years 10 and 11 at secondary school in England.

Students usually take GCSEs over these two years of study at secondary school but the special Year 11 Pathway in colleges or boarding schools allows them to take five to seven IGCSEs in one year only. You can find more details about IGCSEs in Study GCSEs in the UK. In other words, students can achieve the minimum entry requirements necessary for progressing to study the IB Diploma or A-Levels in one year. At the end of Key Stage 3, all the students will be asked to choose their GCSE subjects.

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If you want to know more about Key Stages in the UK, see the Study GCSE in England. GCSEs are designed for sixteen-year-old pupils though, older and younger candidates can enter for them. So there are two options you can choose according to your education needs. Please feel free to get in touch with our advisors. We are always here to facilitate everything for you.


When are GCSE results out in England?

The majority of exam board timetables begin on May 11th and finish between June 17th and June 19th, but this is subject to change so please check before you make any decision. The results of GCSE in England are usually published in August 2020, but due to the recent situation, all exams have been postponed. If you have any questions in this regard, please see COVID-19 FAQs – International Students.


How many GCSEs can you take in England

All students are expected to take around nine subjects. However, a very small amount of students take 11 subjects and an even fewer amount of students take 12+ GCSE subjects. GCSE in England is the final stage of secondary school life, and it can affect your future.

You may think that taking more GCSEs will boost your chances of success, but remember that it might be too many for you and harder than you think; so it’s important to choose the right amount and subjects here. You need to take the right amount of subjects and work hard in all of them to ensure your success. Getting some advice from our professional advisors can help you in this regard.


GCSE UK Subjects

Maths, English Language, English Literature, Welsh (if you live in Wales), sciences (either single, double, or triple science) are compulsory subjects. Some schools providing GCSE in England make other subjects compulsory such as, PE (physical education), ICT (information and communication technology), and RE (religious education) as well.  Therefore, it’s important to check what you are required to do with your school. Combined Science, Mathematics, English language, English literature, Religious studies, History, Geography, Art and design, Biology, and Chemistry are 10 of the most popular subjects respectively. Sometimes choosing the right GCSE subjects is hard for students, as they are stressed by these decision effects on their future life. What is the solution? Relax and begin to think about your future career goals and this will help you choose the subjects for your GCSE in England.

This is down to a combination of things like your interests, skills, and plans. However, talking with your teachers or professional advisors can be very helpful for you.



GCSEs are the main qualification taken by 14 to 16-year-olds but are available to anyone of any age. You can take GCSE in England in a wide range of academic and ‘applied’ or work-related subjects at school or your local Further Education (FE) colleges.