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English language, literature and maths will be the first to be introduced, with exams being sat in 2017.Ofqual unveiled proposed changes to the grading system which will be subject to a 12-week public consultation.Critics say the exams required less knowledge than O-levels; supporters that they were exams for modern times, which tested application of knowledge as well as hard facts.
This will be used to enable examiners to set grade boundaries at an appropriate level for the ability range of the year group – preventing the “grade inflation” seen in previous years. O-levels were brought in with A-levels (the letters are short for Ordinary and Advanced) in 1951 and were last taken in the UK in 1987.
Until the 1950s, children had left school with leaving certificates.
These are vocational qualifications which under Labour came to be worth the equivalent of several GCSEs in the league tables.
Criticism has centred on claims that GCSEs have got easier over time - something hotly denied by the companies who design the exams, Labour and until recently, England's exams watchdog.
This year's cohort were the first to take new “reformed” exams across a range of subjects.
The changes were – like most of the tinkering with our education system – designed to correct perceived failings in how we teach and test our children.Labour had banned state schools from adopting IGCSEs in key subjects amid fears they would undermine the domestic version.According to data published by the University of Cambridge International Examinations, which offers the qualifications, increasing numbers are offering the IGCSE instead of the traditional exam, with English, history and biology particularly popular.Yet there is early evidence that some of them may have tipped the scales based on attributes that have little to do with innate aptitude or ability to learn, and more to do with how we socialise girls to to behave. Blacks increasingly believed that the white officers were using riots as an excuse to terrorise and intimidate the local population. One of the main problems though was the fact that blacks couldn't vote unless they took an IQ test, which the whites made impossible to complete. This summer marks the second year of the new, notoriously difficult iteration of the exams, which were rolled out last year for English and maths, sparking controversy among teachers and pupils alike.Over the last two weeks, students across the UK have received their GCSE and A-level grades.In a consultation document, Ofqual said: “We could set the grade 9 boundary so that half of the percentage of students previous awarded an A* in a subject is awarded a grade 9.This would make the standard of performance required for the award of a grade 9 really exceptional.” The move is designed to coincide with the launch of new-style GCSEs from 2015 onwards.It was first taught from 1986 and the first exams were taken in 1988.GCSEs are available in both academic and vocational subjects.