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Thread: Being British Number Seven

  1. #11
    You take your GCSEs when you're 16. But, you choose them when you're in year 9 (14 or 13 depending when your birthday is) and study those chosen subjects throughout year 10 (*sigh* I've got to choose mine soon).

    this site might help.

  2. #12
    GCSEs are taken at the same time as OWLs (15-16) and A-levels at the same time as NEWTS (17-18). Nowadays there are also AS-levels in the year in-between those two. It depends when you are writing though because ASs only properly came in in 2001 so if you are writing trio-era then there wouldn't be ASs and Marauder era would I think still be O-levels rather than GCSEs.

    It's usual to take about 8-12 GCSEs and I think English (language and literature are taken separately), maths, the three sciences and a foreign language are compulsory and then whatever combination you want (or your school offers) of the remaining subjects. AS and A-levels aren't compulsory (you can leave school at 16) but if you do them you usually take 4-5 subjects for AS and then drop one in the final year.

    GCSEs are marked as A*, A, B, C, D, E, F, G or U (ungraded, I think, although I could be wrong on this one), but only A* - C is considered a pass.

    A-levels (and AS-levels) are marked A-E as passes and then I think N (not graded) and U (ungraded) are the two levels of fail.

  3. #13
    Ahhh, the wonders of GCSE and A-level!!! Hee!

    GCSE: Taken in what we call "Year Eleven" when you're sixteen (or fifteen if you're unlucky enough to be born in June, July or August). Basically, most student take 9-10 GCSE's, including two English, two science, one maths, one language (I am not sure if this is compulsory anymore. I think the government, being totally WRONG, decided to make it non-compulsory), then four options. In my school, because it was Catholic, Religious Studies was also mandatory. For your options, you can take subjects like History, Geog, Art, Performing Arts, Cookery, Textiles *groans at memory*, Computer Studies, Business Studies, Economics, plus various others. Many schools now are pushing for students to do vocation-based courses based in the local college. These include Media Studies, Hairdressing, Travel and Tourism, Mechanics and various others that lead to apprenticeship courses once someone has completed GCSE's.

    Some students are unable to do double science and double English, so they only take English language (supposedly grammar-based. In reality, a waste of time!) and single science (where you just do less topics!).

    There are tiers depending on ability. For most subjects it's just Higher and Lower tier - for Lower tier you can only achieve a C, with higher you can achieve an A*. Maths is the exception, which has an intermediate tier where you can achieve a lovely B!

    A-level: Between 17-18, in your 'sixth form (years 12 and 13) although it is not uncommon to have people doing their A-levels in their eaely twenties! Retaking subjects is commonplace.

    They are split into two years: AS-level and A2-level (both worth 50% at end of the day!). Most students take four subjects at AS and three at A2. So for me this was Religious Studies, History, English + Performing Arts in AS. Each AS and A2 level is split into three modules. Usually you have two exam-based modules and one coursework module. A person can easily re-take a module at any given time.

    Again, the subjects are wide and diverse. Most students who are looking towards Uni branch into either 'Arts' subjects or 'Science' subjects that they're strongest in. They then look to apply to Uni for their single, strongest subject .... or a subject that will lead them to a job! Many complain that subjects like History and English are too easy at A-level. I agree, having smugly gained full marks in several modules, hee! Once again the grades are fixed from A-E with 'U' working as the lowest grade, meaning Ungraded (and I am proud to say that during my VERY LAST exam I achieved a U because I was too excited about what was happening later that day, lol! Lucky the module didn't count for anything)

    It's common for students to be coerced into doing the evil General Studies A-level in order to bolster school grades. This was where I acquired a U, because it didn't count on my UCAS for my University. General Studies tests you on anything from Engineering to foreign languages and culture.

    Now, I know I've missed something out, but that is GCSEs and A levels on a shoestring. Please feel free to ask for elaboration on any of these points or anything else.

  4. #14
    There is no more intermidiate level for maths anymore.

    Also a big part of the GCSE course is (or was) coursework. However many people (mostly Daily Mail readers) are saying that GCSE are too easy and with coursework everyones parents are doing it, or they are copying it off the internet. Our year is the last year to be doing maths and spainish coursework, and next year they will have to do more exams.

    I am in year 11 (the last year of the course) and I am feeling the strain! Also I can't wait for A - Level simply because all the stupid people who don't work leave and go and work in lidles and we can actually learn something for a change [Edited by Mod]. / Hermioneish rant

    Please do NOT insult or discriminate against social groups on these boards. It is rude and offensive. 15 points deducted.

  5. #15
    Trio-era would still have been GCSEs, as they came in when Harry was about 6. You take them from 14-16, but usually at 15 or 16. I don't think they do GCSEs in Scotland, though, so you'd want to look that up. It's a standard something else, but not GCSEs, to my knowledge.

    The exam really isn't difficult, but it's pretty much a requirement for leaving school. Once you do your GCSEs you can leave.

    A-Levels are completely optional and taken in the optional last two years of school. Again, in Scotland it's different, but you'll have to research it if you really want to know. They're called Highers.

  6. #16
    you can do three sciences at gcse (called triple science - very adventurous) where you do biology, chemistry, and physics seperately. including a piece of coursework for each and two exams for each.
    A language is no longer compulsory by the government, but some schools make you do it.
    You have to learn RE and PE but you don't have to do this as a GCSE. Although at my school we did RE as a short course, meaning that it only takes one year to learn and counts as half a GCSE.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by SiriuslyMental

    The exam really isn't difficult, but it's pretty much a requirement for leaving school. Once you do your GCSEs you can leave.

    A-Levels are completely optional and taken in the optional last two years of school. Again, in Scotland it's different, but you'll have to research it if you really want to know. They're called Highers.
    Scotland does Standard Grade at the same ages as GCSEs and Higher's a A Levels. Everything's nearly the same but you only have to take one science and languages are compulsory.

  8. #18
    Yeah the Intermediate level for Maths is gone. The Foundation paper is lowest and if you get 100% then you get a B, but you can't get higher than that. The lowest you can get is a F or a U. With the Higher paper you can get up to an A*. But yeah, coursework is being reduced because people are getting a lot of work from parents. I think that's next year, though, because i'm in my GCSE year and we're still doing coursework mostly at home.

    you can do three sciences at gcse (called triple science - very adventurous) where you do biology, chemistry, and physics seperately
    Yes. With Science you can either do applied (were you only take one exam, and you do coursework instead of all the exams the other sciences do. You do around ten or eleven pieces of coursework, you get two GCSEs for applied and Double), Double Award (you do nearly all exams, and no coursework, i think) or Triple Award, where you get three GCSEs and that's for the people who want a career in science, for example, a vet. You do three different subjects; Biology, chemistry and physics. In the other sciences these are just areas you study, but they are individual subjects in Triple. Sorry if that's confusing!

  9. #19
    you do do courswork for double science. you need two pieces. And you don't neccessarily need to do triple science if you want to go on to do something scientific as a career.

    This is all very confusing because there are many different exam boards and each has a different way of doing their exams. Like for maths gcse for example you can do modula maths, where you do three extra exams over the two years and the two highest count for 30% to you gsce, and then you do a shorter exam at the end, which counts for 50%.

  10. #20
    Pheonix Tears
    From now on my year (Year 10) does not do coursework in maths. However it still stands in alot of other subjects.
    If you go to a specailist school then you have will probably have to take the subjects they specailise it - ie I go to a catholic school so I have to take the Catholic RE paper, It is also a technology school - I took Graphics and Languages college and as of two years ago! A sports school! Yey me.
    And from now on in science you have Core Science and . . . another science. Apparently we are no longer allowed to do seperate sciences although we do still have Physics, Chem and Blodge lessons. - They've started doing Science exams in modules aswell so last week I took the first of my Science in Physics.
    Any more info needed and Im happy to help.

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