GCSE Spanish Examinations

Spanish GCSEs – a Guide

The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) is the name of a set of British examinations, usually taken by secondary school students at age 15–16.

There were initially three tiers for most examinations: ‘Basic’ (renamed ‘Foundation’), ‘Intermediate’, and ‘Higher’ tier. Most subjects moved to two or one tier during the 1990s. Students are entered for a certain tier based on their ability. The tier a student is entered for affects the range of grades that student could attain. Under the current system Foundation tier gives access to G to D and Higher C to A* - failing either tier would result in a U.

There are now three exam boards in England: AQA, Edexcel and OCR. Some examining boards offer a ‘modular’ structure for some subjects. In a modular structure, one or more modular examinations which focus on a sub-set of the syllabus are taken at intermediate stages of the course. Modular examinations may be re-taken to attempt to improve results. In addition to modular examinations, a modular structure may also include final or terminal examinations which examine the whole syllabus.

It is also typical for one or more coursework assignments to be completed throughout the length of the course. Coursework typically contributes around 25% to the final GCSE grade.