Some subjects are compulsory at GCSE level and have to be taken by all young people. The compulsory subjects are:
Some schools make other subjects compulsory, so it is worth checking what you are required to do at your school.
Whatever you are planning to do in the future, it is now a requirement for you to retake both maths and English GCSEs until you obtain a Grade 4 or above.
Optional subjects vary from school to school but you should be offered at least one course in each of four groups of subjects…
You don’t always have to choose one subject from each area, but remember that studying a range of subjects at this stage is useful so that you have a wider range of options for later study and career choices.
Different schools offer a different range of GCSE subjects from which you can choose. Because schools are not able to offer unlimited subject combinations, it’s possible that your choices may be limited. You will need to find out what GCSE subjects and combinations are available at your school.
GCSEs are awarded on a graded scale, and cross two levels of the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF): Level 1 and Level 2. These two levels roughly correspond, respectively, to foundation and higher tier in tiered GCSE qualifications. Level 1 qualifications constitute GCSEs at grades G, F, E, and D or 1, 2, and 3. Level 2 qualifications are those at grades C, B, A, and A* or 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
The tiering of qualifications allows a subset of grades to be reached in a specific tier's paper. Formerly, many subjects were tiered, but with the mid-2010s reform, the number of tiered subjects reduced dramatically, including the removal of tiering from the GCSE English specifications. Untiered papers allow any grade to be achieved. Coursework and controlled assessment tasks are always untiered.