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Download GCSEs factsheet

What GCSEs are available?

All schools offer a wide range of GCSE subjects including core subjects (English, Maths and Science), modern languages (including French and German), humanities (History, Geography and RE), arts (such as Art, Music and Drama) and technology (including options such as Textiles, Food, Graphics and Resistant Materials).

There are some applied subjects related to broad areas of work (such as Travel & Tourism), many of which are double subjects. Some GCSE short courses (equivalent to half a GCSE) are also offered.

Achieving English, Maths, double Science (or Chemistry, Biology and Physics separately), a foreign language and history/geography at grade A*–C is now recognised as the English Baccalaureate.

How are GCSEs assessed?

GCSEs are mainly assessed through externally marked exams. Some have elements assessed through controlled assessments (supervised coursework). This is because subjects have different requirements such as speaking (Modern Languages) and performing (Music, Drama).

What grades can I get?

GCSEs are graded A*–G and U (Unclassified). Some subjects have two tiers: Higher Tier GCSEs are level 2 qualifications leading to A*–D grades, Foundation Tier GCSEs are level 1 qualifications leading to grades C–G. Your school will decide which tier you enter depending on your progress.

Where can I find out more?

Your school will give you full details of their range of GCSEs, so have a look on their website or ask your teachers.

Didn't get the results you expected?

If you don’t get the results you were hoping for don’t worry there are plenty of other options. First of all you can get advice from your school on results day or from the school, college or training provider you have enrolled with after year 11. There are also advisers at Castlegate who can help you. You could also use the National Careers Service by phone 0800 100 900, webchat or email an adviser.

York College: If you have applied and need advice or you want to apply call them on 01904 770345. Lines open from Wednesday 21 to Friday 30 August (not weekends or bank holiday) from 8am to 6pm. If you have applied to York College but didn't meet your grades, you should still go to enrolment day where staff will be available to help you.

Askham Bryan College: If you applied and didn't meet your grades, you should ring them on 01904 772211 or visit Askham Bryan College online for more information.

Steps to Success

Download this guide for parents/carers and young people in Year 9, to help you plan your future through Key Stage 4 and beyond