Bloomberg News

Gove Sets Out New More Rigorous Exams for English 16-Year-Olds

June 11, 2013

U.K. Education Secretary Michael Gove said the General Certificate of Secondary Education taken by 16-year-olds will be changed from 2015 to place more emphasis on examinations.

The change will only apply in England, because other parts of the U.K. have their own education systems. It will see the current grades, from A* at the top to G at the bottom, replaced with a scale from 1 at the bottom to 8 at the top, making it easier to add higher tiers in future years.

The amount of assessment based on coursework, as opposed to exams, will be reduced, Gove told Parliament in London today. He said that would involve “more extended writing in subjects like English and history, more testing of advanced problem-solving skills in mathematics and science” among other changes.

“By making GCSEs more demanding, more fulfilling, and more stretching we can give our young people the broad, deep and balanced education which will equip them to win in the global race,” Gove said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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