Information and advice on KS4 and GCSE ExamsGCSE

Secondary students ages 14-16 enter Years 10 and 11 (KS4) in order to prepare for their GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) Exams. It is the final stage of their compulsory education and can be a very stressful time, particularly leading up to their GCSE exams in the summer term of Year 11.

At the end of Year 9, your child will make their subject choices for GCSE and this is what they will study in Year 10 and 11. It is important that you and the school work together to support your child in making these choices. Most children at age 13/14 have no idea what career path they wish to take, if this is the case with your child it is usually wise to choose a wide range of subjects in order allow for broader options in the future. Work with your child and their school to make the best choices for them and a potential future at university should they wish to pursue this option. Most students will choose a minimum of five GCSE subjects, some may choose to take up to around 11.

View GCSE revision resources

GCSE Exam support

There is lots of advice and tips available to help you support your child as they revise and take their GCSE exams. It is likely that your child’s school has given them lots of information, advice and tips on revising. Below are some useful websites to help you support your child at this time.

NHS – Beat Exam Stress
BBC – Helping your child through exams
NSPCC – Exam stress: tips for parents

Exam boards
There are literally 1000’s of examinations offered in many subjects and at various levels through different examination boards. Students will normally know these details with some accuracy. It would be impossible to list them all but here’s some links to the major examination boards where you can find more details including subject content and learning objectives, timetables and marking criteria.

AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance)
CIE (University of Cambridge International Examinations)
CCEA (Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment)
Edexcel (Pearson Edexcel)
ICAAE (International Curriculum and Assessment Agency Examinations)
OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations)
SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority)
WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee)