Exams in British Schools

School examinations

Examination system in the UK is complex. There are three main types of training:

  • a strictly academic – “academic” (theory of knowledge),
  •  professional – “vocational” (with an emphasis on practical skills)
  • and professional advanced level “semi-vocational” (Theory + Practice).

In the past, the British independent schools were strictly of classical education with a focus on theoretical training, and now, specializes in all those “academic” subjects. Independent schools are entitled to build a training program at their discretion, in accordance with the dispositions of students. For the exams at the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) and the Certificate of Secondary Education Advanced Level (GCEA-level) are good independent schools offer a choice of at least 20 subjects.

A distinctive feature of the British educational system is the written examinations at the end of the course.

British schools exams

Theoretically (“academic”) PREPARATION

Common entrance examination for admission to high school British independent school students start at 13.

Examinations for General Certificate of Secondary Education (General Certificate of Secondary Education, GCSE) usually go at the age of 15-16 years.

As a rule, the average student rents 8.6 items, and always for work and further education are considered math, English and foreign languages. Independent Examinations Commission is preparing for the exam questions and evaluates the results. For thefinal mark are taken into account written tests, practical work, and current estimates for a certain period of time.

Satisfactory mark are “A”, “B” and “C”. Good result exam GCSE – 6 satisfactory marks and more – allows qualification, required for admission to employment or to enroll in the future in higher education.

The examinations for the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level (GCE “A-levels”)

Minimum of three” A-levels “is necessary in order to open a path to higher education. Scientific disciplines can be taken at any set, but most prefer the ones that are included in the registration at least for selected specialty (be it practical or theoretical training), so things are usually handed over either natural science or humanities.

By the age of 16, the student must select three items that will determine his future career. In this respect, the British education system is different from the others, where the subjects taught in high classes, much more.

HSCE (Higher Scottish Certificate of Education) – this is the Scottish equivalent of the “A-levels”. Students prepare for this exam only one year, from 17 to 18 years. It is believed that it is somewhat lower standard “A-levels”, which have to be prepared for two years. For university in Scotland (take back to 17 years old) enough to pass at least two exams HSCE. Accordingly, the university studies usually lasts a year longer than in England and Wales.

Examination for the General Certificate of Education (GCE), “AS-levels”

Typically, these tests pass after the first year of studies at a college for high school students. Takes into account the current estimates and results of written tests. Students who wish to continue to study a larger number of subjects are often tested on “AS-levels” – which is equivalent to the advanced level, but the material on the subject has been covered by a half. Two “AS-levels” equal one “A-levels”.


Total national examinations for Vocational Qualifications (General National Vocational Qualification – GNVQ)

This has recently introduced the students pass the exams full-time students aged 16-18 years. Letting them indicates the presence of a solid preparation for a variety of professional disciplines, as sufficient for admission to higher education institutions. All three levels of GNVQ beginner, intermediate and advanced. Advanced level requires two years of study and qualify for a certificate, which is equated to the floor and read tests on two academic disciplines in the advanced level of secondary school (two “A-levels” GCE). These exams may be taken in combination with others, such as, “A-levels” GCE or GCSE.

GSVQ (General Scottish Vocational Qualification) – this is the Scottish equivalent of GNVO, meets the demands of the 16-19-year olds in schools and colleges. Like the previous, GSVQ can be viewed as a stepping stone to higher education or further training.


In England and Wales adopted qualification standards of training. Individuals who have demonstrated an appropriate level of knowledge and practical competence of work qualification certificates are issued. This is a great incentive for professional development throughout their lives.

National Vocational Qualifications (National Vocational Qualification, NVQ) based on the national qualifications framework. It has five levels. Evidence of the first level involves the development of controlled simple working, while the fifth certificate entitles you to borrowing positions implies the complex management functions. NVQ / SVQ Similar Scottish Vocational Qualifications

In BTEC examination system includes more than 200 items. Professionally oriented, they often take the exams instead of GCSE and “A-levels”. BTEC Certificates and Diplomas have three levels: BTEC – 1 (equivalent to GCSE) – training for one year; BTEC – National (the equivalent of “A” – and “AS-levels”)-two years of training, and BTEC – the highest national (comparable with two years of study at the university.)