chapter  3
17 Pages

The Work of an Examining Group

WithColin Vickerman

The origins of the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) examination and many of its more important features can be found in the General Certificate of Education Ordinary level (GCE 'O' level) and Certificate of Secondary Education examinations which it replaced. The extent of the use of teacher-assessed course work and the encouragement given to mode 3 examining are good examples of areas of divergence which complicated attempts to reconcile different traditions. The GCSE examining groups in England, all four of roughly comparable size, seem likely to eliminate to a large extent the differences of tradition and clientele of the GCE boards. The opportunity for a school to choose the examining body which seems most likely to meet its needs is clearly a matter of political as well as educational principle. It also has a stimulating effect on the competing examining bodies.