Qualifications Explained

Qualifications Explained

What is a GCSE?

A GCSE is an exam based course, which does not have a coursework component. Students are assessed by external exams set by awarding bodies. They also sit internal exams in school called Controlled Assessment Tests (CATS), these are sat in examination conditions and have replaced coursework. 

  • GCSEs are graded A*-G:
  • GCSE grades D-G are referred to as Level 1
  • GCSE grades A*-C are referred to as Level 2

What is a BTEC?

BTECs are work related qualifications suitable for a wide range of students. They are designed to accommodate the needs of employers but can allow progression to university. They provide a more practical, approach to learning alongside a key theoretical background. They can be taken as well as, or in place of, GCSEs and A-Levels in schools and colleges. Here at William Bradford Academy we have developed a range of BTEC courses which are available in Years 10 to 13. BTECs are graded Distinction Star -Pass:

  • Level 1 = Distinction, Merit, Pass at grades D-G
  • Level 2 = Distinction Star, Distinction, Merit, Pass at grades A*-C

Progression Level

What is an A-Level?

This is advanced level study. A-Levels are usually studied by Post16 students or by the most able in Year 11.  They are academic qualifications assessed by exams and a controlled assessment in school.  They are broken down into two parts, an AS is studied in Year 12 and an A2 studied in Year 13. Both are separate qualifications that add together to make an A-Level.

A-Levels are required by universities and are an internationally recognised qualification.  They are graded A*-E (the A* grade is only awarded for a full A-Level) and all grades count as a pass.  Students not achieving an E are graded U as they have failed to have reached the base line standard for Advanced Level study.