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  • The General Certificate of Secondary Education is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14–16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. One of the main changes to previous educational qualifications in the United Kingdom was to allow students to complete coursework during their two years of study, which was marked by their teachers and contributed to their final examination grade. The qualification is equivalent to a Level 1 or Level 2 Key Skills Qualification. Some students may decide to take one or more GCSEs before or after they sit the others, and people may apply to take GCSEs at any point either internally through an institution or externally. The education systems of current and former British territories, such as Gibraltar, Nigeria and South Africa, also offer the qualification, as supplied by the same examination boards. The international version of the GCSE is the IGCSE, which can be taken anywhere in the world, and which includes additional options relating to coursework and the language the qualification is pursued in.

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