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Alternatively, students can take separate qualifications in chemistry, biology, and physics.
Other removed qualifications include a variety of design technology subjects, which are reformed into a single "design and technology" subject with multiple options, and various catering and nutrition qualifications, which are folded into "food technology".
From the first assessment series in 2010, controlled assessment replaced coursework in various subjects, requiring more rigorous exam-like conditions for much of the non-examination assessed work, and reducing the opportunity for outside help in coursework.
Before a wide range of reforms, interim changes were made to existing qualifications, removing the January series of examinations as an option in most subjects, and requiring that 100% of the assessment in subjects from the 2014 examination series is taken at the end of the course. Under the new scheme, all GCSE subjects were revised between 20, and all new awards will be on the new scheme by summer 2020.State education in Scotland does not use GCSEs, instead its Scottish Qualifications Certificate operates National / Intermediate exams at the equivalent level, however, certain private schools in Scotland offer GCSEs, and the proportion of Scottish pupils taking GCSEs to facilitate admission to English universities is increasing.Each GCSE qualification is in a particular subject, and stands alone, but a suite of such qualifications (or their equivalent) is generally accepted as the record of achievement at the age of 16, in place of a leaving certificate or baccalaureate qualification in other territories.The CSE broadly covered GCSE grades C-G or 4-1, and the O-Level covered grades A*-C or 9-4, but the two were independent qualifications, with different grading systems.The separate qualifications were criticised for disadvantaging the bottom 42% of O-Level entrants who failed to receive a qualification, and the highest-achieving CSE entrants who had no opportunity to demonstrate their true ability.Other changes include the move to a numerical grading system, to differentiate the new qualifications from the old-style letter-graded GCSEs, publication of core content requirements for all subjects, and an increase in longer, essay-style questions to challenge students more.Alongside this, a variety of low-uptake qualifications and qualifications with significant overlap will cease, with their content being removed from the GCSE options, or incorporated into similar qualifications.Over time, the range of subjects offered, the format of the examinations, the regulations, the content, and the grading of GCSE examinations has altered considerably.Numerous subjects have been added and changed, and various new subjects are offered in the modern languages, ancient languages, vocational fields, and expressive arts, as well as Citizenship courses.In 1994, the A* grade was added above the grade A, to further differentiate attainment at the very highest end of the qualification.This remained the highest grade available until 2017.