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The Cambridge IGCSE History syllabus looks at some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as covering the history of particular regions in more depth.
Pupils expected to achieve grades A to D take the higher tier and can achieve any grade; pupils taking the foundation tier can only achieve grade C or below.
Most subjects have these two tiers, but some (art, music, physical education and history) have none, while mathematics has three.
Each GCSE subject is assessed by formal examinations or by coursework, or by a combination of the two.
GCSE represents Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum, and although GCSE provides a uniform framework of assessment, in fact it represents two "levels" of the National Qualifications Framework (Levels 1 and 2).
Grades A to C are Level 2 (intermediate) qualifications, while grades D to G are Level 1 (foundation) qualifications.
Depending on their expected grades, pupils in certain subjects will be entered for the "higher" or the "foundation" tier GCSE exams.
It was administered on a regional basis, while O and A Levels were administered by examination boards with links to universities.
Part of the CSE system was assessed within schools, which generated criticisms of low standards.
GCSE stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education.
GCSE examinations are taken by most pupils at the end of compulsory school education (year 11)in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.