- Nine core GCSE subjects initially affected - English Language and Literature, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, combined science, history and geography.
- No more modules. Full exams to be taken in the summer at the end of two years. Changes will start with courses taught from September 2015 with first exams in the summer 2017. Changes for other subjects including languages to be introduced from autumn 2016.
- November resits in English Language and maths only.
- Coursework to be scrapped.
- Exams based on a more stretching essay-based system with marks pushed higher.
- End of Grades(A* - C). To be substituted with numeric grades 8 - 1 with top Grade 8.
- SPAG - emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar. 20% rather than the current 12% of marks will be awarded for SPAG in English Language. A greater range of writing skills will be expected.
- In English Literature pupils will study at least one play by Shakespeare, Romantic poetry, a 19th century novel, poetry from the 1850s onwards, and fiction or drama since the First World War.
- The new maths GCSE to feature advanced algebra, statistics, ratio, probability and geometry. There will be fewer single-step questions and more non-routine problems.
- For Geography, emphasis on the human and physical geography of the UK. Examination on the range of skills needed for fieldwork.
- In History, in depth study of one of three periods - Medieval (500-1500), Early Modern (1450-1750) or Modern (1700 to present).
- Science to contain practical experiments and extended work on topics such as genetics and ecology in biology, nanoparticles and bioleaching in chemistry, and energy and space in physics.