The General Certificate of Education
was introduced in the United Kingdom
. It was intended to cater for the increased range of subjects available to pupils since the raising of the school leaving age from 14 to 15 in 1947
. The examinations were graded into ordinary (O) level for 16-year-olds, and advanced (A) level for 18-year-olds.
In 1988, O level qualifications were replaced by a new system, the General Certificate of Secondary Education, or GCSE.
In 1989 an intermediate level, Advanced Supplementary (AS), was introduced for 18-year-olds who had studied a broader mix of subjects in less depth. The system was revised in 2000 so that all A-level students must now sit AS-levels first.
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