FAQs about Edexcel Certificates

Find answers to the most commonly asked questions about our Edexcel Certificates.  

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General FAQs

Current arrangements for recognising level 1/level 2 Certificates will end with the introduction of reformed GCSEs, as announced by the Department for Education in January 2015. Once the Edexcel Certificates no longer count in performance measures, they will also cease to attract funding. As a result, the qualifications can no longer be offered to schools and we are therefore withdrawing all our Edexcel Certificate qualifications. This will be a phased process across the Edexcel Certificate subjects.

Following the DfE’s announcement in June 2015, the final availability and recognition of the Edexcel certificates in English Language and maths has been updated. No other subjects are affected by this announcement.

Edexcel Certificates in English and Maths

  • Final first entry examinations will take place in summer 2016.
  • There will be ONE opportunity to resit the Certificate qualifications in English Language and maths in summer 2017.
  • There will be no opportunity to resit the examinations in English Literature in 2017
  • Final recognition of results in performance tables was summer 2016.
  • From summer 2017 onwards, only the new GCSE (9-1) qualifications in English or Maths will count in performance tables.

Edexcel Certificates in Geography, History, Modern Foreign Languages and the Sciences

  • Final examination will take place in summer 2017.
  • Final recognition of results in performance tables will be summer 2017.
  • There will be no opportunity to sit the examinations in January 2018.
  • From summer 2018 onwards, only the new GCSE (9-1) qualifications will count in performance tables.

Edexcel Certificate in Chinese

  • Final examination will take place in summer 2018.
  • Final recognition of results in performance tables will be summer 2018.
  • There will be no opportunity to sit the examinations in January 2019.
  • From summer 2019 onwards, only the new GCSE (9-1) qualifications will count in performance tables.

Yes. The Edexcel Certificate is eligible for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in the same way that GCSEs are. 

Students who achieve grades A*-C in the GCSE or Edexcel Certificate will achieve a Level 2 qualification. Students who achieve grades D-G in the GCSE or Edexcel Certificate will achieve a Level 1 qualification. 

We developed the Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 Certificates in response to the government’s wish for all schools to have access to International GCSE-style qualifications. Our Edexcel Certificates incorporate the key features of the Edexcel International GCSE, but are accredited for use in UK state schools. They’re taught in a linear manner and assessed through written examinations, with no controlled assessment. 

Each Edexcel Certificate is equivalent to a GCSE or International GCSE in that subject. For example, the Edexcel Certificate in Geography has the same value as the GCSE in Geography. 

For course materials, including specifications and past papers, go to the ‘course materials’ tab on the relevant subject page. On each subject page you’ll also find the contact details for your Subject Advisor team, who are ready with advice and guidance whenever you need it. 

The results certificate will use the official name of the qualification: ‘Level 1/Level 2 Certificate in Geography’, for example.

Assessment is currently in the January and June series. 

Unlike international and independent schools, state schools must follow the Programme of Study for Key Stage 4. This means course content must be accredited by Ofqual.

As International GCSEs have not been accredited for UK state schools and are not listed on Section 96, they will not receive funding and do not count in performance measures.

Instead, UK state schools that want to deliver this style of qualification can teach the Edexcel Certificate, which has been accredited. 

English Language and English Literature FAQs

No. The Department for Education has confirmed that since 2013, International GCSEs no longer count in performance table measures. However, the Edexcel English Certificates will count in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Each Certificate is equivalent to a GCSE and, as such, won’t be viewed as a non-GCSE qualification in the performance table rules. The Certificate in English Language will receive the A*-C points for the maths and English indicator and will count towards the English Baccalaureate in the same way as GCSE English Language.

This information will be updated each year on publication of the Key Stage 4 performance tables.  

Yes. For a course of study to count as ‘English’ for performance tables, learners must be taught a combination of English Literature and English Language at GCSE/Certificate and achieve at least a grade C in English Language.

You have the choice to offer:

  • Certificate in English Language with GCSE English Literature
  • GCSE English Language with Certificate in English Literature. 

We can confirm that Edexcel English Certificates will be counted in the 2015 and 2016 performance measures. Edexcel English Certificates will not be recognised in performance tables in 2017 for any awarding body. Take a look at how to switch to our GCSE (9-1) in English Literature or English Language.

For English teachers this means that for subjects in the Edexcel GCSE family - including Edexcel GCSE English, English Language and English Literature and Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 Certificates in English Language and English Literature - only the result of a student’s first attempt will count in school performance tables.

As International GCSEs in English Language and Literature no longer count in school performance measures, they are not affected.

The change affects the current Year 11, whose results will appear in performance tables in January 2015, and all other students in Years 9 or 10 preparing to take English subjects in the GCSE family.

Further details about this announcement, including guidance for schools making decisions about early entry at GCSE, are available from the Department for Education.  

History FAQs

Although the Edexcel Certificate in History is equivalent to a GCSE and counts towards performance measures and the English Baccalaureate, it was not designed to meet GCSE subject criteria.

For example, there is no requirement to study British history in the Edexcel Certificate specification, while the GCSE requires a minimum of 25% on that topic.

This meant the qualification could not be called a GCSE and was given the title ‘Certificate’. The ‘Level 1/Level 2’ in the title indicates that it is the same level as GCSE, which is also a Level 1/Level 2 qualification. 

Science FAQs

The papers include some multiple-choice questions but are mostly made up of structured questions of 1–3 marks, with some longer, more descriptive questions for 4–6 marks. Practical skills are tested through written questions. 

While the Edexcel Certificate content is broadly similar to the GCSE, it has longer exam papers and no controlled assessment.