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General Certificate in Education – GCE (O levels) equivalent to Level 2

When were they available?

O levels (Ordinary level) were the main examinations for 16 year olds in secondary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 1951 until 1988.

Where would I have studied?

As well as in schools, O levels may have been taken part time at a further education (FE) college.

How would I have been assessed?

Usually studied for over 2 years with assessment primarily by end of course examination.

What result would I have achieved?

O level English and/or maths pass grades from 1951 to 1988, if expressed by a number, are 1-6 (7,8,9 fail) or letters ABCDE (pass), F (fail), U (unclassified).

Numerous awarding bodies offered ‘O’ levels, many of which do not now exist.

A list of ‘old’ awarding bodies can be found on the Ofqual site.

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