Current exams are attempted by children aged 14 to 16, across England and Wales, but they've been criticised for being too easy and outdated.
Education Secretary, Michael Gove is preparing to replace them with harder, one-off tests, cutting down on course work and module testing.
The reformed system is planned to be brought in by autumn 2014. This would ultimately mean that pupils starting their GCSE courses in September 2013 could be the last to take them.
A "more straightforward", test option would also be available to pupils who struggle academically.
Critics of the existing system have rising concerns regarding the increased numbers of pupils achieving top grades every year as a sign that they have become easier and fail to prepare them for the demands of sixth form and university. But supporters say presently the teenagers are working harder and teachers are also giving their best in preparing them well for the exams.
GCSEs were first introduced by the Conservatives in the late Eighties and are presently attempted by more than 600,000 schoolchildren a year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Last summer, almost a quarter of GCSE papers were graded A* or A – around three times as many as when the exams were first introduced.
The Education Minister of Wales, Leighton Andrews, tells they will not be following the reformed plans as England. Scotland already utilizes a different exam system.
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