GCSE results day sees a rise in passes but top grades fall

The proportion of top grades awarded this GCSE results day has dropped slightly, but there was a slight rise in passes.

Overall the GCSE results are quite stable, with 69 per cent of grades awarded being A* to C, a 0.2 per cent rise compared to last year.

However, there was a 0.1 per cent fall in A* grades. A* to C grades in English rose to 65.4 per cent, a rise of 3.7 per cent. In maths, there was a 0.9 per cent rise in these grades to 63.3 per cent.

There were more than five million GCSE entries, and as well as seeing improvements in English and maths, grades in biology, chemistry and physics also improved. Although, students taking double science at GCSE saw a decrease in the proportion of good grades awarded.

The results also show the number of students taking modern language GCSEs is continuing to decrease, with fewer students taking German, French and Spanish.

According to the exam boards, the changing age ranges of students sitting GCSEs has influenced the results. More 17 year olds have had to take exams again due to a policy requiring students to re-sit should they fail to achieve at least a C in English and maths, whilst schools have been discouraged from entering pupils for GCSEs early.

“At a national level there is very little change in this year’s results but we do see educational policies continuing to have an effect on entry patterns and results at a subject level,” said Michael Turner, of the Joint Council of Qualifications.