GCSE Results Analysis

There has been a slight increase in the GCSE pass rate and the percentage of top grades this year, despite concerns about the difficulty of exams.

The pass rate edged up to 67.3% in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – up 0.4 percentage points on last year.

The new GCSEs, which are now graded 9 to 1 rather than A* to G, have less coursework and a greater focus on exams.

Looking across all GCSE subjects, 20.7% of entries in England have been graded 7/A or above this year, compared to 20.3% last year, while 67.1% of entries received a grade 4/C or above compared to 66.6% last year.

Just 837 teenagers scored a clean sweep of the highest grade in their GCSEs this summer, with more girls achieving straight top grades than boys.

15.2% of girls taking Maths have been awarded top grades of either 7, 8 or 9 – equivalent to A or A* in the old qualifications – up from 14.7 per% last year.

There were an estimated 5.2 million GCSE entries  – up 50,000 on 2018, a 1.4% rise.

GCSE results have shown entries in some subjects are rising at a faster rate:

  • English: +4.4%
  • Maths: +4.2%
  • Double Science: +4.8%
  • History: +7.1%
  • Geography: +3.4%
  • Modern Languages: +3%
  • Computer Science: +7.2%

Art and design also saw an increase, of +9.5%, as other equivalent arts subjects declined.

The results also show:

  • Boys continue to do better than girls in maths, but that gap does seem to be closing.
  • Boys continue to do better than girls in physics and chemistry but less than in 2018.
  • Girls continue to do better than boys in biology but less than in 2018.