Pass rate down
Date published: 22 August 2013
THE proportion of GCSEs awarded at least a C grade has fallen for the second year running, official figures have revealed.
Just over two–thirds (68.1 per cent ) of entries scored A*–C this summer, down 1.3 percentage points from 2012 – the biggest fall in the exam’s 25–year history.
The proportion of entries gaining top grades has also fallen by 0.5 per cent – with 6.8 per cent achieving an A*. Girls continued to outperform boys, scoring higher A* and A*–C across all subjects.
The dip in national results comes amid major upheaval in the exams system. It is thought a rise in pupils entering maths GCSE early or multiple times, changes to science GCSEs and an increase in pupils taking international GCSEs (IGCSE) in certain subjects has contributed to the falls in performance.
The latest statistics show a drop in the proportion of entries scoring at least a C in key subjects including English, maths and science.
In English, 63.6 per cent of entries gained a C or higher, down from 64.1 pr cent last summer.
This comes amid a rise in the number of younger students taking GCSE English, the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) said. This summer there were 61,000 more entries for the subject and of these more than two–fifths (41.9 per cent) were from pupils aged 15.
In maths, 57.6 per cent of entries scored an A*–C grade, compared to 58.4 per cent in 2012.
JCQ said there had been “significant early and repeated entries” for maths, with more than half a million entries before the summer exams.
There has been a 7.6 percentage point fall in the proportion of entries awarded a C or higher in GCSE science. It follows a move by Ofqual to toughen up the qualifications after a 2009 report by the regulator found that the courses were too easy.
The decline in results for the separate sciences is partly down to bright students switching to IGCSE courses, JCQ said.
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