Top grades for GCSEs are down on last year – but remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, the full figures show.
In 2021, the proportion of GCSE entries awarded top grades surged to an all-time high. It followed exams being cancelled for the second year in a row due to Covid-19. Pupils were given results determined by their teachers.
Similar to the pattern with A-level results, published last week, it had been expected that grades would drop below last year, but remain above those from 2019 as students returned to sitting exams for the first time in three years.
Figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) – covering GCSE entries from students predominantly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – showed top grades of 7/A have fallen from 28.9% in 2021 to 26.3% this year, a drop of 2.6 percentage points.
But this remains higher than the equivalent figure for 2019 of 20.8%.
The proportion of entries receiving a 4/C – considered a pass – dropped from 77.1% in 2021 to 73.2% this year, a fall of 3.9 percentage points, but higher than 67.3% in 2019.
Girls continued their lead over boys this year, with 30.0% of entries achieving a 7/A, compared with 22.6% for males.
The gap has closed slightly from last year, when 33.4% of female entries were awarded 7/A or above compared with 24.4% for males, a lead of 9.0 percentage points.
Separate figures, published by exams regulator Ofqual, showed that 2,193 16-year-olds in England got grade 9 in all their subjects – including 13 students who did at least 12 GCSEs.