Thousands of teenagers across the country today have received their GCSE grades. However, there has been a record fall in top grades achieved.
The number of students receiving A grades reached its peak in 2012, with over one in five achieving an A* or A grade. As a result exam boards have ‘toughened up’ their exams, notably in the sciences. The number of A* grades has fallen to 6.8%, 0.5% lower than last year’s results.
Between 2004 and 2011 the percentage of exams given A*-C rose by 10% from 59.2% to 69.8%, steadily increasing by roughly 1.5% each year. The percentage in 2012 was marginally lower than in 2011, but only by 0.4%.
In 2009 exams were found to have been ‘too easy’, and as a result GCSEs were revamped. This year’s results were the first from the revamped GCSEs.
A suggested reason for the drop in grades is the increase in the number of 15-year-olds being entered for exams early. Over half a million exam entries were recorded before the summer entries, according to the Joint Council of Qualifications.
There was uproar last year from students, parents and teachers about the GCSE English marks, claiming that they were a statistical fix. Fortunately for some of the students who were particularly displeased with their mark, the grade boundaries were changed.
Do you have a sibling, relative or friend who is receiving their GCSE results today? If wish to share your view on the GCSEs, feel free to comment below.
William Wilson – News Editor