GCSE Grades Fall For Second Consecutive Year

Students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have received their 2013 GCSE grades, and the results aren’t too promising as scores have fallen for the second consecutive year.

According to the BBC, more than 600,000 teenagers received their GSCE grades this week. About two thirds of the students scored between an A* and a C, which is a smaller number of students than last year.

The proportion of A* and A grades also fell. More than 22% of students scored top grades last year but only 21.3% achieved the same results this year. The overall pass rate also fell for the first time in 25 years.

The biggest drop this year came in the sciences. Only 53.1% of students scored above a C this year which is down from 60.7% from last year. On the bright side, language and geography scores were higher than in 2012.

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Education Minister Elizabeth Truss said: “It is very pleasing to see the increase in these important subjects – the ones that will keep pupils’ options open in the future. I am particularly delighted to see a languages revival – with an increase in the number of entries to French, German and Spanish GCSEs after years of decline.”

Sky News reports that the 2013 GSCE Grades were likely lower this year due to a major overhaul in the testing system which resulted in harder tests. There was also an influx in young and repeat test takers.

Michael Turner, director of the JCQ, said: “There are many underlying factors affecting this year’s GCSEs, including a sizeable increase in entry by 15-year-olds, new science specifications designed with greater challenge, early and multiple entry in mathematics and an increase in the number of students taking IGCSEs [international GCSEs]. All of these have had an impact on results.”