Amid the exam reforms, tens of thousands of teenagers received their GCSE results in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In the previous year the GCSE pass rates fell and the number of pupils attaining top grades was the lowest point in a decade.
This year the number of students receiving the top GCSE grades rose for the first time in seven years despite the major reforms. Those scoring a grade C or above (4 or over in the new grading system) increased by 0.5 percent from 66.4 percent last year to 66.9 percent.
732 16-year-olds in England (who took at least seven new GCSEs) gained 9s in all of their subjects, more than sixty two percent of girls scored grade 9s in seven or more GCSEs, compared with 38 percent of boys, the figures from Ofqual showed.
The percentage of those achieving a GCSE grade higher than a 4 in Maths since the previous year has increased. 49.7% achieved a grade 5 in 2017 compared to 50.4% in 2018, 31% achieved grade 6 in 2017 compared to 31.9% in 2018, 19.9% achieved grade 7 in 2017 compared to 20% in 2018, 10.3% achieved grade 8 compared to 10.5% in 2018 and 3.5% achieved a grade 9 compared to 3.6% in 2018.
In English Literature those achieving a high grade have all increased since the previous year, those achieving a grade 7 increased to 20% (from 19.1%), grade 8 increased to 9.8% (from 9.8%) and grade 9 increased to 3.5% (from 3.3%). English Language saw no change in the overall achievement grade for grades 9 (at 2.6%) and 8 (7.8%), but grade 7 saw an increase from 16.8% to 17.5%.
Entries to sciences, history and geography at GCSE increased this year, but entries for art subjects such as design and technology fell. Performing and expressive arts entries have fallen 45 percent, while music entries have dropped by 7 percent. Media, film and TV studies entries dropped by 6 percent.