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Education Specialist, works as educational counselors addressing a variety of student challenges.

Saturday, 24 August 2013


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This year the GCSE results have experienced a massive undulation after a record plunge was marked in the proportion of students receiving C grades and higher than that. The fall has been triggered by the huge rise in the number of pupils aged 15 years or even younger participating in the exams. Some say that the tough science papers are also the cause for the drop. Meanwhile it has also been found that students pursuing multiple courses at a time have made it badly in the exams.

An insight into reports show that this year’s GCSE entries achieving grades between A*-C stood at 68.1%; thus, marking a fall by 1.3% of what was recorded in the year 2012. Last year around 69.4% of students had managed to achieve grades between A*-C. Meanwhile a rise has been noted in the number of pupils achieving grades lying between and A* and C since the year 1988. Furthermore, it has been found that the numbers of A* grade achievers have fallen by .5%.

The Joint Council for Qualification has published results revealing that female candidates have superseded their male counterparts at grades C or above. It was during the year 2003 that people witnessed female students outperforming males ones. The overview of the report has been mentioned below:

         (A*-C achievers)
Girls                                      Boys
72.3%                                  63.7%
         (A* achievers)
Girls                                      Boys
8.3%                                     5.3%

Now, this explains that girls are ahead of boys in terms of the academic grades they have achieved in this year’s GCSE. Michael Turner, JCQ’s director has emphasized on the following factors to indicate why this year’s GCSE has experienced a drop. Take a look at them:
  • Considerable increase in the 15 year old entries
  • Science specifications encompassing greater challenges for students
  •  Early entry into mathematics
  •   Multiple entry into mathematics

These factors not only have an impact on the entries but also on the results. It has been learnt that the massive fall can crucially affect schools which are struggling to retain their floor standards considered by the Department of Education. If a school falls below this floor standard it will trigger an inspection to be conducted by the Ofsted, ultimately compelling poorly performing schools to being converted to academies. 

A school will fundamentally be considered below the floor standard if it fails to show the following:

  •         40% pupils achieving a standard C grade or higher than that in minimum 5 GCSEs (including mathematics and English)

  •      An overall progress in both disciplines (Mathematics and English)

One of the biggest causes for the down fall is the huge young enrollments. According to the JCQ the figures have shot up to a massive 39% hike for students aged 15 or below taking up the board examinations, totaling up to around 806,000. Furthermore the JCQ reports showed that the results of the 16 year olds remained stable. Declination was marked in exam results of 15 year old pupils. Overall, the figures have also shown a sharp rise in the number of students who have participated in multiple examinations. 

Source: www.theguardian.com/education/2013/aug/22/gcse-results-2013-record-fall-c-grades-higher