- A strong performance from Northern Ireland students.
- Overall gender performance gap continues to widen.
- ASTEM subjects remain popular.
Figures released this morning by the Joint Council for Qualifications show Northern Ireland students continuing to perform well in GCSE examinations.
The proportion of entries awarded A* – C grades** has risen by 0.7 percentage points, this year, to 81.1%. The number of entries achieving the A* grade is 9.9%, a small increase of 0.4 percentage points on the previous year.
GCSE entries in Northern Ireland have decreased by 0.4% from 171,060 to 170,348.
There has been a slight improvement in GCSE English Language and Mathematics. In English Language, the percentage of entries achieving A* – C grades increased by 0.6 percentage points to 80.2%. In Mathematics, the percentage of entries achieving A* – C grades has increased by 1.7 percentage points to 68.1%.
Females achieving A*- C grades increased to 85.1%, by 0.9 percentage points. The proportion of male entries achieving A*- C grades rose by 0.5 percentage points to 76.9%. The gap between female and male performance at A*- C grades has widened from 7.8 to 8.2 percentage points.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects now account for 43% of all GCSE entries in Northern Ireland, with an increase of 2.4% on the previous year.
The number of female entries for STEM related subjects increased by 4.9%. Male entries in STEM subjects increased by 0.1%. Entries have also increased in subjects such as Drama, Construction and Business Studies.
The proportion of overall entries for languages remains broadly stable, with a 0.2 percentage point decrease on the previous year.
This is the second year of the 9-1 grade scale offered by English based Awarding Organisations. A small percentage of students in Northern Ireland (1.7%) will receive a 9-1 grade, with the vast majority (98.3%) of students continuing to take A* – G graded GCSEs.
Standards remain anchored at grades A/7, C/4 and G/1. Comparisons across years, subjects and jurisdictions, are possible at these anchor points.
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Notes to Editors
**This year’s results are a combined figure of A*- C with 9- 4 from the new numerical 9-1 grading. 9-1 grades were awarded to 1.7% (2,914 grades) of students in Northern Ireland.
98.3% (167,434) of GCSE students in Northern Ireland sat A* – C qualifications.
Further information on the GCSE grade changes is available http://ccea.org.uk/regulation/gcse_grading
The statistics below represent the provisional Northern Ireland GCSE results from five JCQ awarding organisations: – AQA, CCEA, OCR, Pearson and WJEC
Table 1: Northern Ireland GCSE entries and provisional results – all scales (A*-G / 9-1)
Table 2: Northern Ireland GCSE provisional results by gender (combined A*-G/9-1)
- 1. The JCQ is a membership body and comprises AQA, CCEA, City & Guilds, NCFE, OCR, Pearson, SQA and WJEC – the eight largest providers of qualifications in the UK.
- 2. Media contacts: The JCQ’s press office can be contacted on: 020 7227 0671/020 7638 4132/07905 683 816
- 3. Detailed tabulations of the GCSE Full Course, GCSE Short Course, GCSE Double Award, Entry Level Certification, Level 1 and Level 2 Project are published separately, with the STRICT EMBARGO OF 09.30 HOURS THURSDAY 23 AUGUST 2018 and will be available on the JCQ website from 0930 on 23 August – www.www.jcq.org.uk
- 4. These results are for qualifications taken by students across the UK but predominantly in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- 5. All awarding organisations are answerable to the regulatory authorities – Ofqual (England), Welsh Government (Wales) and CCEA (Northern Ireland) – for examinations standards. The regulatory authorities monitor the awarding bodies’ standards. In addition, the awarding organisations themselves conduct a number of comparability studies to compare standards. Maintaining standards within and across all qualifications in order to ensure fairness to all candidates is the paramount concern of the awarding bodies.