Results: November 2017

Results: GCSE English Language, GCSE Welsh Language, GCSE Mathematics – Numeracy and GCSE Mathematics

Qualifications Wales is the independent regulator of qualifications in Wales. One of our key activities is to oversee the award of GCSE, AS and A level qualifications and the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Today’s GCSE results relate to qualifications that were reformed for first teaching in September 2015. GCSE English Language and GCSE Welsh Language were first awarded in summer 2017 and this series allowed a resit opportunity only for learners who had sat in the summer. This series was the third opportunity for learners to sit GCSE Mathematics – Numeracy and GCSE Mathematics.

On 15 November 2017, we sent a letter to all schools and colleges setting out our approach to awarding the November series. We have closely monitored the awarding of these qualifications and are content that the grade boundaries set by WJEC are appropriate and that the GCSE standard has been maintained.

Entries

In late November we published the entry data for the series which highlighted the following key points:

  • There were 54,845 entries for GCSEs in Wales in November 2017, which is 4.5 per cent fewer compared to November 2016.
  • Total entries for reformed GCSE Mathematics decreased in November 2017 by 1.7 per cent compared to November 2016. Reformed GCSE Mathematics – Numeracy saw a larger decrease of 32.4 per cent.



November entries for reformed GCSEs in 2016 and 2017 (for all learners)

Subject

November 2016

November 2017

GCSE Mathematics – Numeracy

29,205

19,730

GCSE Mathematics

23,070

22,670

GCSE English language

n/a

11,870

GCSE Welsh language

n/a

505

 

November 2017 Results (cumulative percentages, for all learners)

Subject

A*

A*/A

A*-C

A*-G

GCSE Mathematics – Numeracy

4.2

11.1

48.5

91.5

GCSE Mathematics

5.3

10.6

45.9

91.6

GCSE English language

0.4

3.3

47.8

99.0

GCSE Welsh language

0.8

7.8

52.0

99.4

 

November 2016 Results (cumulative percentages, for all learners)

Subject

A*

A*/A

A*-C

A*-G

GCSE Mathematics – Numeracy

5.7

12.5

46.6

88.6

GCSE Mathematics

5.9

10.0

46.4

91.3

Overall, the changes to the entry for GCSE Mathematics and GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy this November compared to November 2016 make it difficult to make meaningful comparisons between the two sets of results. Each exam series has a different cohort of students, with a different overall profile of ability, sitting the examinations. The number of students sitting GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy, in particular, has changed significantly this November, when compared to November 2016.  Also, some students were re-sitting their GCSE in Mathematics or Mathematics-Numeracy this November, whereas in November 2016 all of the students entered were sitting for the first time. The awarding process where grade boundaries are established ensures that these factors are considered.

There are no previous exam series against which to compare the results for the reformed GCSE English language and GCSE Welsh language resits.

A detailed summary of the results is available on the WJEC website.