Provisional Entries for Summer 2021 GCSEs, AS, A levels and Skills Challenge Certificate for Wales

An annual report which presents provisional data on Entries for Summer 2021 GCSEs, AS, A levels and Skills Challenge Certificate for Wales.

Release Date: Thursday 27 May, 2021
Period covered: Summer 2021
Next Update: May 2022 (Provisional)

Key Points

Learners due to sit their GCSEs and A levels this summer will be awarded a centre determined grade. As a result of the changes in assessment arrangements, entries deadline and data reporting date, the entries figures for summer 2021 may not be on exactly the same basis as figures for previous years, but they remain broadly comparable.


  • 335,780 GCSE entries were made for summer 2021. This is up by 9.0% compared to GCSE entries for summer 2020.
  • The increase in total GCSE entries this summer compared to the previous summer was a result of increases in Year 10 and Year 11 entries.
  • Year 11 entries increased by 7.1% this summer compared to summer 2020.
  • There were 27,750 entries from Year 10 learners in summer 2021. This is an increase of 70.1% compared to last summer, when there were 16,315.
  • Year 12 or above entries decreased this summer, making up 4.2% of total GCSE entries.

AS level

  • There were 43,670 AS level entries in summer 2021 in Wales, 2.9% more than in summer 2020.
  • There were 40,425 entries from Year 12 learners, accounting for 92.6% of all entries. This is a much larger share than previous years.
  • Entries from Year 13 learners decreased by 72.8%.

A level

  • There were 36,140 A level entries for summer 2021, 16.2% more than in summer 2020.
  • This reverses the consistent annual decreases in A level entries in recent years, and is the highest number of A level entries seen in Wales since 2016.
  • The majority of the increase was a result of entries from Year 13 learners, which increased by 19.1% compared to last summer, accounting for 88.7% of all A level entries this summer.
  • Entries from Year 12 learners also increased, but entries from other year groups decreased.

There are a number of factors that can influence why entries for year groups might change over time, for example changes to:

  • Population size;
  • Entry behaviour e.g. when learners are entered for their GCSEs;
  • The number of qualifications of each type being taken on average;
  • The types of qualifications being taken in post-16.

As this release is based on counts of entries at qualification level it is not possible for us to quantify the impact of such factors. We have commented on factors influencing changes in entries only where we are confident that these factors are likely to be associated with a change.

Note, the full release and corresponding data tables are available in the download box.



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