Variation in GCSE, AS, and A level qualification results 2021
This release presents statistics on changes in made-for-Wales (approved) general qualification outcomes seen by maintained schools.
Release Date: Friday 24 September, 2021
Period covered: Summer series 2021
Next Update: September 2022 (Provisional)
The data consists of summer series results for the focus age group only. To enable comparisons over time, statistics are presented for the subjects that were introduced first in the last round of reform (known as phase 1 subjects).
Due to different awarding arrangements, statistics for 2020, and 2021 are not directly comparable. Despite the data not resulting from directly comparable assessment systems, comparisons are being made to help users understand how different national results in 2020 and 2021 have played out at a school level compared to previous years.
Limitations on comparability should be kept in mind when interpreting changes in results. To avoid unrepresentative extreme values due to small entry sizes, the data is restricted within each GCSE subject to centres with at least 20 entries. The analysis for AS and A level is aggregated to all phase 1 subjects due to small numbers of centres in some subjects.
- For the GCSE subjects included, centres which saw an increase in 2020 tended to see a smaller increase in 2021, although this pattern was very weak for A* and weak for A*-C (correlation of -0.05 for A*, and -0.30 for A*-C)
- For the AS subjects included, centres which saw an increase in 2020 tended to see a smaller increase in 2021, although this pattern was weak (correlation of -0.36 for A, and -0.34 for A-C)
- For A level subjects included, centres which saw an increase in 2020 tended to see a smaller increase in 2021, although this pattern was moderate for A* and very weak for A*-C (correlation of -0.42 for A*, and -0.02 for A*-C)
- Comparing 2021 results to 2019 results (the latest year of exam assessments) most centres saw increases across GCSE, AS, and A level, but there was substantial variation in changes across centres. Generally, there were larger
increases in centre results at AS and A level than GCSE, in line with larger increases in results for AS and A level.