A guide to GCSE results in England in summer 2023 (2023)

Students who received their GCSE results today can be proud of their achievements. This summer, England saw a return to pre-pandemic assessment, with assessment safeguards designed to account for the disruption students faced. This means that this has been taken into account when the national results are weaker than before the pandemic. This is part of a two-year, two-stage plan to return to normal post-pandemic assessment arrangements.

This summer GCSE students also received support for their exams. For exams in mathematics, physics and science, students were given formulas and equation sheets, so there was less to remember for the exams. For modern foreign languages, GCSE exams did not need to test unfamiliar vocabulary.

Dr. Jo Saxton, chief regulator, said:

Congratulations to over half a million students who collected their GCSE results today. They can be very proud of their achievements, which are a testament to their hard work and resilience over the past two years. Like last week's A-level scores, today's scores are back at pre-pandemic levels, similar to those in 2019 and - as expected - lower than in 2022. Students have always been at the center of our thinking, which is why the built-in grade protection, which allows you to recognize the disturbances that students have faced in recent years.


  1. Pre-pandemic numbers are back in England this summer as students are protected. Most telling is to compare the results with 2019, the last summer series of exams before the pandemic.

  2. GCSE applications from 16-year-olds have increased by more than 400,000 compared to 2019, with an increase in the number of 16-year-olds since 2019.

  3. Overall GCSE results are similar to 2019. Year 7 and above results are 21.6%, up from 20.6% in 2019, and Year 4 and above results are 67.8%, up from 67.0% in 2019

  4. The French and German GCSE results reflect the changes we have had to make to the exam boards after reviewing the extensive database as part of our work on subject comparability and subsequentlya notice that we are trying to better adapt the grading standards to the Spanish language.

Today (24 August 2023) we announce:

  • summary of results (below)
  • infographicabout this year's GCSE exam results
  • interactive imagesby type of centre, variation of GCSE scores across schools and universities, GCSE scores in England, interactive map of England showing GCSE scores across subjects by grade and province, and GCSE number combinations
  • the results of the national reference test 2023

As every year, the Joint Qualifications Council (JCQ) has done just thatpublished results in England for GCSE, general and thematic. These results are also shown in ourinteractive visualization.

Medium type results

To reflect this, Ofqual has updated its interactive visualizationGCSE results for different types of schools and collegescompared to previous years, globally and thematically. Hub type categories are based onRegister of National Center Numbers (NCN).and reported by the centers themselves.

Overall results for all types of schools and colleges are broadly similar to the 2019 results for grades 7 and above. When students take the exam, the same grading rules apply to everyone. Any differences in outcomes compared to 2019 likely reflect differences in the impact of the pandemic, long-term differences in outcome patterns across site types, and changes in cohorts for certain site types—for example, a stronger or weaker cohort. year.

Cumulative percentage of results by center type - Grade 7 and above

Medium type 2019 2022 2023
Akademi 20.7 25,6 21.1
Free schools 19.6 24,5 19.6
the foundation of FE 0,9 1,5 1,0
Independent 47,2 53,1 46,6
Other things 7.4 10.6 8.6
Second extended 18.6 23.2 19.1
Medium modern 13.6 16.8 14.1
Secondary selective 58,5 66,5 59,3
Sixth form college 1.1 1.6 1.4

In 4th grade and above, the results differ for different types of schools and colleges compared to 2019. This probably reflects a changing cohort in some types of centres. For example, this summer, compared to 2019, the number of students over 16 is lower, and these students tend to make up the majority of GCSE intakes at further education institutions and universities.

Cumulative percentage of results by center type - class 4 and above

Medium type 2019 2022 2023
Akademi 69,3 74,6 69,4
Free schools 67,7 72,7 67,0
the foundation of FE 24.1 23.2 19.3
Independent 90,2 92,6 90,1
Other things 37,8 43,7 39,2
Second extended 67,6 73,2 68,1
Medium modern 61,9 67,6 62,0
Secondary selective 96,9 97,9 96,8
Sixth form college 30.6 26.2 24.3

A change within

Displays an interactive Ofqual visualizationvolatility levelschools and colleges' GCSE results compared to 2019. We know that individual schools and colleges may see differences in the percentage of students achieving certain grades each year compared to previous years. This can be due to many different factors, including differences in the composition of students covered by a particular qualification, different approaches to teaching, changes in teaching staff or teaching hours and changes in qualifications.

Overall, resort results vary a bit more this summer. This is not surprising as comparisons are made over a longer period (4 years). Our interactive visualization allows users to explore differences in center performance across age groups and center sizes.

Similarity analysis

Now that the results are known, Ofqual will repeat itsimilarity analyzes published by usin 2020, 2021 and 2022. Ofqual shares this information so that the whole industry can understand qualification results and use them to inform policy and practice. We are unable to carry out these more detailed analyzes before the results are published as the final exam data is not available until just before the results days. We will publish it as soon as possible, in the autumn.

In our analyses, we check whether the differences between the individual groups' student results have changed compared to previous years. When students take exams, the same grading rules apply to everyone: students' grades are based solely on the number of marks they get, and the same rules apply to everyone who achieves the same qualifications. Any changes in achievement differences across student groups are therefore likely to reflect long-term differences in achievement, as well as any differential effects of the pandemic or other disruptions. Qualifications are part of the education system and do not cause these differences. Exams and other formal assessments are neither a cause nor a solution to performance.

Rating limits

The examination board sets grade limits this summer based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative evidence. Similar to previous years when the exam was held, the examiner's assessment played an important role in assessing the quality of the students' work.

Grade limits typically change in each exam set to reflect any differences in grade difficulty. This means that some rating limits are lower than in 2019, while others are higher. This year's approach to assessment has safeguards built into the assessment process so that students, regardless of class boundaries, can be confident that any disruptions they have encountered have been resolved.

GCSE in French and German

This summer we asked exam boards to give more generously to GCSEs in French and German. This follows our comprehensive review of the extensive evidence base as part of our work on product comparability and the subsequent announcement in 2019 that we will lookadapting grading standards from French and German GCSEs to Spanish. As in the summer of 2022, the examination boards had to make upward adjustments in both French and German in groups 9, 7 and 4. This was taken into account in the allocation and it was reflected in the results. We will review this after the summer and see if further adjustments are needed in future series.


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