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AQA GCSE market share up but Pearson and OCR decline

Report shows total number of GCSE certificates issued has fallen with introduction of new combined-science qualification

pupils at secondary school

Report shows total number of GCSE certificates issued has fallen with introduction of new combined-science qualification

AQA's share of GCSE certificates awarded has risen to 60 per cent, new figures have shown.

The report, published today by exams watchdog Ofqual, reveals that the exam board's market share in 2017-18 increased from 52 per cent in 2016-17.

The report notes that the total number of GCSE certificates decreased by 7 per cent over the same period, which it says was "mainly driven by the new combined-science qualification replacing the legacy science and additional science qualifications in 2017-18".


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It adds: “AQA has increased its market share of GCSE. This is mainly due to the increase in the number of certificates in combined science, biology, chemistry, religious studies, physics, geography, food preparation and nutrition and English language, with AQA having the main market share in these qualifications.”

In contrast, Pearson’s market share decreased from 28 per cent in 2016-17 to 26 per cent in 2017-18, and OCR saw its market share fall from 13 per cent to 8 per cent over the same period.

Market share for WJEC stayed stable at 6 per cent in both years.

The report says that about 5 million GCSE certificates were awarded in 2016-17 compared with 4.7m in 2017-18, with maths being the most common in both years.

The A-level market has been comparatively stable, the report states, with only slight changes in exam boards' market share.

At A level, AQA had 46 per cent of the market (47 per cent in 2016-17), OCR had 23 per cent (22 per cent in 2016-17), Pearson had 25 per cent (the same as last year) and WJEC had 6 per cent (also the same share as last year).

The AS-level market has changed due to reforms that uncoupled AS from A level.

The total number of AS certificates declined by 59 per cent in 2017-18. Within this market, Pearson and OCR saw their share increase while that of AQA and WJEC decreased.

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