GCSE resits: English and maths pass rate drops

In November's OCR GCSE maths paper, less than a quarter of students achieved a grade 4

GCSE resits: Learner looking pensive

The percentage of students who achieved a grade 4 in their GCSE resits has dropped, compared with last year. At one exam board, less than a quarter of students resitting maths achieved that grade. 

This means thousands of students picking up their GCSE English and maths results this morning will be required to resit their exams again in the summer.

The grade boundaries have also been published, In the Edexcel higher tier maths, students needed just 18 per cent to achieve a 'standard' pass.


Background: GCSE resits 2019: English and maths pass rate drops

More: GCSE resits results day: how to support your students

Podcast: A new approach to GCSE resits


Candidates who do not manage to achieve at least a grade 4 in GCSE English or maths when they leave school are required to resit the qualifications under the condition of funding. Those with a grade 2 or below have to continue to study the subjects at college, but can take either a GCSE or an approved stepping-stone qualification.

For students who did not achieve a grade 4 or higher in the summer, this was their first chance to resit the qualifications. Unlike with the summer series of GCSE results, no national figures are published in January. Instead, exams boards publish their results separately.

November 2019 GCSE results

Overall, there were more than 97,550 entries across the two subjects between AQA (51,342), Edexcel (42,586) and OCR (3,622) exam boards. The results broadly show the pass rate has dropped since last year.

The proportion achieving a grade 4 or higher in English language in November 2019 with AQA was 30.8 per cent (compared with 32.8 per cent in November 2018), while with Edexcel it was 36.8 per cent (34.1 per cent a year earlier) and with OCR it was 49.9 per cent (41 per cent in November 2018).

And in maths, the proportion of students achieving a grade 4 or higher in November 2018 with AQA was 27 per cent (compared with 27.7 per cent in November 2018), for Edexcel the proportion was 26.5 per cent (27.6 per cent) and with OCR it was 23.9 per cent (25.2 per cent).

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Kate Parker

Kate Parker

Kate Parker is a junior FE reporter