GCSE resits: English and maths pass rate drops

The number of students getting the grade 4 they need in their GCSE English and maths fell in November 2018

George Ryan

The GCSE resit results for the November 2018 exams in maths and English show a drop in the number of students getting the grade 4 they need to pass

The pass rate for students resitting GCSE English and maths exams in November has fallen compared with last year.

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

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 at a college or sixth form until they achieve that grade, under the condition of funding rules. Those with a grade 2 or below in GCSE maths and/or English at school will have to continue to study the subjects at college, but they can take either a GCSE or an approved stepping-stone qualification to meet the condition of funding.

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, but the exams boards publish their results separately.


There were more than 92,000 entries across the two subjects between the AQA (49,059), Edexcel (39,257) and OCR (3,951) 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 2018 with AQA was 32.8 per cent (compared with 33.5 per cent a year earlier), with Edexcel it was 34.1 per cent (33.2 per cent a year earlier) and with OCR it was 41 per cent (49.9 per cent in November 2017).

In maths, the proportion of students achieving a grade 4 or higher in November 2018 with AQA was 27.7 per cent (compared with 32 per cent in November 2017), with Edexcel it was 27.6 per cent (30.4 per cent) and with OCR it was 25.2 per cent (26.6 per cent).

Last summer, 148,986 learners aged 17-plus sat GCSE English language, with 33.1 per cent achieving a grade 4 or higher. For maths GCSE there were 161,139 learners taking the exam, with 22.7 per cent achieving a grade 4 or higher.

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George Ryan

George Ryan

George Ryan is a further education reporter for tes

Find me on Twitter @GeorgeMRyan

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