Northern Ireland GCSE students score top marks


There has been a small rise in the number of pupils in Northern Ireland scoring the top grades of A* to C in their GCSEs.

In Northern Ireland 76.3% of results were in that bracket, compared to just over 69% across the nations.

However at the top A* grade, there has been a small decline, which is against the rising trend across Northern Ireland, England and Wales as a whole.

In all 183,899 GCSE grades were published in NI this year.

The most popular GCSEs in Northern Ireland are the core subjects of Mathematics, English, and Science Double Award.

However, there has been a drop in the number of students choosing languages, mainly due to a large fall in entries for French, even though it remains the language chosen by most students.

Both boys and girls have improved their performances, but girls are again well ahead on the top scores.

Just under 11% of girls received a grade A* compared to 6.9% of boys, while 79.3% of girls achieved grades A* - C compared to 73.1% of boys.

'Day of celebration'

Congratulating students on this year's results, the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment's Anne Marie Duffy said: "This is a day of celebration for students in Northern Ireland and they can be proud of what they have achieved.

"The results are a testament to their hard work and dedication and to the commitment of carers, parents, and teachers who support them.

"This has also been the first year of unitised GCSEs which were introduced to increase flexibility for teachers and students and lay the foundations for the assessment structures that are available post 16.

"We have seen a number of students complete GCSE units in year 11 which will contribute to their overall GCSE grades next year."

Education Minister Caitriona Ruane said: "I would like to congratulate all the students who have worked so hard to achieve their results today.

"The excellent results highlight not only your own determination, but the inspiration and motivation provided by your parents and teachers throughout your education."

Employment and Learning Minister, Sir Reg Empey, said: "The importance of making an informed decision following exam results is imperative to effective career planning.

"Taking time now to explore options will pay dividends in the future."

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