GCSE results improve in Northern Ireland again

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

Photo of girl doing an exam paper

GCSE results for pupils in Northern Ireland have improved again.

The proportion of entries awarded A*-C grades has risen by 0.7% to 81.1%. Around one in 10 entries received the top A* grade.

In that system, nine is the highest grade and one the lowest.

Overall, 2,914 number grades were awarded in Northern Ireland, which is 1.7% of the total number of grades awarded.

The Northern Ireland exam board CCEA is maintaining the A*-G results system, although they will introduce a new C* grade in 2019.

About 30,000 students in Northern Ireland received their GCSE exam results on Thursday.

Image source, Getty Images

In contrast to 2018's A-Level results, the performance gap between boys and girls has widened at GCSE.

85.1% of entries from girls achieved A*-C grades.

The proportion of entries from boys achieving those grades was 76.9%.

There was also a significant rise of almost 5% in the number of girls taking science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) related subjects.

STEM subjects now account for 43% of all GCSE entries.

Many of those getting their results will go on to further study in their schools or in FE colleges

BBC Northern Ireland will be hosting a special Facebook Live discussion for students and their parents later on results day.

Hosted on BBC Northern Ireland's Facebook page, experts will be on hand to answer your questions from 14:30 BST.