Page last edited: 29/10/2019
This page begins with a series of links and data for recent GCSE and GCE Advanced Level examination results and is then divided into five sections some of which are further subdivided. Thus the structure of the document is as follows.
Links and Recent Examination Results
Section One: - Click Here
EXCEL Charts and Summaries of the 2018 and 2019 GCSE and GCE Advanced Level subdivided by Gender. I hope that teachers and students will find these charts especially useful.*******
Section Two: - Click Here
Preliminary summaries of recent trends in subject entries at GCSE and GCE Advanced Level subdivided by Gender.
A longer section containing data for recent years on gender differences in subject entries and in examination results in specific subjects at GCSE and GCE Advanced level and in Higher Education. This section is further subdivided as follows
Section 3[a] - Click Here
Gender and GCSE Examinations
Overall GCSE Grades A*-C 2011-2019
Gender and GCSE Subject Choice 2012-2019
Section 3[b] - Click Here
Gender and GCE Advanced Level Examinations
Overall GCE Advanced Level Grades A*-E 2011-19l
Gender and GCE Advanced level Subject Choice 2008-2019
Section 3[c] - Click Here
Vocational and Higher Education
Gender Differences in Subject Choice: Vocational Education
Gender, Subject Choice and Higher Education
Section 4 : - Click Here
An introductory essay on Gender and Subject Choice which relies on data from Sections One and Two
Section 5: - Click Here
Appendices on a range of related issues which are primarily for my own use
Links and Recent Examination Results
Click here for a Guardian article on why girls who achieve good GCSE results in STEM subjects are nevertheless less likely than boys to choose them as A Level options
Click here for Guardian article entitled Science doesn't belong to men. And here's the proof [by Afua Hirsch] October 2018
Click here for Conversation article entitled Nobel Prize should be just the start of making women scientists more visible by Shelley Thompson October 2018
Click here for BBC item: No Room at top for top women scientists September 2019
You will also come across arguments that the structures of male and female brains are different and that helps to explain differing aptitudes of males and females for different subjects. Click here for a critical discussion of such views. February 2019
Gender and Subject Choice: Data and Explanations
I have revised and reorganised this document in August 2019 to include data on the 2019 GCSE and GCE Advanced level Examinations. The charts and tables in the document are derived from my own calculations using mainly data on the Joint Council for Qualifications [JCQ] website publication for GCSE and GCE Advanced Level examination results . You may access the Examinations section of the JCQ website here.
Also trend data for 2015 -2019 have been effectively summarised by FFT Education and you may access their diagrammatic presentations here These data sources are supplemented various items from the BBC, Guardian, Independent and SchoolsWeek websites.
August 2016: Comparable Outcomes
GCSE and GCE Advanced Level Results improved steadily in the early 21st Century leading some to claim that this illustrated not that the quality of teaching and learning was improving but that the degree of difficulty of the examinations. Consequently both GCSE and GCE Advanced Level results have come to be determined by the use of a technique known as comparable outcomes whereby examiners seek to determine the percentages of students attaining each GCSE grade with reference to attainment levels in Key Stage Two examinations results and to determine percentages of students attaining each GCE Advanced Level Grade with reference to attainment levels in GCE examinations.. Usage of this system has halted the yearly improvement in GCSE and GCE Advanced Level Grades. The following links provide further information on Comparable Outcomes.
Links to information on GCSE and GCE Advanced Level Results in 2019, 2018 and 2017
GCSE Results 2019, 2018 and 2017
GCSE Level results for 2019, 2018 and 2017 can be found here by clicking here for the Joint Council for Qualifications Website Note that there are also links to detailed analysis of these results and there are also links to detailed annual statistics going back to 2001 .
- Click here for Guardian article showing relative improvement of female students
- Click here and here and here for BBC coverage
- Click here and here for Schools Week coverage
- Click here for BBC item on GCSE Computing
- Click here for BBC article on overall GCSE Results 2018
- Click here and here for Guardian articles on narrowing gender gap
- Click here for summary of study suggesting females with top GCSE Science grades deterred from studying STEM A Levels
- Click here for the Guardian GCSE page [numerous articles]
GCE Advanced Level Results 2019, 2018 and 2017
GCE Advanced Level results for 2019, 2018 and2017 can be found here by clicking here for the Joint Council for Qualifications Website. Note that there are also links to detailed analysis of these results and there are also links to detailed annual statistics going back to 2001
- Click here for very useful BBC item : Which subjects are students dropping?
- Click here for a very useful Guardian article focussing on fall in percentage of A* and A grades, gender differences in attainment of A*-C grades, increased take up of Science subjects by females [data are for England rather than UK but this is true also for the UK as a whole], data on the 10 most popular A Level subjects in 2019 and 2018
- Click here for Guardian article declining entries English Literature.
- Click here for Guardian article on A levels and Social Class
- Click here for Guardian article on HE entrance based on predicted A level grades.
The BBC highlight that "last year's students in England took new more challenging examinations in 13 subjects with 11more following this year. Despite this 26.6% of examinations were awarded A's and A*s compared with 26.3% in 2017. However the Guardian highlight that the proportion of examinations in England gaining Grade C or above fell to 76.8% [ its lowest level since 2012] and in a separate article explain this in terms of " a combination of new exams. and a lower ability cohort".
Click Here for an article from The Conversation and here and here for articles from Guardian and here for a BBC article. Click here for an item on A Levels from the BBC's More or Less. Click here for a Guardian article on Gender differences in access to university
Click here to go to Section 1