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Provisional entries for GCSE, AS and A level: summer 2019 exam series

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Provisional statistics have been published on the number of provisional entries by age group and subject for GCSEs, Level 1/ Level 2, AS and A levels in England for the summer 2019 exam series.

Key findings


  • GCSE entries in 2019 remained stable, increasing by just under 1% from 5,136,495 in 2018 to 5,185,840 in 2019.
  • GCSE foreign language entries have increased overall by over 4% after stabilising last year - the first significant increase in recent years. French and Spanish entries increased (by around 4% and 10%, respectively) and there was a slight decrease in German entries (-2.5%).
  • Overall entries in non-EBacc GCSE subjects showed a decline in 2019, indicating that schools/colleges are continuing to focus more on EBacc subjects than those subjects which do not count towards the EBacc.
  • Entries in GCSE design and technology continue to decline, dropping by 23% since 2018. This is the first year that new specifications in this subject are being awarded, which might partly explain the decline in entries.
  • In some reformed 9 to 1 subjects, there are two tiers of entry: foundation and higher. In all subjects, entry to the foundation tier has increased in 2019. The biggest shifts are in combined science and French, which is likely to be in part a response to advice provided to schools and colleges about tier entry in 2019, following evidence of some inappropriate tier entry in 2018


AS level

  • AS entries have continued to decline, with almost 60% fewer entries than in 2018. This drop is due to the decoupling of AS from A levels as part of the government policy reforms of AS and A levels.
  • There has been an overall decline of 91% from 1,331,955 entries in 2015, the year before reforms of AS and A levels began


A level

  • A level entries in 2019 have dropped slightly by 2% from 2018 but remain broadly stable.
  • Overall, modern foreign language (French, German, Spanish) entries are stable and single sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) all show an increase in 2019.
  • Entries in EBacc subjects increased by 4% and entries in non-EBacc subjects decreased by 9% compared to 2018.
  • Entries decreased in a number of creative subjects including performing/expressive arts (-17%), media/film/TV studies (-14%), drama (-9%), music (-6%) and design and technology (-4%).

Access the full report here.

First published 24 May 2019