What’s going on with students taking GCSEs early?

What’s going on with students taking GCSEs early?

Do students who take GCSEs early perform better in their chosen examinations, or are they giving up their chance of getting a higher grade? 

Speaking at a recent seminar hosted by the Cambridge Assessment Network, researchers Beth Black (OCR), Chung-Pak Cheung (OCR) and Tim Gill (Cambridge Assessment) explained how data shows that there has been an increase in GCSE entries in year 9 and 10 following the abolishment of KS3 tests, and that this trend is greater in state schools than independent ones.

The findings from the data also showed that:

  • High ability students were in general less likely to get a grade A or better in English or maths if they entered early
  • The differences in terms of likelihood of getting a C or better were very small depending on whether the student entered early or not
  • Those who entered for GCSE maths in June of year 10 tended to do better in A Level maths or A Level science.

Related materials

Research Matters

Research Matters 32 promo image

Research Matters is our free biannual publication which allows us to share our assessment research, in a range of fields, with the wider assessment community.