I/GCSE Results 2023, Singapore

The 2022 GCSE and IGCSE results are out for students worldwide. So, how have schools in Singapore performed compared to the UK?
I/GCSE Results 2023, Singapore
By Carli Allan
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Fewer top grades have been awarded at GCSE this year and passes have fallen to pre-Covid-19 levels after three years of inflated grades during and after the pandemic. As expected, GCSE grades in the UK are similar to levels in 2019 after the return to pre-pandemic grading.

Just under six million GCSEs were sat by students in the UK this year – and just over a fifth of teenagers achieved 7/A or above compared to more than a quarter in 2022.

  • The proportion of students getting the top grades of 7/A and above is 22%, lower than the 26.3% in 2022 but higher than the 20.8% in 2019.
  • 68.2% of students achieved a grade 4/C or higher, which is down from 73.2% in 2022 but up from 67.3% in 2019.
  • The pass rate (1/G) of 98% has dropped slightly from 98.4% in 2022 and 98.3% in 2019.
  • Business Studies GCSE had the biggest increase in entries (up 14.8%), and History GCSE 6.5% (now taken by  310,000 students).
  • There was a 3.4% increase in GCSE entries (total 5.9 million) compared to 2022 (5.7 million), which is greater than the population growth.

GCSE results in Singapore

Schools in Singapore work with two main IGCSE examination boards, Cambridge and Pearson EdExcel, which have adopted the 9-1 grading scale to award most International GCSE qualifications across South East Asia.

Find out how Singapore students have performed this year in our ongoing updates of I/GCSE results...


Tanglin Trust School celebrates a strong set of I/GCSE results –81% were A, A* or equivalent and 99% were A* to C or equivalent.  

Other results include:

  • 92% scored A*-B
  • 59% of grades were A*

Chris Seal, Head of Senior School, said:

“We are delighted with and proud of the achievements of our students this year in external examinations. All indicators suggested a return to 2019 levels of attainment but 59% of all GCSE grades at A* and 81% of all grades being A*/A is an extraordinary set of results in any year and significantly surpass those of 2019.

"These outstanding outcomes are testament to the skilful work of our staff, the huge potential of our students and the aspirational support of our parents. Outcomes matter, but Tanglin’s outcomes are our people and now these students move on to the next stage of education filled with confidence, skills and knowledge that will serve them well."

Roundup of UK results

Joint Council for Qualifications table compares this year's results to 2022 and 2019. Source: JCQ

The figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) cover a total of over six million GCSE and Level 1 and 2 Vocational and Technical qualification results being awarded to students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Girls continue to outperform boys, with 24.9% of female entries achieving 7/A, compared with 19.1% of male entries. 71.7% of female entries achieved 4/C, compared with 64.9% of male entries, and the pass rate was 98.4% for girls compared with 97.5% of male entries.

The most popular subject choices are unchanged from 2021 and 2022 – Double Science, Maths, English, English Literature, History, Geography, Religious Studies, Art and Design, Biology, and Chemistry. There is continued growth in students taking Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Double Award Science.

The following subjects have grown in popularity: Business Studies (up 14.8%), Spanish (up 11.3%) and Computing (up 11.6%).

Performing/Expressive Arts and Music GCSEs have seen the biggest decrease (down by 16.6.% and 12.5%).

Spanish is now the most popular modern foreign language (MFL), overtaking French, after a 11.3% increase in entries. French is now the second most popular MFL subject, and German remains third most popular MFL. In other languages, Chinese, Polish and Arabic are the top three most popular GCSEs.

In England, London and the South East were the top performing regions, with 28.4% and 24.4% of entries graded 7/A and above respectively. The North East, North West, and Yorkshire and Humber had the lowest number of top grades with around 18% in each area. This mirrors the trend for this year's A Level results.

What do this year’s grades tell us?

As widely anticipated (the head of Ofqual had warned schools to prepare for lower grades than last year), grades are starting to return to pre-pandemic levels in UK and worldwide; there has been a small drop from the unusually high grades of 2020-22 when coursework and final exams were disrupted by Covid-19. 

We saw a similar trend with the release of the IB results in June and A Level results last week. Exam regulators want to get grades back to 2019 levels; this will not be in one jump (as the GCSE results reveal) but it will take place over two years or more.

Back in April, the Department for Education said:

"As we return to exams, we want to get back to the pre-pandemic standard, but in the interests of fairness, Ofqual (who take the decisions on grading) won’t do so in one jump.

"Instead, 2022 will be a transition year to reflect that we are in a pandemic recovery period and students’ education has been disrupted. In 2022 the aim, therefore, will be to move grading to a point close to midway between 2021 and pre-pandemic profiles."

The discussion around the grade inflation of the past two years – and the small drop in average scores this year – should not detract from the incredible efforts of students to learn and teachers to teach in incredibly challenging times. Students have worked hard during an extremely difficult time – and today is a day to celebrate their achievements.

For students who have received their GCSE and IGCSE results this summer, they are the pathway to future studies post-16 and beyond. Many universities and colleges look at GCSE and IGCSE results as an indicator of previous academic achievement, together with predicted grades as A Level or IBDP.

The grading structure for GCSE exams is from 9 (the highest) to 1, whilst for IGCSE, it is from A* (the equivalent of a Grade 8) to G. A Grade 4 or C is considered a Pass.

Read more: How are I/GCSEs graded?

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