I/GCSE Results Day 2022, Singapore

The 2022 GCSE and IGCSE results are out for students worldwide. So, how have schools in Singapore performed?
I/GCSE Results Day 2022, Singapore
By Carli Allan
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Hundreds of students at international schools in Singapore have received their IGCSE and GCSE results after a return to full exams for the first time in three years.

This year's exams signify a return to normality for 16-18-year-olds across the city-state as it is the first time post-Covid that full I/GCSE exams have taken place. 

In line with students worldwide, IGCSEs awarded by Pearson EdExcel and AQA were cancelled over the past two years due to the pandemic; Cambridge was the only A Level/IGCSE exam board to run its June 2021 exam series as planned, where it was permitted by national education authorities.

In Singapore, this meant that students sat written exams for some subjects and received Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs) for other subjects, based on mock exams, coursework, essays and in-class tests.

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.

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.

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.

Singapore: Results roundup by school

Tanglin Trust School achieved its best ever set of I/GCSE results – 68% of Tanglin students achieved A* and 85% were A* to A, more than twice the percentage in England.

Other  include:

  • 90% scored A*-B
  • 98% scored A*-C
  • 100% of students scored A*-C in English and in English Literature
  • 100% of students scored A*-C in Mathematics

Chris Seal, Head of Senior School said:

"In a year where results were expected to decline, our students performed exceptionally, surpassing expectations for the (I)GCSEs. The students, staff and the Tanglin community can be enormously proud of these achievements and these outstanding outcomes complete a trio of remarkable sets of results at Tanglin this summer.

"Our (I)GCSE students can now focus on flourishing in the next stage of their education, whether that be IB or A Level. We wish all our Year 12 students all the very best as they embark on their Sixth Form experience."

At One World International School, 97% of the cohort of 36 students achieved A*-C, 58% were awarded A*-A, and 85% were awarded A-B.

At GIIS SMART Campus, 61% of all grades at IGCSE were A* and 84% were A*-A. there was a 100% pass rate.

At Dulwich College (Singapore), 72% of grades were A* or equivalent, 89% were A*/A or equivalent and more than half (51%) of the 122 candidates obtained A*/A or equivalent in all their IGCSE subjects.

99% of grades were A*-A or equivalent in Physics, Chemistry & Biology; 88% of grades were A*-A or equivalent in Mathematics; and 85% of grades were A*/A or equivalent in English Language.

Melanie Ellis, Head of Senior School, said: 

“We have been overwhelmed by the scale of the success here for our students, not just for those who have hit the top grades but also for those who have met (or completely smashed) their own personal targets. There are so many individual stories within these numbers, but as a whole cohort, this is an extraordinary achievement.

"These young people have navigated uncertainty throughout their entire IGCSE programme. Even as they were approaching their mock examinations, contingency plans were still in place for if the exams were cancelled. They showed incredible determination and resilience throughout Year 11 as they undertook additional assessments but what is most incredible is that they did all of this and maintained their commitment to projects and activities outside of the classroom. They still trained, performed, led and had fun; they are a phenomenal group of young people who deserve to be celebrated.”

We will post more I/GCSE results as we receive them.

UK GCSE results roundup

More than 5.7 million GCSEs were sat by students in the UK this year – and just over a quarter of teenagers achieved 7/A or above. 

  • The proportion of students getting the top grades of 7/A and above is 26.3%, lower than 28.9% of 2021 but higher than 20.8% in 2019.
  • 73.2% of students achieved a grade 4/C or higher, which is down from 77.1% in 2021 but up from 67.3% in 2019.
  • Pass rate (1/G) dropped slightly by from 2021, from 99% to 98.4%.

Overall grades are higher than 2019, when exams were last sat: 7/A has increased by 5.5% and 4/C by 5.9%. As expected, grades are lower than 2021, when there was a different method of assessment: 7/A decreased by 2.6% and 4/C by 3.9%.

Kath Thomas, Interim Chief Executive Officer of JCQ said:

“We’re pleased that exams are back, as they’re the fairest way to assess students and give everyone the chance to show what they know. This is the first time in three years that results have been based on formal exams and coursework, so it’s a welcome step back towards normality.

"These results will help them progress to the next stage of their education and make some important decisions about their future. As planned – and as with last week’s A Level results, these results are higher than the last set of summer exams in 2019, but lower than last year’s teacher-assessed grades. This reflects the special arrangements that were put in place to support students, schools and colleges through another challenging year due to Covid.”

Girls continue to outperform boys, with 30% of female entries achieving 7/A, compared with 22.6% of male entries. 76.7% of female entries achieved 4/C, compared with 69.8% of male entries, and 98.8% of female entries achieved 1/G compared with 98.0% of male entries.

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

The following subjects have grown in popularity: Business Studies (+4.6%), Geography (+2.7%) and Biology (+1.3%). 

French remains the most popular modern foreign language (MFL), despite a 1.9% decrease in entries. Spanish remains the second most popular MFL subject, although it has seen a decrease in entries (1.7%) for the first time since 2018. German remains third most popular MFL, despite a decrease of 5.1% in entries.

In England, London and the South East were the top performing regions, with 32.6% and  29.2% entires graded 7/A and above respectively. The North East, the Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber had the lowest number of top grades with around 22% 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 and 2021 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.

Why are GCSE grades important?

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.

GCSE grades in the UK are lower than the last two years but higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

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