Provisional entries for the summer 2023 exam series

Official statistics have been released showing the provisional number of exam entries in Wales for the summer 2023 exam series.

In 2022, learners sat formal exams and assessments for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and this summer, the journey back to pre-pandemic GCSE, AS and A level arrangements continues.  

During the pandemic period, entries for GCSEs, AS levels and A levels in Wales increased, with GCSE and AS entries peaking in 2021, while A level entries peaked in 2022 

Overall entries for GCSE entries decreased last year and have continued to decrease this year, so are now just 0.7% higher than 2019 entries.  

Subject choices 

At AS and A level, learners seem to be entering many of the STEM subjects (such as mathematics, further mathematics, biology, chemistry, computer science and physics) in greater numbers than they were in 2019. Entries in A level and AS Psychology have seen large increases since 2019 and this is now the third largest subject by entry size. Entries in some traditional academic subjects like history and religious studies have reduced. Entries in A level Welsh Language and A level Welsh Second Language have also reduced (but with an increase in AS Welsh Language).  

At GCSE, the largest decreases in entries this year, compared to last year, are in GCSE English Literature and GCSE Mathematics - Numeracy. For GCSE Mathematics - Numeracy the decrease is mainly due to fewer learners in Year 11 entering the summer series. However, this qualification is also awarded in the November series and the entries from Year 11 in that series have increased. The entry from learners in Year 10 or below in the subject has only decreased slightly from a peak in 2021 and remains substantially higher than in 2019.   

For GCSE English Literature, there had been large and increasing entries for Year 10s and below between 2018 and 2022, but this year the entry from that age group has decreased (although it still remains the subject with the largest entry from Year 10s and below). The smaller Year 11 entry in the subject this summer is a reflection of the large numbers that entered the qualification in Year 10 in 2022.    

New qualifications this year 

This summer also sees the first award of the new built environment and digital technology GCSEs and AS level qualifications, with the digital technology qualifications attracting larger entries. GCSE Digital Technology has 5,575 entries with 550 entries at AS level, whereas GCSE Built Environment has 135 entries and 10 entries for at AS level. 


For more detailed information, read our full report and good luck to all learners currently sitting exams.