GCSEs 2023 – what are the results in Wales?

Published 24/08/2023   |   Reading Time minutes

Earlier today learners all over the country received their GCSE results.

Exams went ahead as normal this year. Unlike last year, there were no adaptations to exams, but learners were given advance notice of some of the themes, topics or content of what would be in the exams. This was intended to help learners focus their revision.

What are the results for summer 2023?

This year’s overall exam results were expected to be lower than last year’s, but higher than 2019’s. In last week’s A level results article, we explained that in the years when exams were cancelled, overall grades were much higher than pre-pandemic. We also explained that 2022 was intended to be a transition year, with results reflecting broadly a midway point between 2021 and 2019.

It was the original intention that this year, there would be a return to the 2019 grading methods used before the disruption caused by COVID-19. However, in Wales, a decision by Qualifications Wales in September 2022 means that overall results in 2023 are intended to be broadly midway between 2019 and 2022, with a return to pre-pandemic grading in 2024. The position in England differs from Wales where results have been based on pre-pandemic grading but with some protection for learners as set out in last week’s article.

Percentage of entries achieving GCSE by grade in Wales, 2023 (provisional)


Number of entries

A/7 or above

C/4 or above

G/1 or above






















Source: Qualifications Wales

The data in the table above shows results for 2023 based on data published by Qualifications Wales. Data is also published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ – a membership organisation comprising the eight largest providers of qualifications in the UK). Data is provisional representing the position at the time that results are issued. Data is subject to checking before final data at national (Wales), local authority and school level is published. The data refers to the number of entries into qualifications and includes learners of all ages.

For the reasons set out above, this year’s results are not directly comparable to previous years.

This year, outcomes are once again higher for females are higher than males:

  • 25.2% of females achieved A/7 or above compared with 18.1% of males.
  • 68.3% of females achieved C/4 or above compared with 61.4% of males.
  • 97.2% of females achieved G/1 or above compared with 96.5% of males.

In England, GCSEs are graded from 9 to 1, These grades are not directly comparable to the A*-G grades used in Wales. Some GCSEs designed for use in England may be taken by learners in Wales. Results published by JCQ for all learners include Wales A*-G GCSEs and the 9-1 GCSEs designed for use in England. As the grade scales do not directly align, results are published for key grades A/7, C/4 and G/1. Although the grades do not align, learners in England achieving the grades of 4 or above was down to 67.8% compared with 73.0% last year and much closer to the results in 2019 where were 67.0%.

Article by Sian Hughes, Senedd Research, Welsh Parliament