- Top GCSE grades are falling but remain above pre-pandemic levels
- How GCSEs are graded: By replacing letters with letters
- The gender gap in academic achievement is at its smallest since 2009
- The popularity of music is declining as the number of students in business studies increases
- What can you do if you did not get the expected results?
- Live coverage byJosephine FrancosyLaura Russell
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If you got your results today, we hope you got the grades you've been dreaming of, but if not, know that there will still be options for you and there will be people to talk to about it.
Before you go, here's a recap of what happened today:
A teenager celebrates her nine GCSEs after graduation due to cancer
Seb Murphy was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three and has struggled with serious health issues since, but today he celebrated winning nine GCSEs.
The 16-year-old from Leeds said it had been a "really tough journey".
“The support of my family, friends and school gave me strength and I received a lot of support and good care at the hospital.
"I just take everything one day at a time."
Seb is celebrating getting 9's, five 8's and three 7's out of nine GCSEs and will now pass his A's in Psychology, Business, History and English Literature.
In 2018, he received a life-saving stem cell transplant, but his immune system was destroyed and he missed school for 18 months during treatment and recovery.
During the pandemic, he kept up with lessons at Bradford Grammar School thanks to a robot that attended lessons for him and transmitted the events to his tablet at home.
He still struggles with health issues and has only about a third of his normal lung capacity, which affects his stamina and energy levels.
Top five tips for navigating results day
After months of hard work, checking and exams that seemed endless, the day of the results announcement can be quite daunting.
Even after opening the envelope, you may feel lost and unsure of what to do next.
Fortunately, the UK-based charity Mental Health Foundation has provided top five tips for initial results and time after.
1. Reserve time for a moment for yourself
Work through the day and find time for yourself.
2. Make a plan after opening the results.
Have something to look forward to, no matter what it is. As 16-year-old Emily Farrar said, "Now it's time to party."
3. Talk to your friends about how you feel.
When you're ready, it can be helpful to talk to someone about how you're feeling, whether they're friends, family, or someone else.
4. Know that you did everything you could
Try to accept your results.
5. Be proud of yourself
Be proud of yourself and your hard work and remember that you are worth more than your grades.
Get students involved in learning Spanish: could holidays be the reason?
Registrations in Spanish have increased this summer (11.3% more than in 2022), and holiday habits are a possible reason.
In fact, Spanish may be on track to overtake French as the most popular GCSE language if its popularity continues to grow at the same rate.
Claire Thomson, from the AQA exam board, said students could choose the language because it was perceived as easier to learn.
"Grammar and pronunciation can be a bit easier at lower levels than French and German, for example," she says.
“I think there are also more social issues, for example it is a popular holiday destination for many families, so students can identify with it more.
"It's considered very important worldwide: about 400 million people speak the language."
British billionaire advises on results day
Perhaps one of Britain's most successful businessmen is Richard Branson, who on the day of the results gave advice to students who might be feeling "depressed".
“Being different is your greatest asset. Curiosity, instinct, hard work and kindness will determine your success in life, not just your grades," Branson wrote on X this morning (previously on Twitter).
Like around six million people in the UK, Branson suffers from dyslexia.
In collaboration with charity Made By Dyslexia, the 73-year-old wants to show that you don't need to pass exams to make a difference.
"If it wasn't for my dyslexia, I wouldn't go out into the world to try and create things that interest me," he said.
Decline in GCSE enrollment in Wales 'not a cause for concern': Education Minister
Fewer GCSEs have been awarded in Wales this year compared to last year, but the Welsh education minister told a Welsh journalistThomas Evansthis is no cause for concern.
Jeremy Miles told Sky News that the decline for the second year in a row was "not surprising" after previous years of high consumption.
"I think one of the factors behind this year is a reduction in some positions entering the market earlier," he said.
“In the past, young people took some exams in their tenth year, but I think it was less this year.
"I don't think the numbers are cause for concern.
"The level of skill varies from year to year and I think that, given the experience of the last few years, it has been really exceptional."
However, Shadow Education Minister Laura Anne Jones of the Welsh Conservatives disagreed, calling the decline "disturbing".
"The decline in test enrollment is particularly significant among children from disadvantaged backgrounds," he said.
Excited for the future after being nervous on results day
Here are some students who are now confirming their plans for the future after receiving their results.
Farjad Khan, a student at Kingsley Academy in Hounslow, says after today's battle with nerves his performance was "better than I expected".
He scored seven sevens, one 6, one 5 and one 4. He takes Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at A level with a plan to study medicine.
"I feel happy and excited about the future," he said.
Patrick Gomes intends to study sports at the university at level three after getting grades 8, about 5, 4 and 3.
"I want a career in boxing, so if that doesn't work out, I'll go into sports," he said.
The impact of Covid-19 was "difficult," he said, "but we made it."
Restaurants that distribute food to students on results day
Students who had the stress of getting results today will be able to get free meals at some restaurant chains.
Here are some places where you can celebrate (or sympathize)...
Students can pick up a free 1/4 chicken or main course upon presentation of their student ID and register scores.
You have to spend £7 or more and place your order at the counter to eat in or pick up on site at one of their restaurants.
Frankie i Benny
Those who show their exam results will be able to get free pizza and Coca-Cola.
Free pizza margherita (vegan and gluten free options available) and regular coke (Cola Zero, Regular Coke, Diet Coke).
If you show the test results, you can get a free slice of garlic tortilla and a plain Coke.
Students can get 23% off meals today, but must join the Stripes Rewards loyalty program to qualify.
If you put your email address on the websiteHereYou can get a discount code for 30% off your groceries today.
You will need to provide proof of receipt of GCSE scores on your server and purchase at least one large adult product.
Offer not available at Center Parcs locations or restaurants in Edinburgh Hanover, Edinburgh Northbridge, Inverness and Portsmouth.
Students can get free garlic and rosemary bread, classic margherita pizza or spaghetti pomodoro if they show proof of age and valid test scores.
There is a minimum spend of £7 per person.
If you bring your student ID and proof of scores, you can get a free dessert with any main course purchase.
Iranian student receives results after only six months of study
Parna Aghababaei Darian comes from Iran.
Since February, after moving from Türkiye, he has been staying at Kingsley Academy in Hounslow.
He got 5 in math, 4 in science, 3 in language and 3 in geography.
"I feel fine," he says.
“I think I could have done a little better with the language. From February until now, I've been giving my best.
“I've been to Turkey before; the pandemic hit me because I didn't like learning online."
After the sixth grade, she will go to medical school, where she will study chemistry, biology or physics and mathematics.
The achievement gap between the North and the South has "taken a step back", admits the Secretary of Education
As previously reported, this year's GCSE results show a clear gap in achievement, particularly between the north and south of England.
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, however, dismissed suggestions the high school gap was widening, though she admitted she had "taken a step back" in recent years.
"The achievement gap has actually narrowed significantly from 2010 to the pre-pandemic period," he said during a visit to Paddington Academy in west London.
“We managed to fall by 9.1%, which was a great result and we are very happy with that.
“Now she has taken a step back from the pandemic. We have invested £5bn to catch up. Nearly four million remedial mentoring courses have been delivered and today you can see evidence of economic recovery in the results.”
Earlier, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and University Leaders, suggested that the government had not invested enough in renewing education after the pandemic and had failed to address high levels of child poverty in the UK.