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Wednesday, 18 August, 1999, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
GCSE results better than ever
student
Over 30,000 anxious NI students received their GCSE results
More students have achieved top grades in GCSE examinations in Northern Ireland this year.

The 1999 results for Northern Ireland show an increase in students achieving grades A* to C from 67.9% last year to 69.9% this year.

Last year had produced a dip in the upward trend, but the new figure is better even than the 68.1% of candidates who got the top grades in 1997.

success
Pupils have waited all summer for their results
The percentage of entries gaining A* grades has also risen, from 4.4% in 1998 to 5.3% in 1999.

And 97.6% of all the exams set by the council resulted in a pass grade at some level, up from 97% last year.

"This is good news for students, teachers and parents who have worked in partnership to achieve such remarkable results," said the director of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA), Dr Alastair Walker.

He made the comment as over 30,000 pupils in Northern Ireland were getting their examination results. The results for England and Wales are out on 26 August.

Good news all round

However, Dr Walker said it was too easy to focus simply on the top end of the results statistics.

"While many young people have achieved at the top end of the scale, others will have achieved lower grades," he said.

"Behind every subject grade there is a young life with potential waiting to be realised."

Results are issued in the form of eight grades from A* to G, in descending order of merit. The A* grade is only awarded to candidates achieving the highest standards.

graph
The graph shows the percentage of candidates getting various grades

For the first time, some GCSE students will be given feedback on all their tests.

Some 11 schools are taking part in a pilot scheme which could lead to all students being able to have their scripts returned.

Exam Results '99
The GCE A level and AS level results will be issued to candidates on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the CCEA is providing an examinations helpline for students and parents who have queries about their GCSE and A level results.

The number is 01232 261260. The service is available until Friday 27 August.

Callers to the helpline can gain information on the issue of results, how to go about getting their grades checked and find out about the special accelerated service for GCE A level students who wish to query their results.

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Mary McGuigan of the Training & Employment Agency offers advice
See also:

26 Aug 99 | exams99
18 Aug 99 | exams99
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