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Rise in the number of girls taking GCSE Computing exams in 2022

During 2022 there was a spike in the number of female students choosing to take the GCSE Computer Science exam, with numbers returning to 2019 levels after two consecutive years of decline.

The number of candidates who studied GCSE computer science reached 17,264 this year, which is on par with the results of 2019, when 17,158 sat exams in the subject.

In the intervening years of 2020 and 2021, the number of female students studying the subject fell to 16,919 and 16,549 respectively, prompting calls from industry experts for more to be done to encourage young women to study computing. and pursue careers in the fields of science and technology. , engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The number of male students studying the subject remained roughly the same as in 2021, when 63,415 sat the GCSE Computing exams, while this year 63,856 were counted.

Overall, the number of students studying the subject increased from 79,964 in 2021 to 81,120 this year, which can only be attributed to the increase in the number of female students studying the subject.

For both genders, there was a marked year-on-year decrease in the number of students achieving 7/A from a high of 39.7% in 2021 to 34.1% this year, which is in line with other subjects , as noted. by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ).

The organization said results were higher overall in 2022 compared to 2019, but were lower than 2021 because last year’s results were based on teacher evaluations rather than tests.

As in previous years, female students continue to outperform their male counterparts in computer science, with 40.6% of girls earning a 7/A compared to 32.3% of boys taking the subject.

Julia Adamson, director of education at BCS, Chartered Institute of IT, said the increase in the number of female students taking the GCSE Computing exam was cause for celebration, but not for complacency.

“It’s fantastic news that girls continue to score in computer science at similar levels to previous years and do well,” she said. “However, we cannot be complacent and we need to see more girls studying this exciting and creative subject.

“One thing we have all learned during the pandemic is that digital skills are vital for everyone, they provide the tools to actively participate in society, help career prospects and improve the UK economy in the long term.

“I hope that many of today’s students will continue to lend their expertise in this subject matter and I wish them every success in their future endeavours,” said Adamson.

Year-over-year increases

Outside of computer science, year-over-year increases were reported in the number of students taking exams in biology (1.3%), physics (1%), dual-prize science (0.9%) and chemistry (0.6 %) compared to 2021, which was accompanied by better results in all these topics compared to 2019.

However, warning signs have been raised about the decline in the number of students taking exams in other core STEM subjects, with a 1.58% drop in the number of students in Engineering, ICT, Mathematics, Mathematics Advanced and Physics this year.

These numbers are a sign that more work needs to be done to encourage young people to get involved in STEM subjects if there is any hope of closing the skills gap, said Agata Nowakowska, area vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Skillsoft online education provider.

“As the UK’s economic future depends on closing the skills gap, these figures highlight the need for further investment in initiatives to support and encourage young people to enter the sector,” he said.

“Schools and businesses need to work together to showcase the career paths available and offer young people a clear way to gain the life skills they need,” Nowakowska said. “It is also essential to support organizations such as In2scienceEN, who are working to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get into STEM. At the end of the day, investing in youth is an investment in the future.”

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