Shropshire Star

Exam entries: German continues decline in popularity but computing soars

Total entries for this summer’s GCSE and A-level exams have risen.

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German, music and drama are continuing to fall in popularity at both GCSE and A-level, according to the latest provisional exam entry figures for England.

Art and design subjects have also shown a drop, but computing has seen a sharp increase, with A-level entries up 15% on last year and up 65% since 2019.

The overall number of entries for this summer’s exams for both GCSE and A-levels has risen, according to figures published on Thursday by exams regulator Ofqual.

GCSE provisional entries have increased by 3.6% from 5,349,250 in summer 2022 to 5,543,840 this summer, while A-level entries have risen by 2.3% from 788,125 last summer to 806,410.

Entries for German A-level are provisionally down 17%, from 2,675 last summer to 2,210 this summer, and have dropped by almost a quarter (24%) since 2019.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Spanish and French also appear to be falling out of fashion, with A-level entries for both subjects down 13% year-on-year.

Performing arts A-level entries have dropped by almost a fifth (19%), from 1,175 in 2022 to 955 this summer, and are down 12% on 2019 figures.

Music and drama have both fallen by 7% year-on-year.

The picture is similar at GCSE level, where entries for performing arts are down 16% on 2022 and 26% on 2019.

Music and drama GCSE entries are both down 14% on 2019, with music seeing a 12% fall year-on-year and drama down 7%.

Entries for art and design subjects are down 3% year-on-year for both A-levels and GCSEs.

German entries at GCSE have fallen by a fifth since 2019 and are down 6% from last year, dropping from 36,000 to 33,945.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

But the picture is more positive for Spanish, where GCSE entries are provisionally up 5% since 2022 and up 20% since 2019.

Last summer saw English literature fall out of the top 10 most popular subjects at A-level for the first time.

Provisional figures for this year show a slight rise of 3% in entries, up to 34,000 from 32,910 last summer, though entries are down 9% since 2019.

The boom in computing among A-level students is mirrored at GCSE level, though on a smaller scale: entries are up 12% year-on-year and have risen 13% since 2019.

Last year saw more students choose to study computing at GCSE than PE for the first time since the technology-based subject was introduced.

This year, entries for GCSE PE are up 5% since 2022, but down 8% on 2019.

Another subject enjoying an ongoing rise in popularity is business studies, with provisional GCSE entries up 27% since 2019 and A-level entries up 34%.

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