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Yesterday similar scenes emerged at schools across the country as pupils anxiously waited to receive their GCSE results.

Results were released at 10:00 with the first increase in 3 years of the proportion of students achieving an A*-C grade, rising from 68.1% last year to 68.8% in 2014.

Biology was the most popular single science GCSE, with 141,900 entries, compared to 138,238 taking chemistry and 137,227 taking physics. Biology saw a great 90.3% of students achieving A*-C, which is an increase on last year's 89.8%. There was also an impressive 99.9% pass rate (A*-G).

The single sciences all saw large decreases in entry numbers this year; physics, chemistry and biology decreasing by 14.6%, 16.7% and 18.6% respectively.

This decline, the first in over 10 years, although initially alarming, could be explained by a combination of factors.

It is important to note that there was a 4.3% reduction in GCSE entries overall this year.

2014 also saw the introduction of the 'first result counts' rule, so many 15 year olds may have decided not to take biology, or either of the other single sciences, a year early. There was a significant fall in the number of 15 year old GCSE candidates overall (down 39.9% to 489,190).

There was another system change this year in a move to linear assessment which may have also impacted on subject choices.

A new GCSE, Further Additional Science, was taken by 21,119 pupils. This new qualification provides a different pathway for students to study the same content as the separate science GCSEs and obtain three science GCSEs. The Society of Biology will be monitoring how the system changes play out in the coming years.

The Society would like to give congratulations to everyone who received their GCSE results yesterday and we hope to see many students continue to study biology in the future!

The careers pages can provide lots of advice if you are interested in a career in the biological sciences.

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