This year was notable since it was the year that GCSE students sat exams under normal conditions following the pandemic. As such we will compare their results with the 2019 cohort as well as those that sat exams in 2021.


The total number of girls sitting exams across the STEM subjects as a whole rose from 1,123,181 in 2019 to 1,159,207 in 2022. For these subjects, with the exception of Maths, Physics, Other Sciences and Statistics, girls out-performed their male counterparts with more higher grades awarded. There was a noticeable increase in girls achieving the highest grades in engineering between 2019-2022, with a significant increase of 20.5%  compared with 2019.

The top grades

Overall in 2022 there were fewer A-A* results than in 2021, but there were more of these passes across the board than in 2019. Grades are now awarded as numbers rather than letters (ie. A*, A, B, etc), meaning the following results are grades 7, 8 and 9 – the equivalent of A and A*.

Here are the grade results analysed in more detail:


The number of girls taking computing as a percentage of the total was almost unchanged in 2022 compared with 2019, at 21.3% compared with 21.4%.

Design and Technology

The number of girls taking design and technology as a percentage of the total dropped slightly in 2022 compared with 2019 to 29.5% compared with 29.8%.


The number of girls taking engineering as a percentage of the total increased significantly between 2019 and 2022 from 10.3% of the total to 16.8%. This is from a low base though, with just 428 girl students sitting the exam this year compared with 355 in 2019.

To conclude

When compared with 2019, the number of girls achieving the highest grades in GCSE STEM subjects were universally up and although they were largely down on 2021, we should probably regard this as an anomaly since most students submitted coursework and did not sit exams during the pandemic.