About 870 students from the island’s five state secondary schools – plus pupils from King William’s College – will find out their GCSE results and other equivalent qualifications such as BTECs today (Thursday).
These are one of the end products of two years of study in key stage four (years 10 and 11).
In England, exams regulator Ofqual has indicated that schools can expect to see ‘much greater than normal variation in this summer’s results’.
Ofqual head Glenys Stacey has said it will be ‘harder for schools to compare this year’s results with previous years’.
Department of Education and Children co-ordinating adviser for 11-19 education Paul Craine said: ‘This year in a reversal of trend over the past few years, GCSE results will be largely linear with no aggregation of module scores on any of the English GCSE examination boards.
‘This has been the biggest change to GCSEs in England so far under the coalition government. There has still been an element of controlled assessment included in the GCSEs but the balance has shifted slightly and many students obtaining GCSE results may have sat more written examinations in one session than any previous year group.’
Mr Craine added: ‘Pupils and teachers have been aware of these changes and have worked exceptionally hard to deliver success under these new rules. There has been considerable emphasis on revision and exam preparation and schools have maintained a focus on high aspirations.’
The results will open doors both for further study, perhaps progression onto level 3 qualifications (such as A levels and Level 3 BTEC awards) in sixth forms or at Isle of Man College, or for employment.
Mr Craine said: ‘It is vital that students receiving results have thought through their options and are ready to seek advice from schools, from Isle of Man College or from the Careers Service.
‘It is also important for students trying to make use of their results to secure work or study places to reflect on the wide range of other skills that schools have been working to help them develop - readiness, resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness, relationships, remembering. These dispositions will be as important in the week ahead as the qualifications themselves.’
In 2013 the A* to G pass rate in the DEC’s schools was at a high of 99.3 per cent.
Education Minister Tim Crookall announced last month the DEC wasn’t following English exam system changes and would adopt International GCSEs.
Pupils who begin Year 10 in September 2015 will be the first to sit IGCSE examinations on a large scale, though they are currently used in a few subjects in some schools.
The DEC will issue a statement this afternoon, outlining an overview of results.