The pass rate for GCSE exams is at a record high. The results, announced this week, show a 0.4 per cent increase in grades A to C, the grades said to be equivalent to a pass in the old O level. There was a rise of 0.3 per cent for grades A-star and A. Overall entries to the exams were down by 1.1 per cent to 5,415,176. The results for the pilot GNVQ part one, the vocational equivalent of the GCSE, also released this week, have been deemed a success.