The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council (ZIMSEC) has announced the release date for the 2023 Grade 7 results.

According to a statement issued on Friday, the results will be available to the public next week.

In the communique, ZIMSEC confirmed that the results will be released on December 1, 2023, at 12 noon.

“The Zimbabwe School Examinations Council will release the 2023 Grade 7 Examination Results to the nation on Friday, the 1st of December 2023 at 12 noon,” reads part of the communique.

The Grade 7 students started their exams on September 25, 2023, and wrapped up by October 9.

Last year’s pass rate saw a slight dip at 40.09%, just below the previous year’s 41.13%. Interestingly, the 2022 results showcased girls performing better than boys by a 7.4-percentage point difference.

Stats from last year indicated a 1.04% decrease in the national pass rate, dropping from 41.13% in 2021 to 40.09%. However, there was a notable 5.4% rise in the number of exam takers.

In 2022, a total of 343,169 candidates sat for the Grade 7 exams, marking a 5.4% increase compared to the 325,573 candidates in 2021, signifying an additional 17,596 candidates.

Among these, 177,466 were females, while 165,703 were males. Female candidates held a 43.66% pass rate, whereas their male counterparts stood at 36.22%, with females notably outshining males.

The results highlighted a strong performance in indigenous languages.

However, the pass rate for students with special needs dropped by almost 24%. In 2022, 323 candidates with special needs sat for exams, with 208 writing six subjects and 91 hard-of-hearing candidates attempting five subjects. The pass rate for special needs candidates in 2022 was 30.43%, compared to 54.88% in 2021.

Before the 2023 Grade 7 exams commenced, Taungana Ndoro, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education’s director of communications and advocacy, expressed optimism about surpassing the 2022 pass rate.

“We actually expect a higher pass rate than the previous year’s pass rate, which was around 40 percent. This year, we are expecting to shoot way above that,”