Students across the region will be picking up their GCSE results from school today.
Educational experts are predicting that almost seven in 10 GCSEs nationally could be awarded at least a C grade this year.
This is down to students taking more alternative international courses this year and fewer being entered for exams early.
Last year, just over two thirds, 68.8% of entries scored at least a C grade, up 0.7 percentage points on 2013.
Exam reforms introduced in England under the coalition government, such as the decision that only a candidate's first attempt at a qualification will count in school league tables, will also continue to affect results.