A-levels: proportion of students in England getting C or above falls

Results in England drop, with many blaming the recent changes in exams, but the picture is better in Wales and Northern Ireland.

Placeholder
In England boys continued to receive slightly more A and A* grades than girls.

The proportion of students in England gaining C grades or above in their A-levels fell this year, as schools and students contended with the introduction of new, more intensive exams.

Last year, when less of the new style exams were taken, 79% of girls in England achieved grades C or above. This year the proportion fell back to 78.4%, while the proportion of boys achieving the same results fell back by a smaller amount, down 0.3%.

However, at the top end, the gap between boys and girls in England receiving an A or A* narrowed from 0.7% to 0.4%.

In England boys continued to receive slightly more A and A* grades than girls. 26.4% of boys sitting exams across all subjects received an A grade or higher, compared with 26% of girls. But the gap shrank, as the number of boys awarded A* dropped from 8.9% to 8.5%, while the proportion of girls was almost unchanged at 7.6%.

The number of students accepted on to UK degree courses has fallen this year according to UCAS. So far, 411,860 students are taking up places, they said, one percentage point less than at the same time last year.

Last year, when less of the new style exams were taken, 79% of girls in England achieved grades C or above. This year the proportion fell back to 78.4%, while the proportion of boys achieving the same results fell back by a smaller amount, down 0.3%.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We reformed A-levels after universities told us they were failing to prepare students for higher education.

“Reducing the number of exams students have to sit will give them more time for study and to gain a deeper understanding of the courses they are studying, an essential skill for undergraduate study.”

It was different in Wales, where exams were not subject to the same changes. For the second year in a row students here enjoyed better than expected results, with the proportion awarded A*-C grades rising above 76%. It was the best set of results since 2009. The proportion awarded an A or above also went up, from 25% to 26.3%, with strong performances among both boys and girls.

The changes in England mean new A-levels involve no coursework in most cases, and instead rely on final exam marks to determine grades.

 

 

Like what you're reading?

We hate spam, so we'll only ever send stuff relevant to you.