A-level results drop for the second year in a row
The number of people achieving top grades in their A-level examinations has dropped for the second year in a row. Previously, the number of students achieving A* or A grades had risen steadily year on year.
Kevin Stannard, of the Girls’ Day School Trust, was worried by the trend. He said: “We are concerned to see that, nationally, there has been a fall in the top grades once again, suggesting that the exam boards have introduced measures to control these. Examinations should hold no surprises: their role is to validate candidates’ ability and hard work. A pupil’s results should not depend on which year they sat the exam in, which subjects they studied, and which exam board’s syllabus they followed.”
Over 300,000 A-level students in the United Kingdom are finding out their results, which will determine whether they will be going to their university of choice this year. 26.3% of pupils were given A or A* grades, a fall from 2012’s figure of 26.6%.
Brian Lightman, the general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said that today’s events showed that A-levels results were “stable” and that “minor fluctuations” in grades were not out of the ordinary.
However, the university admissions body, UCAS, has revealed that there have been a record number of students accepted to their university of choice this year despite the dip. By midnight last night, 385,910 students had been accepted – 31,600 more than at the same time last year. This is believed to be due to governmental reforms which now allow universities to accept as many extra students with results of ABB or above as they wish to.
Last year, this cap was set at AAB, though universities are given limits for the number of undergraduates they can recruit with lower results. Many of the students who did not achieve the results they were looking today for are opting to go to university through clearing – a process that matches students to spare university places.