This year A-Level results have surged to a new high leading to a record number of students getting their first choice university.
Results published on Tuesday show 44.8 per cent per cent of A-levels were awarded an A or A* after exams were cancelled and teachers graded their own students.
The huge increase in top grades has created intense pressure on universities, with those students who narrowly miss their grades facing a clearing battle.
The results, published by exam boards, show that in the UK:
- 44.8 per cent of A-levels were graded A or A*. This is a 16 per cent increase on last year when 38.6 per cent of grades were given top marks. And a 75 per cent rise on the 2019 results – the last year that exams were taken.
- Girls pulled further ahead of boys, with 46.9 per cent of their grades given A or A* compared with 42.1 per cent of boys. And for the first time girls got more A*s in maths than boys. It comes after suggestions that boys suffered most from exams being cancelled.
- Teenagers in London scored the best results in the country – with 47.9 per cent of grades scoring A or A*. This is an increase of 7.1 percentage points on last year and the biggest increase of any region. The lowest scoring region was the North East, where 39.2 per cent of results were the top grades.
- Maths was the most popular subject, with 97,690 entries, making up 11.8 per cent of the total exams taken. Psychology was the second most popular with 71,235 entries, making up 8.6 per cent of the total.
- The overall pass rate was 99.5 per cent – a drop of 0.2 percentage points compared to last year.
Clare Marchant, UCAS Chief Executive said: “Its excellent that more students than ever have secured their first choice of course. Every year, there is a minority of students who don’t get their first choice and UCAS and universities are here to support them find the right course through our services such as Clearing Plus. There is a lot of choice in Clearing with nearly 30,000 courses available. At the most selective courses and universities, Clearing will be competitive, especially in the coming days, and we’re ready to help students online, over the phone and through social media.
“We know that many young people are looking at all of their options, with over three quarters of those who haven’t applied through UCAS saying they’re interested in an apprenticeship. Through our trusted, engaging, and timely information and advice, such as our CareerFinder service, we’re helping everyone discover what their next step could be.”