Today’s A- Level results day has seen university acceptances across the UK down by 2%, whilst 2017 boasts the first increase in top A* and A grades achieved for the last six years. For the first time in seven years, boys have performed academically better in achieving the top marks, with the gap between boys and girls amounting to 0.5%.
University acceptances were down by 2% this year. Despite this, UCAS has stated that 2017 has seen the second highest number of university acceptances ever recorded, with over 416,000 students awarded a place at a UK university thus far.
In most subjects, the proportion of A* and A grades increased to 26.3%. This 0.5% point increase on last year establishes 2017 as the first year in the last six to mark an improvement in the percentage receiving these grades. Conversely, the pass rate in grades fell to 97.9%, an exact 0.2% point fall.
Boys have gained a higher proportion of the top grades than girls, with a 0.5% disparity between the sexes. Boys achieved 26.6% A* and A grades compared to girls, who achieved 26.1%. This is considered a significant change in statistics, as last year girls held the advantage over boys by 0.3%.
This is the first year of results obtained from the 13 subjects which have undergone the restructuring of the A-Level process. The reforms were implemented by former Education Secretary Michael Gove. The elimination of AS-Levels with the other new modifications have been cited as the main potential factor for the adjustments in various statistics pertaining to student performance.
Such a change has been identified in English Literature and Language, where the percentage of students achieving a C grade or higher decreased by 3% since last year. Within the statistics regarding the reformed subjects, A*s and A grades have decreased by 0.7% points from 2016. The full implementation of the remaining A-Level course structures is set to be completed by 2020.
Photograph by City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College via Flickr and Creative Commons