Boys help to raise A-level grades

High A-level grades have elevated for the primary time in six years, as youngsters in England, Wales and Northern Eire get their outcomes.

A* and A grades have been awarded to 26.three% of entries – up by zero.5 proportion factors in contrast with final yr – with boys overtaking ladies in high grades.

There was a fall within the high grades for 13 topics in England with new content material and now assessed solely by ultimate exams.

The variety of college locations allotted thus far has dropped this yr.

In A* and A grades, boys have moved forward of ladies, with 26.6% of boys getting these outcomes in contrast with 26.1% of ladies, reversing a zero.three% hole final yr.

The change is important as a result of ladies outperform boys at each stage of their schooling, and have been performing higher on the high grades at A-levels for 17 years.

It has been steered by consultants that modifications to A-level exams would favour boys, as they’re regarded as much less eager on coursework and to carry out nicely in exams.

Nevertheless, ladies and boys are on a par on the high grades within the newly modified exams, with 24.three% amongst each genders attaining As and A*s.

Examination boards cautioned towards studying an excessive amount of into the outcomes too quickly.

  • 26.6% of boys received A* and A grades

  • 26.1% of ladies did the identical

  • 97.9% of pupils received A* to E passes


‘Purchaser’s market’

As outcomes have been being obtained, the Ucas admissions physique mentioned 416,000 college locations had thus far been confirmed – down 2% on the identical level final yr.

College functions from the UK and European Union international locations have fallen in contrast with final yr and there’s a demographic dip within the variety of 18 yr olds.

Many universities, together with within the prestigious Russell Group, will nonetheless have locations on provide via the clearing system, which matches folks on the lookout for locations with vacancies on programs.

Grenfell fireplace

Pupils at a secondary college near the Grenfell Tower fireplace in London obtained their AS-level outcomes.

4 pupils from Kensington Aldridge academy died within the fireplace and 50 have been made homeless.

However on this yr’s outcomes, greater than 40% of the pupils achieved A to B grades.

Head trainer David Benson mentioned: “The pupils have been unimaginable.”

Modifications to the system in England imply 13 A-level topics this yr have been determined solely by ultimate exams, with no hyperlink to coursework or AS-levels taken after the primary yr of examine.

The general outcomes stay broadly just like final yr, with over 1 / 4 of entries receiving high grades. The proportion of the best A* grades has nudged up by zero.2% to eight.three%. The general A* to E go fee is marginally down at 97.9%.

However in these new-style A-level topics, together with historical past, English, psychology, physics, chemistry and biology, there have been zero.7% fewer A* and A grades general. Some 24.three% of entries attained the highest grades in these topics.

Examination boards mentioned the autumn in outcomes mirrored a lower-achieving group of candidates, somewhat than the exams being made “more difficult”.

In earlier years, when extra candidates sat AS ranges as the primary stage of the examination, some poorer performing pupils would have been “weeded out”, mentioned Mark Bedlow, director of regulation at examination board OCR.

Chief of the ASCL head lecturers’ union, Geoff Barton, mentioned that when AS-levels now not contributed to ultimate A-level grades, faculties have been more and more prone to abandon the examination.

AS-level entries have fallen by greater than 40% this yr, and Mr Barton mentioned he regretted this “narrowing” of choices.

Testing new exams

However modifications to A-level exams, together with up to date content material, have been defended by John Blake, head of schooling on the Coverage Trade assume tank.

He mentioned they’d been designed to finish a tradition inside faculties of pupils repeatedly resitting exams to get the perfect grade. This was painful and time-consuming for lecturers and pupils, he claimed.

“It led to much less educating time and made it more durable to get a correct grasp of the topic.”

However there have been considerations from pupils who’ve been the primary to take these revised exams.

A survey of A-level college students from the Scholar Room web site discovered worries a couple of lack of textbooks and apply papers for the brand new fashion of exams.

Alex Scharaschkin, director of analysis and compliance at AQA board, mentioned: “We do sympathise and perceive it is an anxious time for college kids who’re the primary to enter these first .”

He mentioned some teams of pupils may have tailored to the modifications simply, whereas others would have discovered it harder.

Colleges minister Nick Gibb mentioned: “We wish everybody, no matter background, to have the ability to fulfil their potential and for a lot of, A ranges are the pathway to a college diploma.

“The rise in entries to facilitating topics, those who give college students the best alternative of choices at college, imply much more younger folks may have entry to all of the alternatives larger schooling gives.

“There was a robust uptake in core topics, resembling maths, which continues to be the preferred A degree with maths and additional maths having almost 25 per cent extra entries than in 2010.”

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Revealed at Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:22:17 +0000