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Record number of university places as top grades drop slightly


This year’s A-level results have shown a slight drop in top grades awarded to students, but a record number have won a place at university, UCAS has revealed.

The pass rate remained the same as last year, at 98.1 per cent, while there was a 0.1 per cent fall in the proportion of A* and A grades achieved, at 25.8 per cent.

For all candidates across the UK, 8.1 per cent received A*s, which was down 0.1 per cent compared to last year.

There was a 3 per cent increase on university places being offered on A-level results day, compared with in 2015, with 424,000 offered. However, many places are still predicted to be available through clearing, even for the more prestigious universities.

Once again, girls outperformed boys, although the gender gap closed slightly. For girls, 79.7 per cent achieved grades A* to C, while 75 per cent of boys managed this feat.

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “A-level results day is the culmination of months of hard work for students and teachers and everyone involved deserves credit.

“Our exam and curriculum reforms will build on those achievements and ensure pupils have the knowledge and skills that will help them secure a university place, apprenticeships or a great job.”

Maths was the most popular A-level paper sat by students, ahead of English and Biology. Meanwhile, entries for Foreign Modern Languages (FML) continued to drop, with a 6 per cent decrease in the number of people taking French.