A level results reveal that students continue to achieve top grades, despite changes to exam papers

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21st August 2017 10:48 - Education

A level results reveal that students continue to achieve top grades, despite changes to exam papers: Yesterday, A-level results from England, Wales and Northern Ireland revealed that over one quarter of students in the UK were awarded top grades.

Excluding Scotland, 26.3 per cent of UK students achieved A* - As in their A-levels; with male students performing better than female students. A level results reveal that students continue to achieve top grades, despite changes to exam papers

This has been the first time in six years since there has been a rise in A-level results, as compared to last year’s statistics, the number of students achieving top grades has increased by 0.5 per cent.

In addition, 26.6 per cent of male students and 26.1 per cent of female students achieved these grades - resulting in the boys outperforming the girls for the first time in 17 years.

However, subjects that have taken on the ‘new-style’ exam papers have seen a 0.7 per cent decrease in students achieving top grades. Some of these subjects include psychology, biology and English.

With coursework and AS level results soon to be disregarded as a contributing factor to overall A-level grades, students are under a greater amount of pressure to achieve high grades in their final exams.

Additionally, a Student Room survey revealed that A-level students are also worrying about the lack of text books and practice papers that cover the content of the new-style exams.

However, exam boards have stated that the decrease in some exam results is a reflection of lower-achieving candidates, as opposed to more challenging exams.

In reference to the new style papers, the Head of Education at the Policy Exchange said that the new exam papers were put in place to stop students from experiencing the painful process of re-sitting exams.

The Director of Research and compliance at AQA added: "We do sympathise and understand it's an anxious time for students who are the first to go into these first qualifications."

School Minister Nick Gibb reassured students by stating: “We want everyone, regardless of background, to be able to fulfil their potential and for many, A levels are the pathway to a university degree.”

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