So, it’s the “Big Day” again. Shouts of excitement and “high 5s” are juxtaposed with tears and worry. Facebook is going into overdrive. Futures are secured for some, while others face uncertainty. Overall, A-level grades have edged down this year, as pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their results.
Overall, there has been a slight fall in A* and A grades and the pass rate is down for the first time in over 30 years. Exam officials say the results of this year’s A-levels are broadly “stable”, but for the third successive year the A* and A grades have fallen slightly – down from 26.3% to 26%. There were also marginal falls in the proportion of entries in the A* to B grades. But the very highest A* grade has risen from 7.6% to 8.2%.
26% received grade A or A* – down 0.3 percentage points from last year
98% overall pass rate – down 0.1% from last year
8.2% received A* – up 0.6% from last year
8.5% of boys achieved A*, compared with 7.9% of girls
However, there are a record number of university places available and students can still get places even if they miss their grades through the Clearing process. Consequently, universities are fighting to attract students with tablets, bursaries, cheap beer, subsidised gym membership, subsidised accommodation etc.
A Levels and degree courses should be seen as steps in the journey of lifelong learning. As the job market is so competitive, it is essential to keep on up-skilling, especially in the area of technology and IT. The important things is to use A Level results to get on the right course, keeping half an eye on what you want to do as a job in the future. With rapid developments in technology, it is likely that students will need to train for jobs that don’t exist yet. If you get five minutes spare, please Google “Shift Happens 2014” video and prepare to be amazed.
At Excel in Key Subjects, we have had many years’ experience helping students to achieve high grades. On average, EIKS students get 2 grades higher than predicted, using our tried and trusted intensive revision classes and tutorial provision. Therefore, as a result of increasing demand, we will be offering on-line/telephone tutorial support later this year, through our exciting new portal Excel-iLearn. We can help turn your child’s Results Days into a wonderful experience. Please look at our website for details: http://excelinkeysubjects.com
Dr Jon Cartmell
Director of Curriculum