A-Level results at a glance

300,000 students collected A-Level results last week with those taking ‘facilitating subjects’ up by 50% and the number taking tougher subjects to gain entry into Oxbridge and other elite universities reaching record numbers.

With universities increasingly demanding ‘harder’ subjects, so called ‘flaky’ ones have seen entry numbers in decline as they are seen to no longer add value to a student’s higher education application.

The overall number of students gaining top marks has fallen for a 4th consecutive year,  although there were subjects that bucked the trend and showed a much more positive set of results; subjects that you would not necessarily think of such as Critical Thinking and The Performing and Expressive Arts.

However, even with the decline in top grades achieved, record numbers of students have been accepted in to universities with UCAS stating that 409,000 places had been confirmed.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said this year’s results showed the impact of the government’s drive for “core academic subjects” which has been reflected in increased entries in subjects such as maths which has seen a 20% increase in entries since 2010.

He went on to say: “As a result thousands more pupils, from all backgrounds, are studying subjects that will secure them a place at a top university or an apprenticeship and that will help to secure well paid employment.”

Gender gaps have remained constant across certain subjects with only 8.5% of those taking computing being female and four out of five physics entrants also being dominated by males. The girls were seen to dominate in psychology, sociology, French, religious studies, English and drama.

The gender gap also extends to university places with taken with 27,000 more females starting university this year than young males.

But with a record number of students being accepted in to higher education in a year that caps on the number of student places were lifted, the overall picture of A-Levels in 2015 can be seen in a positive light.

Emma Williams

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