Record-breaking A-level resultsAugust 20th, 2009 by Emily
Private tutors can be proud: this year's A-level exam results have broken all previous records. Here's our run-down of what today's A-level results mean for our tutees and the other 310,000 students who sat their exams this year:
Record A-level results
More than half of all grades were As or Bs, and the overall A-E pass rate was an impressive 97.5%. Over a quarter (26.7%) of all exams received an A grade, and more than three quarters received at least a grade C.
Only Northern Ireland experienced a fall in A-level results, with a 1% drop in the number of students receiving A grades. Nevertheless, students in Northern Ireland have outperformed their counterparts in England and Wales with an overall A-E pass rate of 98.4%.
It seems the traditional girl-boy divide is showing signs of improvement. Although A-level results for girls were still better than those for boys, the gap in the number of A grades narrowed to its lowest since 2003.
Results for more than 310,000 students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland were described by government ministers as the "sign of a thriving education system".
Traditional A-level subjects most popular
Today's results show that traditional subjects remain more popular A-level choices than so-called "soft" subjects. English and Maths were the top choices for A-level subjects. Certainly our experience bears this out: there are more searches for English tutors and Maths tutors every month than for any other subject.
There is hope for the sciences as well, despite a long-term downward trend. Biology was the third most popular A-level subject after English and Maths, and there was also an increase in Chemistry and Physics entries.
Students who have not yet lined up places at university need to act quickly: the university admissions service (UCAS) said that 135,114 students were eligible for clearing this year - for only 22,000 places. Last year there were 112,000 eligible candidates for 43,000 places.