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Key statistics in this year’s A-level results

Education | Published:

Some 9.0% of entrants received an A*.

Emily Wallace, centre, reacts as students at Norwich School receive their A-level results

Here are the main figures in this year’s A-level results:

– The proportion of candidates receiving top grades is the highest on record. A total of 27.9% of entrants scored either an A or A*, up from 25.5% in 2019.

– Some 9.0% of entrants received an A*. This is another record high, and is up from 7.8% last year.

– The overall pass rate (grades A* to E) was 98.3% – again, another record high. It is up from 97.6% in 2019.

A-level candidates getting A/A* grades
(PA Graphics)

– Some 78.4% received a C or above, up from 75.8% in 2019 and the highest since at least 2000.

– Girls have extended their lead over boys in the top grades. The proportion of girls who got A or higher was 28.4%, 1.1 percentage points higher than boys (27.3%). Last year, girls led boys by just 0.1 percentage points (25.5% girls, 25.4% boys). Boys briefly took the lead in 2017 and 2018, following a long period in which girls had been ahead.

– The gap between the best-performing boys and girls has fallen slightly. The proportion of boys who got A* was 9.3%, 0.5 percentage points higher than girls (8.8%). Last year, the gap was 0.7 points.

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A-levels 2020: most/least popular subjects
(PA Graphics)

– The most popular subject this year was maths. It was taken by 94,168 entrants, up 2.5% on 2019.

– Psychology was the second most popular subject, overtaking biology. It was taken by 65,255 entrants, up 1.0% on 2019. Biology slipped to become the third most popular subject, taken by 65,057 entrants, a fall of 6.0%.

– ICT (information and communications technology) saw the biggest drop in candidates for a single subject with more than 1,000 entrants, falling by 15.3% from 1,572 to 1,332.

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A-level candidates getting A/A* grades
(PA Graphics)

– Computing saw the biggest jump in candidates of any subject with more than 1,000 entrants, rising by 11.7% from 11,124 to 12,426.

– There were 780,557 A-levels awarded, down 2.6% on last year’s total (801,002) and the lowest number since 2004.

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