A Level and GCSE results remain stable as shifts in entry patterns impact at subject level.
A Level results remained largely stable from 2014:
Results day revealed a move towards more ‘traditional’ A Level subject choices. The number of students studying maths for example has increased over 20% in the past 5 years, and among the STEM subjects, computing saw the biggest rise in exam entries, with a 29.1% increase since 2014.
Mathematics remains the most popular A Level, with 10.9% of all entries. English is second with 10.5% and Biology third with 7.4%.
Compared to 2014, A Level results showed entries have risen in:
These results translated into 409,000 students being accepted to universities on results day, up 3% against A Level results day in 2014. This is the highest number of acceptances recorded on A Level results day, and includes 362,000 students accepted to their first choice, again up by 3%.
Entries for the Extended Project - a qualification that develops skills in research and writing - increased marginally by 1% to 33,564, following years of rapid growth (39.3% increase in the last 5 years).
At a national level there was also very little change in this year’s GCSE results:
However, changes in educational policies had an effect on entry patterns and results at a subject level. This was particularly the case in English and mathematics – the only subjects in which resits are now available.
Compared to 2014, 2015 figures showed GCSE entries rise in:
As expected, 16 year olds made up the greatest proportion of entries but as of this year, students in England who did not achieve a grade C in either maths or English continued to study that subject post-16, which explains the rise in entries from 17 year olds. Entries by 15 year olds dropped 13.4%, impacted by the ‘first entry counts’ policy, which was introduced in England in autumn 2013.
Detailed results statistics by A Level and GCSE subject, grade and gender are available on the Joint Council for Qualifications website.