Boys have again beaten girls to the top A-level grades – with 8.5 per cent of male candidates achieving A*s, compared with 7.6 per cent of female entries.
Last year, boys reversed a pattern of higher female achievement that had lasted for nearly two decades. Boys had previously led the way on A* grades but it was the first time they had received the majority of A* and A grades, and their progress continued this year.
Boys just beat girls in gaining A* and A grades too, with 26.4 per cent of boys gaining these top grades compared to 26.0 per cent of girls.
This current batch of A-levels includes 13 newly reformed in ancient languages, dance, drama and theatre, geography, modern foreign languages, music, physical education, and religious studies. Most other subjects were reformed last year, although maths changes are still ahead.
Boys did better in MFL
In French and German boys outperformed girls at both A* and the A/A* rate.
In Spanish, girls and boys results were closer – 10.6 per cent of boys gained an A* this year as did 10.4 per cent of girls, compared with 11.7 per cent of boys and 10.0 per cent of girls last year.
Girls did better in geography
In geography, girls outperformed boys, as they did in 2017.
In 2018, 6.8 per cent of girls gained an A*, compared with only 3.8 per cent of boys.
For A* and A grades the figures were 29.7 per cent for girls, and just 19 per cent for boys.
Girls continue to do better in P.E. too
In physical education this year, 6.6 per cent of girls gained an A* – more than double the 2.5 per cent of boys.
For A* and A grades, girls outdid boys again with more than double getting these top grades, at 20.9 this year compared with 10.8. However, both of these figures were a drop from last year when 24.6 per cent of girls achieved an A* or A, and 11.7 per cent of boys.
Boys came top in music but girls excelled in drama
In music this year this proportion of boys achieved an A* was 4.8 per cent, down from 5.1 per cent last year. For girls it was 4.1 per cent, also a drop from 4.9 per cent in 2017.
A fifth (20 per cent) of boys gained A* and A grades this year, which was a boost from 18.3 per cent in 2017. In contrast the proportion of girls getting A* and A fell, from 21.3 per cent last year to 19.4 per cent this year.
Girls not only did better than boys in drama but also improved on their performance last year. There was 5.2 per cent that got a A* this year compared with 4.5 per cent last year, and 20.2 per cent gained A* and A, up from 18.1 in 2017.
For boys, only 2.7 per cent got an A* in drama this year, down from 3.1 last year, and 12.1 per cent achieved A* or A, down again from 12.8 last year.