Top results at A-level drop in Autumn resits compared to summer

The proportion of top grades awarded to students in the Autumn A-level exams is overall lower than the summer centre assessed grades, results published today show.

Students who received grade A and above in the Autumn resits series in England was 29.7 per cent compared to 38.1 in the summer.

But this is still higher than the 2019 results where 25.2 per cent of students received A or above.

The number of students receiving A* was also higher than 2019, by 2.1 percentage points. However, it was 4.5 percentage points below those who received an A* in the summer.

In the summer, the proportion of A*s awarded to A-level pupils almost doubled.

However, the Joint Council for Qualifications said the autumn results should not be compared to summer 2020 or 2019 “because the profile of students entering in autumn was so different from a summer cohort”.

“Entries for this exceptional series were relatively low and much smaller than we would expect in a summer series. With such small numbers, the students entering for each subject are likely to be unrepresentative of those in the summer cohort.”

The Department for Education said that of the students that also have a grade from the summer, almost half improved their A level grade and just under 40 per cent improved their AS grade.

A proportion of A level entries – around 16 per cent – were from students who did not have a summer grade in the same subject, the department added.

The exams regulator Ofqual confirmed in October that pupils resitting qualifications this autumn would be handed the same “generosity” in their grades, as awarded in the summer.

The regulator added that the grade boundaries would be lowered for the exams. Results rocketed this summer after the government U-turn to award pupils with their CAG, or standardised grade if it was higher.

The percentage receiving C or above at A-level this Autumn was 71.7 per cent. In the summer this was 87.5 per cent and in 2019 it was 75.5 per cent.

In maths, which had the highest number of entries at 3,519, 29.6 per cent received A or above. This is a significant drop from 49.5 per cent in the summer and 40.5 per cent in 2019.

In English Literature, 35.7 per cent achieved an A or above. This is similar to the summer results, at 37.7 per cent but higher than the 2019 cohort, where 24.1 per cent achieved the top grades.

In chemistry, 29.3 per cent received an A or above, compared to 41.9 per cent in the summer. In 2019, this was similar to the Autumn results, at 28.4 per cent.

At AS level in England, 28.3 per cent achieved a grade A. This is similar to the summer results, at 27.1 per cent, but much higher than 2019 when 20.1 per cent were awarded the top grade.


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