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The proportion of A-levels awarded at least an A grade has fallen for the second year in a row, official figures showed today.
In total, 26.3 percent of entries scored an A or A* this year, down from 26.6 percent in 2012 - a drop of 0.3 percent. It is believed to be the second biggest fall in the history of A-levels.
The A*-A pass rate fell for the first time in more than 20 years last year.
The latest drop comes amid rising numbers of teenagers taking A-levels in science and maths.
Figures show around 345,300 student applicants have been accepted to their first choice of university.
A further 98,740 applicants are awaiting results or decisions, while 145,730 are eligible for clearing - the process that matches students without places to courses with vacancies.
Students waiting to learn about university places can check whether they have been accepted by logging on to the Track service on the UCAS website.
Almost 36,000 students entered A Level examinations this year and 97.6 per cent achieved A* to E grades.
The Joint Council for Qualifications says the pass rate remained in line with that of 2012, with the percentage of candidates gaining A* grades also stable at six per cent.
The percentage getting A or A* is down for the fourth successive year at 22.9 per cent, compared with 23.6 per cent last year. It was 25 per cent back in 2009. Girls continue to outperform boys with 98.1 per cent of girls achieving A* to E grades, compared to 97 per cent of boys.
A total of 10,362 students completed the Welsh Baccalaureate, with 82.7 per cent of candidates awarded the Advanced Diploma, down slightly from 82.8 per cent last year. The number of students receiving the Advanced Core Certificate rose from 87.6 per cent last year to 88.4 per cent.
The Government needs to "give more thought" to the students who did not get A-levels or equivalent qualifications, a leading teaching union has said:
Education Minister Huw Lewis AM was at St David's College in Cardiff this morning to congratulate pupils opening their results.
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