A-level A grades down

The proportion of A-levels scoring at least an A grade has fallen for the first time in more than 20 years, official figures showed today.

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Top A-level marks for high-flyer

Youngseo Yoon. Credit: PA

It was all smiles for an A-level student after he achieved five star grades in his exams. Youngseo Yoon, who achieved the top results in maths, physics, chemistry, biology and further maths, is now off to Edinburgh University to study medicine.

The 18-year-old, from Newcastle, who had a private education at Dame Allan's School, achieved the result after several months of hard work.

"I am thrilled as I had hoped to get the offer I needed of three As, but certainly had not expected this." he said.

"I have texted my mum with the news but she was in a conference. She did text me back though to say well done."

Mr Yoon, whose father lives in South Korea, was one of 30 pupils who achieved all A* and A grades in what was a year of impressive results for the school.

South east scores high A-level grades

Nearly a quarter of the A* grades achieved this year went to pupils in the South East.

Statistics show that pupils in this region are gaining more than their share of the highest grades.

The South East has 19% of A-level entries, but accounts for 23% of A* grades given out, according to this year's A-level results.

London for example has 15% of entries but has achieved 17% of top grades, while the Eastern region has 12% of A-level entries and 13% of A*s awarded.

In contrast The South West was responsible for 10% of A-level A*s and 10% of entries.

Other parts of England had a smaller proportion of top grades compared to the number of entries.

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Torch teenager gets high A-level grades

Jamie Green. Credit: PA

A teenage boy who carried the Olympic Flame a few days before he took his A-level exams said he was thrilled to receive three A* grades and two As.

Jamie Green, 18, of North Yorkshire, said he was finding it hard to decide which he was happier about - being an Olympic torchbearer for Scarborough in June, or discovering he had achieved some of the highest A-level results in Yorkshire.

Jamie said: "I had the torch-carrying event on the Monday, then I had my French exam and English exam later that week...

"Both are absolutely brilliant but for different reasons. The torch was a once-in-a-lifetime experience but these results will set me up for the rest of my life."

14 year old boy to become one of country's youngest undergraduates

A 14 year old boy will become one of the country's youngest ever undergraduates this autumn when he enrols at university.

Wajih Ahmed will study for a degree in economics at the university of Southampton, assured of his place because he received A* A-level results in maths and further maths in addition to an A in chemistry last year, the Southern Daily Echo reports.

Full pass rates for all A-level subjects

Today's A-level figures show that the overall A* to E pass rate has risen for the 30th year in a row.

98% of exams achieved at least an E, compared to 97.8% last year.

  • English: 21.2 percent of candidates achieving an A grade or above, down from 22.3 last year.
  • Maths: 43.9 percent of candidates achieving an A grade or above, down from 44.7 last year.
  • Science: 28.6 percent of Biology candidates got an A grade or above, Chemistry 34.4 percent, Physics 31.9 percent.

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A grades fall for first time in more than 20 years

Boys have overtaken girls at A* grade for the first time Credit: Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The proportion of A-levels scoring at least an A grade has fallen for the first time in more than 20 years, official figures showed today.

In total, 26.6% of the exams were given an A or A*, down from 27% in 2011 - a record drop of 0.4%.

Boys overtook girls at A* grade for the first time, with 8% of boys' entries attaining the top mark, compared to 7.9% of girls'.

But today's figures also show that the overall A* to E pass rate has risen for the 30th year in a row.

98% of exams achieved at least an E, compared to 97.8% last year.

25,000 courses have vacancies for UK applicants

More than 25,000 university courses currently have vacancies for UK applicants.

Last year more than 50,000 people got a place at university through the clearing system.

Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of university admissions service Ucas, said:

Despite the fall in applications this year, entry to higher education remains competitive and we expect to see an active clearing period.

It is important that all students research course requirements thoroughly and think carefully before making a decision that is likely to affect their future career.

Anyone considering applying again next year can research 2013 courses on our website now.

– Mary Curnock Cook, chief executive of Ucas

David Willets on coalition's 'massive push' on apprenticeships

There is still a long term trend for more and more people going to university despite this year's decline, thinks David Willets.

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme, the universities minister said that "more and more" employers are pushing to employ people with higher education qualifications.

The coalition have scrapped the Labour government's target of getting 50% of young people to university, and have focused on apprenticeships.

"In the coalition, we are doing a massive push on apprenticeships, we have increased the amount of apprenticeships by 200,000," he said.

"We often assume you can only go to university aged 18, but there may be opportunities later on in life, sponsoring by an employer, studying part time or taking a year out."

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