Top A-level grades are down in Wales
THE percentage of students getting top A and A* grades at A-level has fallen.
While the overall pass rate for A*-E remains the same at 97.6 per cent, the proportion gaining A*-A fell by 0.7 per cent to 22.9 per cent.
The proportion gaining A*-B grades also fell by 0.6 per cent to 49.3 per cent of the total, but the percentage of A*-C passes rose by 0.2 per cent to 75.2 per cent of the total.
There was a similar picture in the UK where top A* grades and A*-A both fell by 0.3 per cent.
A*-B passes, however, rose by 0.3 per cent, and A*-C also increased, by 6 per cent.
In total 35,714 students took A-levels in Wales this year, 3.9 per cent less than in 2012.
One of them was Gower College Swansea (Gorseinon) student Isobel Barrow, aged 18, of Mumbles, who got an A in Chemistry, B in Biology – and B in music.
She said: “It’s exactly what I needed. I feel very happy and a little bit relieved. I was really nervous this morning but now I’m fine.”
She is heading to Bristol to do biology
Fellow Gorseinon student Rhian Jeffries, aged 18, of Pontarddulais, got an A* in chemistry, A in biology and A in English.
She said: “I’ve got to the Royal Veterinary College in London and I’m going to be a vet. I’m excited. I always wanted to do it and it’s nice that I’ve finally achieved it.”
Another Gorseinon student, Tom Chess, aged 18, of Langland, got an A* in biology, A* in chemistry, A* in maths and A in further maths.
He said: “I woke up at 4am but fell asleep again and I arrived at 7.45am. I had to wait around for 15 minutes – it was horrible. I felt particularly good when I saw my results.”
He is off to Cambridge to study national sciences.
Education Minister Huw Lewis said learners deserved to celebrate their results today.
“They have worked incredibly hard and deserve credit and praise for what they have achieved. Parents and teachers should also be recognised and applauded for the support they’ve offered learners along the way,” he said.
“This is a good set of results. The A level pass rate in Wales remains high and we are seeing steady progress in a number of different subjects, with an increasing proportion of grades awarded at grades A*-C.”
The AS level results show 86.2 per cent of entries resulted in a pass.
Entries in the STEM subjects including chemistry, mathematics, further mathematics and physics have also gone up from 7,795 in 2012 to 7,980 in 2013
The Education Minister added: “A levels remain highly respected qualifications and it’s clear, particularly in terms of the STEM subjects, that our students are now starting to think further down the line about the kind of skills and qualifications they’ll need for entry into Higher Education or employment.”
The Welsh Baccalaureate results show:
*More than 10,000 learners (10,362) completed Advanced level Welsh Baccalaureate programmes this year;
*9,159 learners achieved the Core certificate of the Advanced level Welsh Baccalaureate; and
*8,565 learners have achieved both the Core certificate and the options requirements and have been awarded the full Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma. An increase of 306 on last year.
The Minister added:
“It is also extremely encouraging to see our flagship Welsh Baccalaureate continuing to grow in popularity. More learners are recognising the opportunities it offers them when applying for university or when entering the work place.
“Those students who have achieved the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma have a qualification which has real currency with universities where it is widely accepted as an entry qualification for degree courses. The Welsh Baccalaureate is an additional qualification to their A levels and other advanced level qualifications achieved as part of their learning programmes,” he added.