The Joint Council for Qualifications has today published the 2018 national results for A levels and AS qualifications. Highlights from the JCQ Media Release include:

  • A steady national picture with outcomes relatively unchanged as reformed qualifications continue to be introduced
  • At A level, A* down 0.3 percentage points to 8.0%; A*-A up 0.1 percentage points to 26.4%; A*-E down 0.3 percentage points to 97.6%
  • STEM subjects continue to grow in popularity, especially amongst females
  • AS entries continue significant decline in England following decoupling from the A level

Falling trend in Modern Foreign Languages continues:

Entries for French, German and Spanish fell collectively by 7.9% in 2018. Results at A* rose for German and Spanish, but fell for all three subjects at A*-A. It is important to note that year on year standards have been maintained and that the fall in results is due to changing entry patterns impacting the performance of the overall cohort. Other foreign languages showed an overall 3.1% increase. Of these languages, Chinese languages had the most entries, 3,334, rising 8.6% year on year.

ALL President Elect, Jane Harvey commented on this year’s results: “Many congratulations to all MFL students and teachers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on their A level results today. The welcome increase in entries for less frequently taught languages, including Mandarin Chinese, community and other European languages, shows that there is still an enthusiasm for language learning among young people, who know that speaking other languages enables them to understand other cultures and is a life enhancing skill. However, the continuing decline in entries for French, German (and this year for Spanish), is of great concern, as they are three of the five languages identified in the British Council’s “Languages for the Future report” (2017) which the UK needs post Brexit and urgent measures are now needed to reverse this trend.”

Further information:

Joint Council for Qualifications: press release and results

Department for Education: statement from the Education Secretary Damian Hinds Ofqual guide to AS and A level results for England, 2018 Regulating GCSEs, AS and A levels: guide for schools and colleges

Regulators: England, Northern Ireland, Wales

Education Departments: England, Northern Ireland, Wales

In the news:

BBC: Teenagers achieve rise in top A-level grades 

BBC: A-level results 2018: What was new about this year’s exams?

Schools Week: A-level results: A* grades in England slump to lowest level since 2013

Schools Week: A-level Results 2018: Boys vs Girls

TES: A-level results: A* grades at five year low

TES: A-level results: Language entries down as Chinese overtakes German

Guardian: A-levels: proportion of students in England getting C or above falls

Daily Telegraph: A-level results day 2018: Highest number of top grades for six years despite new ‘tougher’ exams




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