The number of pupils awarded top grades at A-Level this year is expected to rise, despite warnings of “greater volatility” in marks, experts have predicted.
Thousands of students across the country are due to collect their A-Level results today, amid concerns raised by schools and teaching groups that this year’s curriculum changes will reflect badly in terms of individual grading.
Analysis of the entry levels for the traditionally top-scoring subjects, such as maths, indicates the percentage of students achieving an A or A* will increase, however.
The number of boys achieving the very top grade could pull further ahead of girls this year due to more students opting to take maths - a typically a high-scoring subject more popular with higher numbers of male candidates - according to Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University.
Last year, boys held a 0.9 per cent lead over girls at A* grade, although girls had a 0.4 per cent lead at A and A* grade combined - having out-performed boys every year since the millennium.
Entries to maths and further maths in England are up again, with the former now overtaking English as the subject with the highest intake.
Since maths tends to achieve the most A* grades overall at A-Level, this could lead to an increase in A* grades overall, experts believe.
Mr Smithers said that the gap between boys and girls had been narrowing since 2006, and that boys could “go further ahead this year due to the increase in people taking maths and further maths”.
Changes to the school curriculum this year have been the source of much controversy, however, with teachers preparing students for unexpected and even disappointing grades.
Leading head teachers of both private and state schools said this year’s results will be the “most unfair in a generation” after changes to the appeals process that may result in students missing out on top university places.
Source: Rachael Pells at the Independent
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