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Top Alevel grades could rise this summer

first_img A-level Results Day 00 : 00 : 00 : 00 Days Hrs Mins Secs Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. 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.But according to Alan Smithers, director of the Centre for Education and Employment Research at Buckingham University the lead could widen as a result of the maths and further maths take up as they tend to be high-scoring subjects.Maths and further maths entries on the riseEntries to maths and further maths are up again, the former now replacing English as the subject with the highest intake – 85,980 entries compared with 78,800. Since they award by far the most A* grades, this could lead to an increase in A* grades overall.Prof Smithers said: “The grades have been narrowing since 2006. “Boys tend to cluster in the subjects that give out a lot of the top grades, such as maths, Greek and Latin.”Girls cluster in subjects like English that offer relatively few of the top grades, like English and psychology.”It could be that boys go further ahead this year due to the increase in people taking maths and further maths.”A-level resultsHis comments come just days before thousands of students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland learn their A-level results.Last year, the proportion of A-levels scoring at least an A grade fell by 0.1 percentage points to 25.9 per cent. Official figures for 2015 showed that 8.2 per cent of entrants received an A* grade, the same figure as the previous year.The overall pass rate rose to 98.1 per cent in 2015 – having fallen the previous year for the first time in three decades.Prof Smithers said it was difficult to say what the pass rates would be this year, but that it was possible that the percentage of students getting the top grade could increase by one 10th of a per cent.He said: “It’s quite tricky to predict, of course, because the regulator Ofqual tries to keep the percentage of the grades awarded the same for year on year, bearing in mind the prior attainment (GCSE results) of the cohort.”In 2015, interest in computing, RE, economics have gone up.”The most A* and As go on further maths and maths. In English there are relatively few top grades and there entries have fallen by about 6 per cent.”These changes in entries could be overwritten by the other factors. The A* and A grades could go up just a bit, by a tenth of a percent or so.”Check out our guides:• Step-by-step guide to Clearing• Step-by-step guide to Adjustment• Step-by-step guide to A-level Results DayExam board plans to “crowd-source” questions from teachersOne of England’s major exam boards is planning to “crowd-source” questions from teachers to use on its GCSE and A level exam papers, according to theTimes Educational Supplement. The idea being developed by Cambridge Assessment, which owns the OCR board, would ask teachers to submit questions that have stretched and challenged their pupils in lessons and improved teachers’ understanding of what has been learned.The board hopes to receive “millions” of questions and says the best of these could then be used for GCSE and A-level exam papers.   However, some fear this could lead to schools ‘gaming the system’  as some of them who know the exams process very well ‘play it to their advantage’.center_img Search for Clearing vacancies onlineDownload the Clearing app on iPhone or AndroidA-level grades are expected to rise for the first time in six years as boys lead the way in taking up serious subjects, an education expert has predicted.It came as the number of boys achieving A*s could rise ahead of girls because of the increase in maths and further maths, where they tend to score higher.Sixth formers have been increasingly choosing ‘tougher’ or so-called facilitating subjects because they are favoured by elite universities, including Oxford and Cambridge. last_img

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