A-level developments: What this yr’s outcomes inform us



ere are seven developments on this yr’s A-level outcomes:

– Enterprise research is extra fashionable than English literature

The sluggish decline of the English literature A-level continues.

In 2017, when exams have been first sat for the present course, there have been 46,411 entries.

In 2022 there have been 35,791 – a fall of 23%.

This yr English literature not solely dropped out of the highest 10 hottest topics, however it was additionally overtaken for the primary time by enterprise research.

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– Music and drama are not in freefall

Each A-level music and drama spent a lot of the earlier decade experiencing a stoop in reputation, with entries tumbling between 2011 and 2020 by 43% and 40% respectively.

Within the final two years this development appears to have gone into reverse, nonetheless.

Entries for music levelled off in 2021 and rose year-on-year by 4% in 2022.

Drama noticed an increase of 1% in 2021 and three% this yr.

The figures are notable on condition that college students taking both of those topics could have had a very powerful time over the previous two years, with Covid-19 restrictions prone to have critically disrupted actions comparable to rehearsal and efficiency.

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– Boys retake lead over ladies in prime grade for maths

In 2021, A-level maths feminine college students overtook their male counterparts for the primary time by way of A* grades achieved.

Some 29.1% of ladies have been awarded A*, in contrast with 28.5% of boys.

In 2022, boys re-established the lead they’d beforehand loved because the A* grade was launched in 2010.

This yr, 24.2% of boys have been awarded A* in maths, in contrast with 22.1% of ladies.

The change might need been affected by the drop within the variety of ladies taking the topic, down 5% from 38,016 in 2021 to 36,083 in 2022, whereas the determine for boys dropped solely 0.2%, from 59,674 to 59,552.

Ladies outnumber boys in political research

The variety of ladies taking A-level political research has outnumbered boys for the primary time.

A decade in the past in 2012, 8,669 boys have been entered for the topic in contrast with 6,591 ladies.

This yr, the figures stood at 10,305 ladies and 10,191 boys.

Political research is turning into steadily extra fashionable amongst all college students.

It was the 14th hottest topic this yr, up from sixteenth in 2017 and 18th in 2012.

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Computing continues to point out greatest gender imbalance

As soon as once more, computing was the A-level topic that recorded the most important gender imbalance in direction of males, with boys making up 85% of entries and ladies 15% – the identical proportions as final yr.

Physics (77% boys, 23% ladies) and additional maths (72% boys, 28% ladies) have been among the many different topics skewed closely in direction of males.

The largest imbalance in direction of females was within the comparatively new topic of well being and social care.

Within the double award for this topic, ladies made up 96% of entries and boys simply 4% – once more, the identical percentages as final yr.

Performing/expressive arts (91% ladies, 9% boys) and Welsh as a primary language (86% ladies, 14% boys) have been different examples of topics with predominantly feminine entries.

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Spanish extends lead

Spanish overtook French in 2019 to turn out to be the preferred language at A-level.

The hole has widened ever since and this yr stood at 9,088 entries for Spanish in contrast with 7,929 for French.

The variety of French A-level entries has now fallen by greater than a 3rd (37%) in 10 years.

Entries for German have dropped 41% since 2012, however the decline appears to have come to a halt.

There have been 2,803 entries this yr – up very barely on 2,708 in 2021.

– Winners and losers of the final decade

Ten years in the past, round one in six A-level entries (17.0%) have been within the three predominant sciences: biology, chemistry and physics.

By this yr, the determine had reached one in 5, or 20.1%.

Over the identical interval, the proportion of whole entries that have been English language and/or literature has shrunk from round one in 10 (10.4%) to almost one in 15 (6.8%).

Enterprise and economics have loved rising reputation.

These two topics accounted for six.1% of entries in 2012 and 9.3% in 2022.

The development is in the other way for the performing arts and media, nonetheless.

Topics in these areas made up 7.0% of entries a decade in the past.

In 2022 the determine stood at 4.5%.

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