Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Slight fall in top A-level grades

Ballymena Academy students celebrate their A-level results

The proportion of top grades awarded to A-level students in Northern Ireland has fallen.

The percentage of A*-A grades decreased slightly to 34.5% compared to 35.9% last year.

Overall, the pass rate remained unchanged with 98% achieving grades A*-E this year.

Northern Ireland A-level students outperformed their English and Welsh counterparts at all grades this year. Around 2,800 A* awards were achieved in Northern Ireland with the most popular subjects including Biology, Maths and English.

Students in Northern Ireland are increasingly opting for A-levels, with entries reaching a record high of 32,582. Science, technology, engineering and maths also remained among the most popular choices and continue to show strong performance.

CCEA director of qualifications Anne Marie Duffy said: "The figures released today show that our students have achieved a first class set of results. Overall, performance is comparable with previous years."

Languages saw a decrease in entries, with German down by 21.9% and French by 19.7%. Irish entries decreased by 6.8% while Spanish saw the only increase in language entries.

Females outperformed boys in achieving A* or A. Overall, 8.6% (9.5% last year) of results were A* compared to 8.2% in Northern Ireland, England and Wales.

This is the fifth year in which vocational applied exams such as applied ICT or leisure and tourism or social care have been offered and this year saw a small rise in entries.

By 7.30am more than 8,000 students had accessed their results via the CCEA website. CCEA officials said the system was working well.

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