The proportion of A-level entries awarded an A grade or higher in Northern Ireland has been driven by an improvement in the performance amongst girls.
More students received an A* this year than in 2018 due to a 0.6 percentage point increase, with almost a tenth receiving the top grade.
A total of 8.8% of entries received an A* overall.
Maths proved to be the most popular A-level. One in ten studied the subject this year.
Participation in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) and languages (French, German, Irish and Spanish) declined slightly by around half a percentage point or less.
However, the number of girls taking STEM subjects increased.
Entries for A-levels decreased by 2.3%, which is broadly in line with the drop in size of the school-going populatioon.
Justin Edwards, chief executive of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland, congratulated pupils on their performance.
"The proportion of students taking Stem subjects and languages has decreased slightly, however Stem subjects continue to account for over one-third of A-level entries in Northern Ireland," he said.
In total, around 28,000 students received A-level and AS-level results on Thursday.
Biology was the most popular subject for girls while maths was the most popular amongst boys.
Business studies was in the top five for both boys and girls.
Girls outperformed boys at A* by 0.9 percentage points and by 3.2 points at grade A.
Belfast Telegraph Digital