Five things we already know about A-level results 2019


We can't tell you what your grades will be, or whether you've got into uni.

But we can share some insights about the exam results in general.

Here are five things we know about A-level results this year.

1. Overall A-level results will be similar to last year

When exams change it's tough for students and teachers. There are fewer textbooks and past papers and teachers have limited experience of what exam boards are looking for.

All of the new linear A-level courses have been completed at least once, but this year was the first year that all maths students sat the new style exams.

It wouldn't be fair if year groups affected by exam reforms underachieved simply because they are part of a 'guinea pig generation,' so students taking exams during the period of A-level changes are protected by what is known as the principle of 'comparable outcomes'.

This means that roughly similar proportion of students will achieve each grade as in previous years, unless there is a difference in ability between different year groups or the type of student taking the exam has changed.

As the class of 2019 aren't very different from the class of 2018, results in 2019 should be pretty similar to those in 2018.

2. There may be big differences in results between different subjects in different schools and colleges

Although the national pattern won’t be that different to last year’s, there may be big differences between schools and colleges across the UK and between different subjects in the same school or college.

This is because some schools and departments might have understood the demands of new courses quicker than others and prepared students more effectively.

3. Linear A-level maths rollout may impact grade boundaries

Last year, the new linear A-level Mathematics was awarded, but the cohort of students that took the new qualification was the most able mathematicians who took them in first year to take further maths in second year.

This year, there were 90,000 maths candidates this year of differing levels of ability. We may see lower grade boundaries as a result of this, to reflect the fact that it is the first year all students have taken the new exams. Either way, it's not possible to draw conclusions on grade boundaries based on last year's, because they change every year to reflect exam performance.

Changes to the syllabus include a bigger emphasis on solving problems and encouraging students to work with large data sets.

4. Fewer students will be receiving AS-level results

AS level entries in all subjects fell by 44% in the UK and 56% in England between 2018 and 2019.

This is because AS levels are no longer part of the new linear A-level exams, which have been introduced and rolled out in all subjects.

They can still be sat, but the AS grade no longer counts towards the final grade.

5. Less students will be receiving A-level English grades than last year

The number of students taking A-level English has plummeted between 2016 and 2019, with fewer entries every year. GCSE reforms and an emphasis on STEM subjects and careers have been highlighted as possible causes for this.

A-level admissions into any of the English disciplines (English literature, English language and English language and literature) have fallen from around 80,000 to around 60,000 in the last three years.

More useful links

When is A-level results day 2019?
Guide to A-level results day 2019
Six things you must do before A-level results day
18-year-olds: What can you do after A-levels?
Clearing or Adjustment: Find out which might be right for you

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