Five things we already know about your A-level exam results

OK, we don’t know what your grade in maths will be, or whether you’ve got your uni place.

But we do know some general stuff about the exam 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.

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 'comparative 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 class of 2018 aren't very different from class of 2017, results in 2018 should be pretty similar to those in 2017.

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 and between different subjects in the same school or college. This is because some schools and some departments might have understood the demands of new courses quicker than others and prepared students more effectively.

3. Good news for modern language students – more high grades

It’s long been felt that it’s a bit harder to get high grades in modern languages due to the high number of native speakers who take the qualification. Now there’s some action to help all you students of French, German, Spanish, Italian and so on. The grade boundary for A in all these subjects was eased by about 1% from 2017. Hooray!

4. Fewer students will be receiving AS-level results

AS-level entries in all subjects fell by about 60% in 2018. This is not surprising given the fact that AS levels no longer count towards A-level results.

It seems that three A levels is becoming the standard for most schools and colleges.

5. Grades for the new linear Maths A level will be really high

Year 13 maths students took the old-style modular exams in summer 2018.

But boards also offered the first sitting of the new linear maths courses.

This was because some schools and colleges like to enter their best year 12 maths students for the A level a year early so they can study Further Maths in year 13. That means that only very able mathematicians will be sitting the new linear exam in 2018 and so the results will be really high.

More on TSR

Your guide to A-level results day

More information about A-level results day

Help and advice about Clearing and Adjustment


Ask a question in the A-levels forum
Your question will be posted in the A-levels forum
Awesome! Your question has now been posted. View your post here
  1. Please choose where you want to post your question.
    Please choose your study level.
    Please enter what your question is about.
    Please enter your question.
    Your message must have two characters or more.
People are talking about this article Have your say