16/08/2018

30,000 Students Receive A And AS-Level Exam Results

Some 30,000 students across Northern Ireland have received their A-level and AS-level exam results today, Thursday 16 August 2018.

Statistics on the latest results have shown that 8.4% of boys and 8% of girls achieved an A* grade this year. Despite the slightly better performance by boys, girls in NI have again outperformed boys overall.

It is understood that this year there was a 5.8% decline in the number of students taking A-level exams.

The top five subject choices remain the same, with Mathematics continuing to be the most popular, closely followed by Biology, Religious Studies, English Literature and History. Over one third of A Level entries in Northern Ireland are in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. There is a small increase in the overall proportion of STEM entries, up from 39.7% to 40.1% this year.

Commenting on the results, Justin Edwards, Chief Executive of the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) said: "Today's A level examination results are a testament to the hard work of students. I congratulate them all and wish them the very best for their future.

"Once again, Northern Ireland's students have performed well, with a steady and strong performance across all grades. The results are also recognition of the dedication and support provided by teachers and schools.

"This year males achieved a higher percentage of A* grades. This is the first time males have performed better than females since the grade was introduced. The performance gap, between females and males, also narrowed at the other grades.
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"There are some interesting changes in subject choices. Mathematics remains the most popular A level, with 1 in 10 students studying the subject here. Overall, the proportion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) entries have increased slightly and STEM subjects are still a popular choice.

"The proportion of students taking Languages has decreased slightly, mainly due to a decrease in Spanish entries. Music and Performing Arts have both seen an increase in entries.

"The new Life and Health Sciences qualification has proven popular, particularly with female students. Computing subjects have also seen a rise in entries this year.

"CCEA's market share has risen, showing that the local awarding organisation remains a popular and reliable choice for students and schools."

Sinn Féin MLA Karen Mullan has urged young people receiving their A-Level and AS-Level results to follow their passion when fulfilling their educational or career path.

Speaking on A-Level results day, the Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson said: "I want to wish everyone receiving their A-Level and AS-Level results every success and congratulate students on their efforts.

"I would also like to reassure those who may have been disappointed by their results that support and guidance is available as they look at their options and plan their next move.

"These days young people face a lot of pressure when choosing a path for the future. The advice I would give those receiving results today is to follow your passion.

"Exam results steadily improve year on year, and credit must be paid to the students, their teachers and public sector staff for their efforts in achieving this in a time of relentless Tory austerity and cuts to school budgets.

"Our society prospers through the work of our teachers, carers and parents, and today is a day to celebrate their role in educating and supporting young people in what can be a challenging time in their lives."

(MH/CM)

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