Matthew Gordon-Banks

Record A Level Numbers Turn to Clearing and fewer top grades are expected at GCSE

Last week was an especially nerve-racking time for many A Level students waiting for their results this month. The good news is that there are still a huge number of University places still available through Clearing with UCAS.

Approximately 414,940 students had their place on a University course confirmed last week, down 3 per cent on the same figure last year of 425,830 but up on the pre-pandemic equal of 408,960 in 2019.

UCAS figures, from the admissions service, showed that by noon last Friday 10,430 students had been placed through clearing. Last year the figure was 6,440. Records go back to 2014, when it was 1,880.

79 per cent of UK applicants gained their first-choice university or college, down from 81 per cent last year when exams were reintroduced after the pandemic.

With more than 28,000 courses still available before the weekend Clearing, many University hopefuls should be able to gain a place.

At GCSE level this week it is expected, by experts,  that approximately 300,000 fewer top-grades will be awarded this Thursday. This to restore the value of the grades, which were affected during the covid period and teacher assessments, which were overly generous.

None of these changes suggests that there has been a diminution in standards.

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