Wahey-levels! Jubilant students head out for a night on the town on A-level results day

Wahey-levels! Jubilant students head out for a night on the town on A-level results day – with many celebrating before heading off to university

  • Teenagers across the UK are blowing off steam tonight after receiving A-level results yesterday morning
  • Scores of teens appeared in high spirits as they swapped a night in at home to hit the bars and clubs
  • The number of students who had places confirmed today was second highest number on record at 425,830
  • But some 20,360 pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland found out today that they were unplaced

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Plenty of teenagers across the country will be waking up with sore heads this morning as celebrations over A-level results continue well into the night. 

The mantra of ‘win or lose, you’re on the booze’ – a line famously delivered with great composure by a student live on Good Morning Britain a few years ago – was certainly adopted by many teens last night as images rolled in of revellers enjoying the release.

Scores of young people appeared in high spirits as photos emerged of them hitting bars and clubs to celebrate with their friends into the small hours after completing their A-levels and preparing to head off for university.

In Newcastle, crowds of ecstatic revellers took to the streets to toast their success while posing for the cameras.

It comes as a total of 425,830 people had places confirmed according to data published by the university admissions service – the second highest figure on record and up 16,870 compared with 2019 when exams were last held.

And there’s more reason to celebrate for many youngsters as Ucas declared 19 per cent more 18-year-olds in the UK achieved a place at either their first or insurance choice this year, compared with 2019.

But some teens out on the town tonight may be commiserating rather than celebrating. 

Some 20,360 pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland found out yesterday that they were unplaced after they did not receive the results they were hoping for, and students trying to get into Cardiff University yesterday morning faced a scramble after a fault with its systems saw them endure problems on phone lines.

Overall, grades this year had been expected to drop back from 2021 levels – when there were no exams due to Covid – as part of a transition year which saw marks aiming to reflect a midway point between last year and 2019.

Top A-level grades took the biggest drop ever registered in the 70-year history of the qualification this year.

Revellers out in Newcastle tonight as students across the country celebrate receiving their A Level results

Revellers out in Newcastle tonight as students across the country celebrate receiving their A Level results

Scores of young people appeared in high spirits as photos emerged of them hitting bars and clubs to celebrate with their friends into the small hours after completing their A-levels and preparing to head off for university

Scores of young people appeared in high spirits as photos emerged of them hitting bars and clubs to celebrate with their friends into the small hours after completing their A-levels and preparing to head off for university

The mantra of 'win or lose, you're on the booze' - a line famously delivered with great composure by a student live on Good Morning Britain a few years ago - was certainly adopted by many teens last night

The mantra of ‘win or lose, you’re on the booze’ – a line famously delivered with great composure by a student live on Good Morning Britain a few years ago – was certainly adopted by many teens last night

In Newcastle, crowds of ecstatic revellers took to the streets to toast their success while posing for the cameras.

In Newcastle, crowds of ecstatic revellers took to the streets to toast their success while posing for the cameras.

A total of 425,830 people had places confirmed according to data published by the university admissions service - the second highest figure on record and up 16,870 compared with 2019 when exams were last held

A total of 425,830 people had places confirmed according to data published by the university admissions service – the second highest figure on record and up 16,870 compared with 2019 when exams were last held

Ucas declared 19 per cent more 18-year-olds in the UK achieved a place at either their first or insurance choice this year, compared with 2019

Ucas declared 19 per cent more 18-year-olds in the UK achieved a place at either their first or insurance choice this year, compared with 2019

While there were scenes of joy at many schools yesterday morning, some parents reported ‘tears in the car park’ with tens of thousands of students falling short of the grades required to attend their desired courses.

It follows grade inflation during the pandemic when exams were cancelled and teachers decided on marks instead. Officials are now hoping to get grades back down to 2019 levels, when only a quarter got A and A*. 

Students who collected their results yesterday faced a difficult few years of education due to the pandemic, with months of learning from home and also competing against deferred places from last year’s teacher assessed-exams when grades were unusually high. 

Many teenagers will also have a very different higher education experience – with admissions service Ucas saying that, amid the soaring cost of living, more than two-thirds of prospective university students are already considering part-time work. It added that would-be students are also looking for universities closer to home. 

Deferred applications to Ucas as of January this year comprised 2.7 per cent of the total applications (75,120 out of 2,781,490). In January 2021, the figure was slightly higher at 2.9 per cent (79,860 out of 2,730,040). 

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) revealed today that the overall pass rate – the proportion of entries graded A* to E – fell by 1.1 percentage points from 99.5 per cent in 2021 to 98.4 per cent this year.

Millie Clark and Ella Cragg celebrate after opening their A-level results at Norwich School, Norwich. Picture date: Thursday August 18, 2022

Millie Clark and Ella Cragg celebrate after opening their A-level results at Norwich School, Norwich. Picture date: Thursday August 18, 2022

While there were scenes of joy at many schools yesterday morning, some parents reported 'tears in the car park' with tens of thousands of students falling short of the grades required to attend their desired courses

While there were scenes of joy at many schools yesterday morning, some parents reported ‘tears in the car park’ with tens of thousands of students falling short of the grades required to attend their desired courses

Some 20,360 pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland found out yesterday that they were unplaced after they did not receive the results they were hoping for

Some 20,360 pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland found out yesterday that they were unplaced after they did not receive the results they were hoping for

Students receive their A-level exam results after the lead by girls in A and A* grades narrowed to 2.2 points this year

Students receive their A-level exam results after the lead by girls in A and A* grades narrowed to 2.2 points this year

Meanwhile, yesterday’s data showed that boys are starting to catch up with girls when it comes to the top A-level grades thanks to the return of exams and – according to experts – being ‘lazy’ last-minute crammers.

The lead by girls in A and A* grades has narrowed from 4.8 percentage points last year to 2.2 points this year.

It coincides with the return of exams for the first time since before the pandemic, as all tests in 2020 and 2021 had to be cancelled.

Instead, teachers decided pupils’ grades based on coursework and performance in online classes – and girls’ grades rocketed.

Chris McGovern, a former boys’ school head teacher, said yesterday: ‘Exams do tend to benefit boys. 

‘We cannot generalise, but in my experience some boys can be a little bit lazy. 

‘They are less capable of steady hard work over a period of two years, and prefer to just work hard at the end, having a shorter period when they can cram.

‘They tend to prefer a target-driven curriculum, and they prefer a sprint rather than a marathon. 

‘Remember also that boys develop later than girls, physically and academically.

‘Girls are on average more conscientious at doing coursework over a long period of time.’

This year, across all subjects, boys have narrowed the gap in attaining an A*.

They are now only 0.4 points behind rather than 1.3 previously.

Exam board chiefs said last year that boys may have performed worse relatively during the pandemic because they are better suited to formal testing.

Some campaigners claimed teacher-assessed grades also favoured students who behaved well in class, creating a positive bias towards them.

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