As or A*s ‘no longer attainable for 100,000’

In England, the share of A* and A grades given will “return” to 2019 pre-Covid levels, the Government says.

But markers have a “taste for awarding top grades” they are now “reluctant to relinquish”, argues Professor Alan Smithers, a Birmingham University education and employment researcher.

Disruption caused by teacher strikes may make exam boards lenient too, Prof Smithers noted.

He estimated 59,154 and 35,505 fewer A* and A grades respectively will be earned compared to 2022.

READ MORE: Bumping up exam results is a betrayal of schoolchildren

Meanwhile, 10% of grades will be an A* and 27.5% an A this year, down from 14.6% and 36.4% respectively.

In 2019, just 7.8% were A* and 25.5% A.

Predicting “a lot of disappointment and appeals”, he said: “In teacher assessment years students and parents developed unreasonable expectations.”

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Prof Smithers went to forecast that Northern Ireland pupils will fare best – as they have
done for years – followed by those in Wales and then England.

Maths was the most popular A-level subject this year.

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