A high number of UK students are currently making one of their most significant life choices so far. Having received their a-level results on 18 August, it is now time for them to decide what comes next - entering their first choice university, finding a different option through clearing, maybe choosing vocational training over uni or even taking some time out to do a gap year.
To mark the occasion, we decided to give you an overview of this year's results and everything surrounding the 2016 A-levels.
While the overall pass rate of 98.1% has remained the same since last year, the number of students receiving the top grades A and A* has fallen for the fifth consecutive year and can now be seen at a mere 25.8%.
However, contrary to these findings, the admissions service UCAS confirmed that a record number of over 420,000 applicants was accepted by the university of their choice on 18 August, which signifies a 2.9% rise in acceptances compared to last year.
Subjects Receiving Highest Grades
Interestingly, the top five subjects in terms of student performance have not changed since 2015. Ranking highest on the list are Further Maths and Irish.
Subjects Receiving Lowest Grades
Over the course of the last years, students taking subjects like ICT and Media, Film and TV Studies have continuously been receiving significantly fewer top grades, with 2016 being no exception.
Although girls continue scoring higher grades and being admitted in their first choice institutions more often than boys, the gender gap has begun to narrow for the first time in five years. The 1.6% increase in university admissions of female applicants was surpassed by a 2.5% rise of successful male applicants, while the disparity regarding average grades has shrunk by 0.1%.
Further differences can be found in the kinds of subjects students opt for. While young men make up the majority of people taking subjects such as Computing, Physics and Further Maths, the courses that are the most popular among women include Performing and Expressive Arts and Sociology.
According to UCAS, the number of people who have managed to find university places through clearing during the four days following the 18th alone has risen by 13% compared to last year, which translates to a record number of around 33,000 students.
Removing the cap that used to restrict the number of places English universities could offer to students, combined with this year's decline in 18-year-old applicants, has increased universities' motivation to attract students and has made it easier than ever for young people to get into top-notch institutions.
Tutoring as a Way of Boosting Your Results
Private tutoring has been known for the longest time to improve academic performance, whether it be in a subject a student struggles with or one that they already excel in and would simply like to perfect. So it's no wonder that more and more young people make use of tutoring when preparing for major exams such as their GCSE's or A-levels. You can read more about the the success tuition agencies have had in recent years and some of the reasons behind this development in this article from the Telegraph.
The aspects both parents and students appear to enjoy the most about having a private tutor alongside school seem to be that it gives each student the chance to be taught in small groups or even have one-on-one classes, both of which make for a much more comfortable and safe learning environment. Furthermore, private tutors tend to provide alternative approaches to specific problems or even studying techniques as a whole. This is particularly helpful for students who have difficulties applying the conventional methods taught at school.
Looking at the continuous growth of the tutoring industry, it comes as no surprise that every summer more and more tuition agencies proudly publish their students' results and success stories on social media. With regular pass rates of 100% and students receiving far more top grades than the average, many organisations will without a doubt become even more popular over the next years.