Letter: Reasons for the short supply of science students

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Sir: Looking at the GCSE results, and recalling the lamentations at the low proportions of science students at A- level, I wonder if the two are linked. Most students reckon they need an A or B at GCSE in any subject they are to study at A-level. The statistics show that the percentage of A and B grades in different subjects are:

English 28.9%

French 33.9%

History 33.3%

Maths 20.0%

Science 21.4%

It is hardly surprising that many students perceive maths and science to be harder than arts subjects. On the basis of these figures, they are harder. The question is, are the standards in science exams set too high, or the standards in arts exams set too low?

Yours faithfully,


Chesham, Buckinghamshire