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A-level results day and UCAS clearing: Universities accept thousands fewer students as pass rates hit lowest level since 2010 - as it happened

Teenagers opened their A-level results across the country

Eleanor Busby,Joe Sommerlad,Charlie Wood
Thursday 16 August 2018 16:20 BST
Top ten universities in the UK for student satisfaction, according to Times Higher Education

Tens of thousands of teenagers received their A-level results across the country amid major changes to exams.

The number of students who secured pass grades at A-level dropped to its lowest point in eight years - but the proportion of students who received top grades (A* or A) rose slightly.

Last year, grades were awarded in the first 13 reformed A-level subjects in England - which have moved towards final exams after two years. Students received grades in a further 11 reformed subjects on Thursday.

See below how we covered A-level results day

For the second year running, boys outperformed girls at the top grades. Experts had predicted that the linear structure of the new qualifications – with less coursework and AS levels no longer counting towards the A-level grade - would favour boys.

Tens of thousands of courses were still available in clearing on the morning of results day – including at the Russell Group, which are considered to be the top universities.


Speaking to The Independent, Ucas boss Clare Marchant said that universities should do more to tackle the growing mental health crisis among students.

Ucas has seen a rise in the number of anxious students and parents reaching out about “exam stress” on A-level results day in recent years. Read more here: 

Eleanor Busby15 August 2018 21:26

Students waiting on university places will only be able to find out whether they have been accepted at 8am tomorrow by signing onto Track on Ucas' website.

They still need to go into their school or college in the morning to pick up their results. 

Eleanor Busby15 August 2018 22:00

Education Correspondent Eleanor Busby will have the national statistics and trends for A-level results day from Westminster at 9.30am - as tens of thousands of students collect their grades and find out their university places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Eleanor Busby15 August 2018 22:30

Young people are increasingly less likely to believe that getting a degree is important, according to a poll out today for A-level results day.

It indicates that the proportion of secondary school pupils who think they need to go to university to do well in life has fallen steadily in the last six years.

The findings, published by the Sutton Trust, come as students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland receive their A-level results and learn if they have gained a university place.

The poll, which questioned around 2,300 children aged 11-16 in England and Wales, found that three-quarters (75 per cent) think it is important to go to university, down from 78 per cent last year and a high of 86 per cent in 2013.

Eleanor Busby16 August 2018 06:17

British Olympian Samantha Quek, who won gold with Team GB at the 2016 Rio Olympics, told those on Twitter waiting for A-level results that "time is on your side".

She highlighted her own achievements despite receiving "crap" results from her exams.

Eleanor Busby16 August 2018 06:40

Twitter is currently awash with anxious students reporting sleepless nights and posting stressed-out InBetweeners GIFs.

But don't fret. Whatever the outcome, remember you always have options.

Here are some wise words from Magid Magid, Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

Joe Sommerlad16 August 2018 08:01

Here's the latest from Ucas, who say a record percentage of young people are off to university:

"Students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland receiving their exam results will find out today if they are going to university or college.

In England, a record 27.9 per cent of the 18 year old population have been accepted through UCAS. In Wales 26.3 per cent of young people will be starting an undergraduate course, also a record. In Northern Ireland, the entry rate is 28.1 per cent. Scottish students received their exam results last week, and 25.9 per cent of all 18 year olds have now been accepted.

In total, more than 353,960 people from across the UK have been accepted so far this year – a 2 per cent decrease compared to A level results day 2017.

A total of 411,860 have been placed on an undergraduate course, so far. This is a 1 per cent decrease on A level results day last year, although comes alongside a 2.5% drop in the number of 18 year olds in the UK population. Of those accepted, 88% will be studying their first choice course."

Joe Sommerlad16 August 2018 08:06

If you haven't quite got the grades you need to meet a conditional offer, remember the Clearing process is there for you.

Here's our guide to finding an alternative course.

Joe Sommerlad16 August 2018 08:08

Parents are also likely to be biting their nails today. Here's our advice for nervous mums and dads on navigating Clearing:

Joe Sommerlad16 August 2018 08:14
Joe Sommerlad16 August 2018 08:25

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