Key statistics in this year's A-level results

Here are the main figures in this year's A-level results:

- The proportion of candidates receiving top grades is the highest since 2012. A total of 26.4% entrants scored either an A or A*, up slightly on 26.3% in 2017.

- 8.0% of entrants received an A*, down from 8.3% last year. This is the lowest level since 2013, when it was 7.6%.

- The overall pass rate (grades A*-E) was 97.6%, down from 97.9% last year. This is the lowest pass rate since 2010, when it was also 97.6%.

- Boys lead girls in the top grades for the second year running. The proportion of boys who got A or higher was 26.6%, 0.4 percentage points higher than girls (26.2%).

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

- Last year boys led girls by 0.5 percentage points (26.6% boys, 26.1% girls). Before 2017, girls had traditionally led boys, though the gap had been narrowing since 2008.

- The gap between the best-performing boys and girls has fallen slightly. The proportion of boys who got A* was 8.5%, 0.9 percentage points higher than girls (7.6%).

- In 2017 the figures were 8.8% for boys, 7.8% girls - a gap of 1.0 points.

- The most popular subject this year was maths. It was taken by 97,627 entrants, up 2.5% on 2017.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

- Biology was the second most popular subject. It was taken by 63,819 entrants, up 3.1% on 2017. The third most popular subject was psychology, taken by 59,708 entrants, a rise of 1.8%.

- General studies saw the biggest drop in candidates of any subject with more than 1,000 entrants. The number fell by more than half (52.1%).

- Computing saw the biggest jump in entrants, rising by 23.9% on 2017.

- There were 811,776 A-levels awarded, down 2% on last year's total and the lowest number since 2007.

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