A level outcomes in England




These interactive graphs show A level outcomes across all subjects for all students for the years 2008 to 2019 and for 18 year olds for the years 2017 to 2019.


Clicking on an individual grade or gender in the legend will make the line in the chart disappear or appear. For more explanation of these graphs, click on the Questions and Answers tab.


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For any feedback on these graphs, please contact data.analytics@ofqual.gov.uk.

Return to the Ofqual Analytics home page.

If you need an accessible version of this information to meet specific accessibility requirements, please email publications@ofqual.gov.uk with details of your request.


1. What do the charts show?


The four charts show A level outcomes and the number of students taking A levels in England in the summer exam series from 2008 to 2019. Applied and double award A levels are not included. Details of the data shown in each chart are as follows:

  • Chart 1: the percentage of students achieving each grade in A level in the subject selected (grey lines)
  • Chart 2: data used in chart 1 for female students (orange lines)
  • Chart 3: data used in chart 1 for male students (green lines)
  • Chart 4: the number of students taking A levels in the subject selected, overall and split by gender. These figures are rounded to the nearest 5.


2. Which subjects are included?


All A level subjects taken in England are included in the 'all subjects' grouping in the subject drop-down. The majority of A level subjects with high uptake are available to select individually in the subject drop-down.


3. How do the subject groupings work?


All of the subjects are grouped using the subject groupings established by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). Most groupings contain a single subject but some groupings contain multiple subjects. For example, 'classical subjects' includes Biblical Hebrew, ancient history, classical civilisation, classical Greek and Latin. Over the years these subject groupings have changed as follows:

  • From 2008 to 2016, English language, English literature and English language and literature were all classified under the single grouping, 'English'. These subjects each have their own group from 2017 onwards
  • Design and technology subject grouping was created as a category in 2010 and so there is no data for design and technology prior to 2010
  • Performing/expressive arts contained performing arts, performance studies and dance until 2017, from 2018 this category only includes dance
  • Prior to 2010, physical education subject grouping was termed 'sport/PE studies' and ICT subject grouping was termed 'information and computer technology'.


4. Which students are included?


Data for the years 2008 to 2019 include all students in England taking A levels. Data for 18-year-old students in England (the age students are typically when taking A levels) is available by selecting 'Aged 18' in the age group drop-down. In these charts, the breakdown by age is only available for 2017 onwards as this was the first year the breakdown was published in this data.


5. What is the difference between the display of cumulative and non-cumulative percentages?


Non-cumulative percentages for each grade show the actual percentage of students achieving exactly that grade (eg exactly grade B) whereas cumulative percentages show the percentage of students achieving that grade and all the grades above it (eg grade B and above - B, A and A*).

For cumulative percentages, it is possible to view the data with the y-axis reversed as well (going from 100 to 0 instead of 0 to 100) by selecting reversed in the y-axis layout drop-down.


6. Why does data for some years appear to be missing?


You will see that there are no data points for the A* grade in 2008 and 2009 and this is because the A* grade for A level was first awarded in 2010. This explains the drop in the percentage of students achieving grade A in 2010.


7. What does the pop-up box show?


When you hover over a point on the chart, a pop-up box will appear. For the first three charts, the pop-up box provides information on the year, the grade and the percentage of students achieving that grade (or that grade and above if 'cumulative percentages' are selected) in the selected subject. For the fourth chart, the pop-up box provides information on the year, the gender of students and the number of students taking an A level in the selected subject.


8. Why are some line labels missing?


Some line labels appear to be missing where the data points on the chart overlap. You can see which grade or gender the line relates to by hovering over the line and the pop-up box will then appear which includes this information. The legend also identifies each line on the chart and clicking on an individual grade or gender in the legend will make the associated line in the chart disappear or appear.


9. Where does this data come from?


Ofqual receives this data from the JCQ shortly before results day. This data is supplied by awarding organisations to the JCQ who publish it on results day. The data does not reflect any changes to grades from post-results reviews. This means that it is possible that the figures presented here may not be the same as those presented in the Department for Education's statistical first release on A level results.


For any feedback on these graphs, please contact data.analytics@ofqual.gov.uk.

Return to the Ofqual Analytics home page.

If you need an accessible version of this information to meet specific accessibility requirements, please email publications@ofqual.gov.uk with details of your request.