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A Level Results 2021 – Statistics, Trends, and Analysis

The A Level results for 2021 are finally out and, as expected, students are anxiously comparing their grades with those of others. But what do the results tell us about the state of education in the UK? Are the trends from previous years holding up, or are there any surprises? In this article, we look at the most interesting statistics from the results and present our analysis.

Overall Pass Rate

Firstly, let’s take a look at the overall pass rate for this year’s A Level exams. According to the infographic from Simply Learning Tuition, the pass rate has remained the same as last year, at 98.2%. This means that almost all candidates have achieved at least one pass, which is a positive sign.

Top Level Grades

However, the picture is not so rosy when it comes to the top level grades. The percentage of students achieving A* and A grades has decreased by 0.5% compared to last year, from 27.6% to 27.1%. This may seem like a small drop, but it is significant considering that it is the third year in a row that the percentage has decreased.

This trend is particularly worrying for students who are preparing for university applications, as top institutions usually require a minimum of three A* or A grades to be considered. With fewer students achieving these grades, competition for places is likely to be even tougher than usual.

Regional Variations

The results also show some interesting regional variations. Students in London and the South East performed the best, with 29.3% achieving A* and A grades. This is not surprising, given the higher concentration of top schools and universities in these areas, which are known for their academic excellence.

On the other hand, students in the North East and Yorkshire and the Humber performed the worst, with only 24.4% achieving A* and A grades. This is a considerable difference compared to the best-performing regions, and highlights the educational inequalities that still exist in the UK.

Gender Differences

Another interesting finding from the results is that there are significant gender differences in certain subjects. In English language and literature, for example, female students outperformed their male counterparts, with 29.2% achieving A* and A grades compared to 20.9% of male students.

In contrast, male students performed better in mathematics and physics, with 32.3% achieving A* and A grades compared to 27.4% of female students. These differences highlight the importance of addressing gender disparities in STEM subjects, where female students are often underrepresented.

Impact of Covid-19

Of course, it is impossible to talk about the A Level results without mentioning the impact of Covid-19. Last year, students faced significant disruption to their education due to the pandemic, which led to a controversial system of grade moderation.

This year, students have faced a more normal exam cycle, but there are still concerns about the impact of Covid-19 on their learning. Many students have reported feeling unprepared for the exams, either due to missed lessons or increased stress and anxiety.

It is too early to tell what the long-term impact of Covid-19 will be on education, but it is clear that there are still significant challenges to be faced.


In conclusion, the 2021 A Level results provide some interesting insights into the state of education in the UK. While the overall pass rate remains high, there are concerns about the drop in top level grades and regional inequalities. Gender disparities also continue to exist in certain subjects.

Ultimately, the A Level results are just one aspect of a complex education system, and should not be taken in isolation. It is important to look at the bigger picture, and to work towards improving the educational opportunities and outcomes for all students, regardless of their background or circumstance.