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In-depth analysis: everything you need to know about this week's A-level results

Top grades fall overall but gender gap closes, suggesting course changes benefit boys

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This year's A-level result headlines may have felt like the usual annual déjà vu, with the proportion of entries receiving the top A* grade reaching a new record level at 8.3 per cent.

But beneath the surface there were more interesting developments. This summer, the initial tranche of reformed “linear” A levels were sat in England for the first time.

Lurid claims in the press last weekend warned that Ofqual’s usual approach to grading would “dumb down” these subjects. In the event, the proportion of 18-year-old entries receiving top grades in them actually fell compared with last year.

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