A-level results day 2019: AS-level entries down by 56%

'Decoupling' sees entries for Year 12 qualifications continue to wither on the vine

Catherine Lough

exam test

The number of AS-level entries has continued to fall nationally, with the decline mainly driven by England since AS results were “decoupled” from final A-level grades in 2016.

AS-level entries have fallen across the UK by 44.1 per cent this year – with entries in England seeing a 56.2 per cent drop since last year.

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In England the qualifications, usually taken in Year 12, have not counted towards final A-level grades since 2016 and entries have fallen sharply.

Last year, there was a 58.9 per cent drop in AS entries in England compared with 2017.

And between 2016, when the reforms were introduced, and 2017, the number of AS entries in England fell by 42.3 per cent – and 39.1 per cent across the UK. By contrast, between 2015 and 2016, the number of AS entries fell by just 13.7 per cent.

There has also been a more gradual decline in AS entries in Wales and Northern Ireland over the past three years, although AS levels are not decoupled under the Welsh or Northern Irish exam systems. This year, entries fell by 5.6 per cent in Northern Ireland and 7.6 per cent in Wales.

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