This year's rise is the second smallest in a decade. The pass rate rose by just 0.7 percentage points to 88.5 per cent, the same increase as last year. Results have improved since 1982 when the pass rate was just 68 per cent.
However, the numbers taking some subjects fell alarmingly. French A-level entries fell by 11 per cent, geography by 6 per cent and history by 5 per cent. Biology and chemistry also suffered.
The proportion of A grades increased by 0.7 points to 17.5 per cent. Entries were down, 852,042 compared with 863,281 last year.
A-level results, 4 and 5 Leader, 10