A-levels 2012: Top grades down this year
There has been a fall in the proportion of A-level grades awarded an A or A* for the first time in over two decades.
This summer's results show 26.6% of A-level entries achieved the top two grades - down from 27% last year.
About 335,000 students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are receiving their results - with many finding out whether they have made the grade for university.
Students in England will be the first intake to face fees of up to £9,000.
Although girls have continued to outperform boys for getting A grades - this year saw boys narrowly ahead of girls at achieving the highest A* grades - 8% compared with 7.9%.
Making the grade
The figures published by the Joint Council for Qualifications also show that the overall pass rate has risen again for the 30th successive year.
A-level top grades
The results also revealed a continuing fall in the numbers of pupils taking modern languages - with French, Spanish and German in decline.
"There is a crisis here in modern foreign languages," said Andrew Hall, chief executive of exam board AQA.
Read more ... (BBC News - 16 August)