• Daniel Tihn

A-Level & Intermediate Results: A Review Of This Year's Examination Statistics



After every exam session, MATSEC post the stats on how the grades were distributed for each subject. These stats are quite useful to be able to see trends within MATSEC, students, and the level of difficulty each exam carries. They can either make you feel better about your exam efforts as you see how few people got good marks or make you feel completely and utterly shitty as you see how high the percentage of passes and good grades there are.


While this isn't a detailed analysis, we are going to take a look at this numerical report and see what we can get from it.

The Pass Stats For A's & Intermediates


As with most years, the average pass rates for A-Levels and Intermediates are in the green. Out of all A-Levels taken (5380), 74.05% were passing grades (any grade between A and E) meaning nearly 4000 students passed their A-Levels this session. A similar result was found in the Intermediate stats with 70.5% of 8100 exams being passes.


Including absentees and F's, 1396 A-Level examinations were duds alongside the 2426 Intermediates that didn't make the grade. For overall stats, these are quite good yet don't truly tell the correct story as each individual subject was different. Some subjects had a pass rate of 87.5% and half of the applied students getting A's*, while others only had a 25% pass rate**


*The Russian A-Level had 8 applications, 4 obtaining A's and only 1 failing.


**The Applied Maths A-Level only had 4 applications, 2 of which got F's and 1 was absent for the papers. Sadly, no one got an A.


The Hardest A-Levels To Get An A


Each subject differs from one another, yet statistically speaking there is a way to see which subjects are the hardest to pass and get A's in. But to do that you need to sift through all the bullshit outliers such as Applied Maths which only had 4 applicants and the exams which no one even applied for.


From all the "normal" A-Levels, Religious Knowledge had the lowest pass rate of all with only a 59.6%. While it is still in the positive, 22 out of the 51 failed the subject, 10 being absent for their examinations.


But if it's an A you are after then that's a whole different ball game. The hardest A to obtain this year was Art. Out of 86 exams, only 1.16% of students achieved an A (a whopping 1 person). Either art is astronomically hard, or the examiners had out for the students, or that 1 person was a true Rembrandt, we will never be able to see their works to check.


After Art, the second hardest exam to get an A was English, with only 2.42% of 743 earning an A in the language (only 18 students). Both of these subjects have subjective elements which lend to their difficulty as it depends heavily on the examiner and how they take your work.


But What Is The Easiest To Get An A In?


Now that you know what subjects not to take, which are the easiest ones to get those Uni points in. Once again, there are some special outliers such as Russian (50% out of 8 students got A's. Maybe they were Russian?) and Music (6 people took the subject and 1 person got an A), but from the "normal" subjects there are quite a few high percentages.


The most notable of these is Chemistry. Out of 424 students who applied for the exam, 60 (14.15%) got A's while 48 (11.32%) failed. A lot of exams had percentages between 4% & 12% for students to get A's, which is quite a nice spread between marks.


Veni, Vidi, Vici


There were a couple of subjects that literally no one even applied for this session at A-Level standard. These were Greek and Latin. The 2 languages didn't seem to attract any students during this year's May session, yet Latin did at least get 1 student to apply and attend an Intermediate. Dead language my arse.


There were a couple of other weird outcomes such as the Russian Intermediate which had a total of 2 applicants. After MATSEC made the paper, found invigilators, had people ready to correct the exam, these 2 students realised that they weren't too fussed to attend after all, skipping the paper.


The Music Intermediate had a similar situation, yet out of the 5 students who applied at least 3 of them showed up for the paper (1 got a B and the others got C's. Not too bad).


The overall results for the exams this year were quite positive; with a positive rate of passes, quite a few good marks, and only 31.53% failing SOK, May 2019 was a good session for both students and MATSEC.


We hope you did well in your exams, so don't forget to apply for Uni soon! 🎓