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Department praises 'excellent' examination results 14 August 2008

More students than ever have sat A levels this year. The average student has been entered for more A levels that in any previous year. The students in the Island’s secondary schools have amassed a record average point score. These are the key features of the provisional 2008 A level results in the Island’s schools.

In the five secondary schools, 370 Year 13 students were entered for a record total of over 1600 A and AS levels in 41 subjects. For the first time the average number of entries per student exceeded 4. Alevels at BHS 1

Some of the key details from the data that has been analysed today are as follows:

• The breadth of subjects available (41 subjects) was greater than in any previous year and ranged from traditional subjects such as Physics and History to more recent A levels such as World Development and Critical Thinking

• The number of entries per student was a record 4.0 subjects

• Using the UCAS tariff system (120 points for grade A, 100 for B, 80 for C, 60 for D, 40 for E) the average points score per student was 323, the highest on record. This would be equivalent to one A and two B grades per student

• The Island’s A level pass rate was 97.0%, the second highest ever achieved

• The number of A level passes at grades A and B, 574 out of 1381 A level entries (41.6%), was the third highest on record.

There have been some outstanding results achieved by individual students in each of the schools. Once again a number of students have obtained 3 A grade passes, which is a magnificent achievement, and some students have exceeded this with 4 or 5 grade A passes.

Early feedback from the schools suggests that most students have been successful in securing places at their first choice university, which is a useful measure of how well students have done in relation to their own expectations.

It should be noted that these results for the Isle of Man are not directly comparable with the results that will be published in the UK. The initial UK results relate to all entrants and include mature students and students in colleges and independent schools whereas the Isle of Man data relate solely to 18 year olds in the five secondary schools.

The Isle of Man schools also have a higher staying on rate than in England and enter a higher proportion of students for A levels. Given this context the Island’s results are very pleasing indeed.

Secondary Education Adviser Paul Craine said:

Education is not about pass rates but it is about young people achieving their potential. This year more of our young people than ever have stayed on in the sixth form and they have been entered for more subjects than ever before. I would like to congratulate them all, as I know that they have had to work extremely hard to achieve these results. It is an incredibly exciting time for them and, whether they are taking up university and college places or entering the world of work, I would like to wish them every success in the future.'

He added:

'Excellent results like these reflect a great deal of hard work by our schools as well as students and signify many of the strengths in our education system. I am delighted that our schools continue to serve our young people so well and would like to extend my congratulations to all those who work in, and with, our schools for their dedication and professionalism.’

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