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A-level passes up again

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The A-level pass rate has risen again this year to more than 97.2%, while just over a quarter (25.9%) of students achieved the top A grades.

As the Joint Council for Qualifications revealed the latest rise - from 96.9% and 25.3% respectively in 2007 - the government said it planed to make A-levels more challenging.

There were a record 827,737 entries at A-level and 1.13 million at AS-level. There were also increases in the numbers taking the so-called STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Maths rose 7.5% from last year, to 65,239, and further maths was up 15.5%, to 9,483.

There were more modest rises for the three sciences, with entries for chemistry up 3.5%, biology up 2.7% and physics up 2.3%.

Earlier this week the CBI revealed its proposals for increasing the number of students taking STEM subjects.

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