Major downgrades but new A level records are set without any exams being sat

Here are the English schools and colleges A Level results in figures

Record results but no exams have been sat
Record results but no exams have been sat

The proportion of candidates receiving top grades is the highest on record.

A total of 27.9% of entrants scored either an A or A*, up from 25.5 % in 2019.

* Some 9.0% of entrants received an A*. This is another record high, and is up from 7.8% last year.

* The overall pass rate (grades A* to E) was 98.3% - again, another record high. It is up from 97.6% in 2019.

*Some 78.4% received a C or above, up from 75.8% in 2019 and the highest since at least 2000.

*Girls have extended their lead over boys in the top grades. The proportion of girls who got A or higher was 28.4%, 1.1 percentage points higher than boys (27.3%). Last year, girls led boys by just 0.1 percentage points (25.5% girls, 25.4% boys). Boys briefly took the lead in 2017 and 2018, following a long period in which girls had been ahead.

* The gap between the best-performing boys and girls has fallen slightly. The proportion of boys who got A* was 9.3%, 0.5 percentage points higher than girls (8.8%). Last year, the gap was 0.7 points.

*The most popular subject this year was maths. It was taken by 94,168 entrants, up 2.5% on 2019.

* Psychology was the second most popular subject, overtaking biology. It was taken by 65,255 entrants, up 1.0% on 2019. Biology slipped to become the third most popular subject, taken by 65,057 entrants, a fall of 6.0%.

* ICT (information and communications technology) saw the biggest drop in candidates for a single subject with more than 1,000 entrants, falling by 15.3% from 1,572 to 1,332.

*Computing saw the biggest jump in candidates of any subject with more than 1,000 entrants, rising by 11.7% from 11,124 to 12,426.

* There were 780,557 A-levels awarded, down 2.6% on last year's total (801,002) and the lowest number since 2004.