Students studying for their A Levels are less likely to achieve their predicted grades compared to those studying four years ago. A new report by UCAS has found that in 2014 18 year olds who were predicted ‘ABB’ were 34.7% less likely to achieve their predicted grades than students in 2010. For those predicted AAB, the proportion attaining ABB or better fell from 58.4% in 2010 to 46% in 2014, a 21.2% drop proportionally.
The End of Cycle report also found that more students who were predicted BBB were entering ‘higher tariff’ universities. 35% of those students gained a place at a university with higher entry requirements, compared to 11% in 2011.
That said, the report concluded students rarely achieved better than their predicted grades. This research comes as the top selective universities are increasingly accepting students with lower grades than required.
In August of last year a record number of applicants were awarded a place at university. However, some universities lowered their grade boundaries for students that had just missed out of the top grades. Universities also added 100,000 extra places last year due to increased demand. However, although the number of individuals applying to university is rising, UCAS went on to state that the growth in higher education is now coming from new interest in vocational courses and BTECs.
This trend is set to continue with the 2015 results.