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Provisional A level examination results, 2017

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Key features of the provisional 2017 A level results

The 2017 A level results in the Department of Education and Children (DEC’s) five secondary schools reflect a record standard of achievement for entrants.

There has been a rise in the number of pupils gaining the exceptional A* grade, plus a considerable increase in the percentage of pupils gaining the higher grades of A*-B when compared with all previous years. The overall pass rate (A*-E) of 97.6% is broadly in line with recent years.

As only a small minority of pupils took AS levels, these are not included in the Department’s overall analysis this year.

In the DEC’s five secondary schools, 376 Year 13 pupils were entered for more than 1,100 A levels in nearly 50 subjects.

Some of the key details from the results analysed today are as follows:

  • The percentage of passes at the higher grades of A*-B was 46.1%, an increase of 4% on last year and the highest since the current grading method was established.
  • 7.8% of Island pupils achieved the A* grade, slightly up from 7.3% last year and the highest since the A* was introduced in 2010.
  • The Island’s overall A level pass rate (A*-E) was nearly 98%. This was broadly line with 2016 and all other years.
  • Thanks to sixth form collaboration across secondary schools, the breadth of subjects available has increased in recent years and a range of new subjects have been taken, examples of which are psychology and computer science. One notable new subject is agriculture, which is taught practically through farms. Agriculture saw a large percentage of pupils achieving the highest grades of A* and A in this year’s results.
  • Using the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) tariff system (140 points for grade A*, 120 points for A, 100 for B, 80 for C, 60 for D, 40 for E) the average points score attained per subject entry, at 86, is higher than all previous years since 2010.

Across the Island, individual pupils have achieved outstanding results, with several pupils recording up to four grade A* and A passes.

Joel Smith, School Improvement Adviser with the DEC, said:

‘We have spoken with all five secondary headteachers today and their feedback has been encouraging. The vast majority of pupils have done very well and been able to pursue their chosen pathway or destination.

‘Pupils across the Island have secured positive results, given their respective starting points, and whether their next step is in employment or higher education, they have an ideal platform to continue their learning.’

Headteachers have remarked on the high attainment and excellent achievement of particular pupils. 

One pupil attained four A* grades across four subjects and, following a gap year, will be off to study medicine at Queens University, Belfast. Another pupil, who achieved three A* and one A grade, has taken up an offer to study computer science at Oxford University.

Several pupils have managed to achieve great things through adversity. One pupil, who has been an inspiration to his peers, has attained two grade As and one grade B despite contracting and then battling with the after effects of a severe illness for the past three years. Outside of his studies, he has fronted a national campaign to raise funds for the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, following his treatment there in 2014.

Another pupil achieved three A grades despite considerable personal illness in the family. He has accepted an offer to study business and economics at the University of East Anglia.

The head boy and girl at one school have also performed exceptionally well. One achieved three A* and one A grade and is off to study law in London. The other also achieved excellent results and is staying on the Island to complete an art qualification at University College Isle of Man.

Graham Cregeen MHK, Minister for Education and Children,said:

‘I congratulate all young people receiving their A level results today. The outcomes today are enormously important for the Isle of Man. They are the culmination of a great deal of hard work and dedication on the part of pupils and staff, as well as considerable support from parents.

‘We are proud of all our teaching and support staff for playing such an enabling role in the lives of so many young people over the course of their studies. I’d like to thank staff for their hard work and for coming into schools to assist and support students today.

‘Whatever future plans our young people pursue, whether that be taking up university or college places or entering employment, I wish them every success in their continuing lifelong learning.

‘I would also like to remind those heading off to university that the Isle of Man has excellent employment opportunities on offer to them when they have completed their studies.’


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

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