A-level results 2014: Maths overtakes English to become most popular subject

The TES is reporting that maths has overtaken English for the first time in more than a decade to become the most popular A-level taken this year…

English has clung on to top spot ever since the Curriculum 2000 reforms were introduced, and back in 2005 almost 33,000 more students sat the subject than the number of candidates who took maths.

But maths has steadily grown in popularity, from 52,788 entries in 2004 to 88,816 this year. Despite an overall drop in A-level entries since 2013, the subject bucked the trend by recording a small rise of 0.86 percentage points.

In contrast, more than 4,100 fewer candidates sat English, amounting to a drop of 4.6 percentage points.

The growth in maths, as well as science subjects, was welcomed by John Cridland, director general of the CBI business lobbying organisation…

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said heads have been keen to encourage more young people to study maths to A-level…

More students sitting maths achieved an A* grade – 17.3 per cent – than in any other subject, apart from further maths, in which more than a quarter (26.5 per cent) of entries were awarded the top grade. In media, film and TV studies qualifications, just 1.4 per cent of candidates obtained an A*…

More (including a list of the top 10 subjects) at: A-level results 2014: Maths overtakes English to become most popular subject


What do you think is behind this increasing popularity of maths and is like something you, like John Cridland of the CBI welcome? Please give us your thoughts and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Although the rise in STEM subject uptake is encouraging this shouldn’t be spun by DfE as a rise in standards, only numbers

  2. rrobson66

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove the extraordinary difference in male and female subjects taking certain subjects is worthy of some thought.

  3. jess_madge

    SchoolsImprove Cheering news. Business and public sector needs strongly numerate staff. Data drives so many things these days.

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