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A-level French results 1993-2014

Here are grades and entry numbers for A-level French from 1993 to 2014.

Source: and JCQ figures for 2014.

French entries
                 A*    A    B    C    D    E    N    U   A - E  Entries 
       2014      6.6 31.0                                       10433                                     
       2013      6.5 32.0 30.3 17.9  9.1  3.4       0.8  99.2   11272
       2012      6.8 32.6 29.4 18.5  8.8  3.1       0.8  99.2   12511   
       2011      7.7 32.4 29.3 18.0  8.7  3.0       0.9  99.1   13196
       2010      7.7 31.4 28.5 18.2  9.6  3.7       0.9  99.1   13850
       2009          38.6 27.6 18.3 10.5  4.1       0.9  99.1   14333
       2008          37.3 27.7 18.9 10.6  4.3       1.2  98.8   14885
       2007          36.3 28.0 18.2 11.6  4.6       1.3  98.7   14477
       2006          34.7 27.4 19.5 11.8  5.3       1.3  98.7   14650
       2005          32.9 27.5 20.0 12.4  5.6       1.6  98.4   14484
       2004          33.4 26.8 19.8 12.6  5.8       1.6  98.4   15149
       2003          31.4 26.4 20.0 13.3  6.6       2.3  97.7   15531
       2002          29.3 25.2 20.9 13.8  7.7       3.1  96.9   15614
       2001          24.7 20.5 19.4 16.0 11.2  5.5  2.7  91.8   17939
       2000          23.5 21.5 20.1 16.3 10.5  5.6  2.5  91.9   18221
       1999          23.2 20.4 20.1 16.4 11.3  5.7  2.9  91.4   21072
       1998          21.6 20.7 19.6 17.3 11.6  6.2  3.0  90.8   23633
       1997          20.2 19.9 19.6 16.7 12.1  6.9  4.6  88.5   25916
       1996          20.9 18.0 20.3 17.3 12.5  6.9  4.1  89.0   27490
       1995          20.1 18.3 19.3 17.7 13.4  7.1  4.1  88.8   27563
       1994          19.9 17.7 19.0 17.4 13.4  7.8  4.7  87.5   28942
       1993          18.6 17.3 19.5 18.5 13.6  7.6  4.9  87.5   29886
A* grades remain relatively thin on the ground when compared with other subjects. The recent JCQ report on the A* issue explains that variations in writing performance and the way that grades are calculated from raw scores means that A* grades are bound to be lower in MFL. The headline figure of 6.6% for 2014 is only a couple of points short of, say, chemistry, but it is a much smaller proportion when you look at the comparison of A* and A grades. I would not be alarmed by the apparent grade inflation since 1993. Remember that in those days the average ability of A-level linguists was lower - just look at the entry numbers. There has been some inflation, but it has been greater in other subjects, so MFL still suffers from severe grading, but most noticeably at the A* point.

Incidentally, bearing in mind current worries about falling entries for French and German, there is no very strong correlation between the decision to make MFL optional at KL4 (a decision taken around 2004). That decision may have had some effect, but the serious decline was earlier. The JCQ report published in July, about which I recently blogged, looks into the reasons why students are rejecting languages at A-level. These reasons include a poor experience of GCSE, fear of getting a lower grade than for other subjects and the current popularity of STEM subjects.


  1. I think there is a perception that it's too hard to get a top grade so it's a risk. My niece has just narrowly failed to get into Oxford because her MFL grade let her down.

  2. Did she need an A*? Oxbridge are aware that A*s are harder to get than in other subjects so may not demand one for MFL. An A in MFL is much more achievable - statistically about as hard as sciences. Sorry she did not get her place.


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