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David McKean makes the valid point that 24.1% of A-levels are now
awarded at grade ‘A’ (an increase of 1.3% from last year). Indeed, this
overall average conceals some extraordinarily high percentages. For
example, 43.5% of candidates achieved grade ‘A’ in A-level mathematics in
2006. This contrasts with the 24% of candidates who achieved grade ‘A’ in
the Scottish Higher mathematics examination. Perhaps Des Spence’s
suggestion that three ‘B’s should be adequate to be considered for entry
to medical school was based on his perception of how common it is to
attain grade ‘A’s and ‘B’s in Scottish Highers, rather than in A-levels?