EDUCATION Minister Kirsty Williams has congratulated A level students across Wales.

The top A* to A grades increased this year to 27 per cent, from 26.3 per cent in 2018, a historic high.

The provisional results show Wales improve in ranking for all grades and to first for A*, compared to English regions and Northern Ireland.

The main figures from today’s provisional results are:

Attainment of top grades has increased - A* - A passes rose from 26.3 per cent in 2018 to 27 per cent, a historic high.

A* passes are now at 9.1 per cent, also an historic high.

Results remained stable at A*-C, with the overall pass rate of 76.3 per cent still at the highest level since 2009.

Wales has made improvements in ranking for all grades and is now ranked first for A* compared to the English regions and Northern Ireland.

Amongst the core subjects, Maths has the highest pass rate at A*-A, with 45.2 per cent achieving those grades.

An increase in the number of Science entries and more achieving A*-C grades in Biology (+1.1 per cent points), Chemistry (+2.2 per cent points) and Physics (+1.1 per cent points).

Results are stable at AS Level, with 20.3 per cent awarded an A grade and 90.0 per cent achieving grades A-E.

Welsh Baccalaureate students also performed well. For the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate, equivalent in size and demand to an A level, 4.6 per cent of students achieved an A* grade, a significant rise from 1.6 per cent in 2017.

Ms Williams said: "We’ve seen a positive set of results this year with a historically strong performance across the board for all grades. The record number of A*-A shows our top performing students are really flourishing and reaching their full potential.

"I’m also pleased to see the continuing increase in the number of students taking Science subjects, which will help meet the demand in many of our key industries into the future.

"It’s a big day for everyone collecting their A-level results and I want to congratulate the students, as well as our fantastic teachers and school staff, for all their hard work that’s led up to today."