MORE A-levels were handed the very highest grade this summer, but the overall pass rate fell for the first time in more than 30 years, official figures show.
In total, just over one in four (26%) of exams were awarded an A* or A grade, down 0.3 percentage points on last summer.
But the proportion of A* grades handed out rose to 8.2%, up 0.6 percentage points on 2013.
And the overall A*-E pass rate fell by 0.1% to 98% - the first time it has fallen in 32 years.
Boys have outdone girls at A* grade for the third year running, with 8.5% of boys' entries attaining the top mark, compared with 7.9% of the girls.
The latest results come amid major changes to the system, with January exams scrapped, leaving fewer opportunities for students to re-sit papers. All exams are now taken in the summer.
Schools have been warned that they could see changes to their results this year due to the overhaul.
In Wales there were more A*, more A and more A*-B grades this year, although the number of entries was down 0.6 per cent
Across Wales, 97.5 per cent of A-level entries resulted in a pass; 75.2 per cent had a pass at grade A*- C; and 85.7 per cent of AS entries resulted in a pass.
Cwmcarn High School has a 100% pass rate (A-E) for A-level students this year. The school is "extremely pleased"
Head of 6th form at Cwmcarn Helen Breen says it has been a "testing year but the results speak volumes"
Crosskeys campus saw a pass rate of 97.6 per cent.
The overall pass rate at A*-C at the campus is 77.5 per cent, slightly higher than last year.
Principal Jim Bennett said he was delighted with the outcome.
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Caerphilly: Pass rate 98.13%, up on the Welsh average of 97.5%. Grades A*-A 16.9% and A*-C 72.9%
THE pass rate for Caerphilly county students was 98.13 per cent, while A*-A grades were at 16.9 per cent and 72.9 per cent of grades were at C or above.
Jack Mainwaring, 18, from Blackwood, who studied at Coleg Gwent Crosskeys campus will be attending Cambridge this year after scoring 5 A*'s in maths, further maths, Welsh, chemistry and biology, and will study natural science at Churchill College, Cambridge from next month.
The former Pontllanfraith Comprehensive pupil said: “These were my predicted grades but I’m really happy to actually get them.
"I’m really thankful to the college and I’m looking forward to go and study Natural Science because it’s such a varied course.”
Cllr Rhianon Passmore, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning at Caerphilly council has congratulated pupils and teachers.
She said: “These are fantastic results, which are a testament to the hard work of the students and their teachers. The results our learners have achieved are a clear illustration of their dedication and ability, as well as a reflection of the quality of teaching provided within our schools and the commitment of our teachers in helping our students to realise their potential.
“On behalf of all at Caerphilly County Borough Council – congratulations and well done to you all”.