Back when I took my A-levels, barely 8% of candidates achieved an A-Grade, whereas now 26.9% of a much larger percentage of the population achieve the same score. Do they really expect us to believe that there has been no title creep?
If you think not, think a little harder. In the 1970's only 14% of the population took A-levels. The 8% who scored an A thus represented about 1.12% of the entire age group in the country. Today 33% of the population take A-levels, so those 26.9% actually represent 9% of their entire age group, rather than the 1.12% of 40 years ago, which is why last year researchers at Durham University decided that a candidate who would have got a C two decades ago would get an A now.
I would add that I was in that 8% in each of my 4 subjects, also scored 1's on 2 S-level papers, took the exams when I was barely 17 and walked out of both my maths papers less than half way through because I didn't see much point in hanging around after I had finished and I didn't want to distract the other candidates.
And to prove the point, last night I whipped an A-level Pure Maths sample paper off the web. 10 questions, supposedly taking 1 hour 20 minutes. Had it finished in 15 minutes and without a calculator.while eating my supper.