As the exams regulator publishes its plans for reform of A-levels, top universities welcome a proposal to restrict the number of re-sits students are able to take.
Ofqual is expected to say on Tuesday there should be restrictions on re-sits, as part of a major overhaul of A-levels designed to improve standards.
It is thought that the regulator will also say that the current system, in which A-levels are broken down into modules, should be scrapped, along with January exams.
We think it's fair that people are given a second chance if they have good reasons for under-performing in an exam, but more recently students have been allowed to do re-sits too frequently. Dr Wendy Piatt, Russell Group
Most A-levels are divided into four modules. Students sit them in January and June in both years of their courses, with AS exams in the first year and A2s in the second.
There is speculation AS exams could be scrapped, but the Russell Group argues that this would be a step too far.
Director general Dr Wendy Piatt said: "While A-levels are broadly fit for purpose, we do have several concerns. With the current modular system, students too often quickly forget the 'bite-sized chunks' of knowledge they have learnt.
"This makes it harder for them to have an overall grasp of that subject, to synthesise information and to become independent learners. We think it's fair that people are given a second chance if they have good reasons for under-performing in an exam, but more recently students have been allowed to do re-sits too frequently."
Dr Piatt said universities were concerned that many students who did not reach the required standard first or second time round "don't go on to do as well in their chosen degree course".
Last year, more than 250,000 teenagers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland took A-levels. One in 12 exams achieved an A* grade, while more than one in four (27 per cent) achieved at least an A.
In April, Education Secretary Michael Gove announced that he intends to give universities, particularly the most elite institutions, "a far greater role" in designing A-levels in the future. This is expected to be included in Ofqual's recommendations.