Early indications showed an improvement overall in A-Levels in Wales, with 8.7% of grades awarded at A*.
That is the best outcome in Wales since the grade was introduced in 2010, and is 0.4% higher than the previous best figure in 2017.
Some 76.3% of pupils gained A* to C – the highest since 2009 and the second highest recorded – with 26.3% achieving A*-A in a historic high.
Maths has the highest pass rate of any key subject with 42.2% gaining A* to A.
There have been increases at A* in physics, biology, chemistry, arts and design, psychology, geography, religious studies and English language.
At A* to C, the results have gone up in English literature, biology, chemistry, physics, history, art and design, sociology and business studies.
The overall average for all subjects shows the performance of both male and female learners has improved across most grades.
The Welsh Baccalaureate results show:
* 97.7% of candidates achieved the Skills Challenge Certificate, an increase of 3.7% from 2017.
* 80.9% of candidates passed the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate, an increase of 2.2% from 2017.
Education secretary Kirsty Williams said: “Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work from our students and I want to congratulate them, as well as our fantastic teachers and lecturers, on these results.
“We’re seeing a very positive and stable set of results, with some very encouraging signs of progress as we continue on our journey of education reform.
(Image: Arwyn Roberts)
“I’m very pleased that the number of students achieving A*-A has reached 26.3% – this is a 1.3% increase from last year and is an historic high for Wales.
“It’s also particularly pleasing to see an increase in the number of students taking STEM subjects. This is the continuation of a trend we’ve seen in recent years.
(Image: Coleg Cambria)
“Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level pass rates are also up which is excellent news. This is a valued qualification accepted by a growing number of prestigious universities across the UK.
“These are all very good reasons why we should remain confident in our reformed system of qualifications.
“We are providing students with the skills and knowledge they need for the modern world and our challenge now is to build on the results as we continue our national mission to raise standards for all our young people.”