Results Day brings a mixture of despair and delight for Britain’s A-level pupils every year.
Some teenagers jump for joy after finding out their marks, while others hold their heads in their hands and ponder what went wrong, and what to do next.
For this year’s generation, who have had to contend with all the complications of coronavirus, the dreaded day has for some time been clouded by even more uncertainty.
Here, while some pupils tell the Mail how they are celebrating getting into their desired universities after achieving top grades, others reveal how chaos over education policy has left them feeling let down.
Sixth form where three top pupils got the chop
Several pupils at one sixth form college were downgraded after getting top predicted grades.
Wiktoria Sniadowska said she would ‘definitely’ appeal after a computer algorithm cut her straight As to BBC.
She is continuing her studies at Leyton Sixth Form College in London, where she will take an art foundation diploma.
But she said: ‘I know that if I’d done my exams, I’d have got better grades. It’s unfair.’
Left to right: Victoria Sniadowska, Tamzin Iyayi and Aqsa Ali. Wiktoria Sniadowska said she would ‘definitely’ appeal after a computer algorithm cut her straight As to BBC
Tamzin Iyayi lost out on a place at Cambridge after being marked down from A*AA in history, law and politics. She said: ‘I just feel let down by the Government.’
Aqsa Ali had been offered places to study politics and international relations.
But she missed out after being downgraded to a B in politics and Cs in history and religious studies.
She said: ‘It’s had a big impact on my mental health and confidence.’
Young carer robbed of university place
A young carer has had his A levels lowered by as much as three grades, putting his university plans in doubt.
Maks Ovnik cares for his grandmother, 102, alongside his mother on the Isle of Wight.
He got ABB in his mocks and his school gave him AAB in maths, computing and physics.
Maks Ovnik cares for his grandmother, 102, alongside his mother on the Isle of Wight
But these were downgraded by Ofqual to ADE, meaning he loses his place to study physics at Southampton.
Maks, 18, who plans to appeal, thinks his results were downgraded due to his school’s performance last year. He said: ‘It’s not a nice feeling at all.’
Identical A*s for twins off to Oxford
Identical twin sisters are setting off to Oxford together – but will finally be separated as they go to different colleges.
Arianne and Enyala Banks have always taken similar paths and it was no surprise when both achieved four A*s.
But they are finally set to be parted as Arianne (pictured in blue and white top) will study law with French law at Mansfield College, while Enyala (in maroon top) will read materials science at Queen’s College.
Arianne and Enyala Banks have always taken similar paths and it was no surprise when both achieved four A*s
Arianne studied French, history, politics and biology for A level at the private Cardiff Sixth Form College while Enyala took maths, physics, chemistry and history.
Enyala said of their A level experience: ‘For the first time Arianne and I have made separate friends, perhaps because we chose such different subjects.
‘As twins this is quite unusual as we are very alike in many ways but also have very different sides to our personalities.’
From Iraqi patient to Cambridge medic
A refugee who left Iraq as a toddler to receive urgent medical treatment in the UK has earned a place at Cambridge to study medicine after getting four A*s.
Buraq Ahmed, 18, suffered an agonising hip condition. When he was three his parents sold their home to fund surgery in Britain.
Buraq, pictured as a child, came with grandma Saadiyah, 69 – and they couldn’t go home due to the Iraq War.
The teenager, who studied biology, chemistry, economics and maths at Cardiff Sixth Form College, said: ‘Having spent so much time in hospitals with some of my happiest times being looked after by amazing NHS nurses, I decided I wanted to help other people.’
Buraq Ahmed (pictured with his grandmother Saadiyah Khattab) suffered an agonising hip condition. When he was three his parents sold their home to fund surgery in Britain
Buraq, pictured as a child, came with grandma Saadiyah, 69 – and they couldn’t go home due to the Iraq War