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Thursday, 16 August, 2001, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Students toast exam success
students opening results
The moment of truth for students
Hundreds of thousands of students are getting the results of their A-level and AS-level exams.

Among those celebrating is Jennifer Peachey, who achieved six A grades A-levels at Colchester County High School for Girls in Essex.

She is working in Japan as a television presenter and model as part of her gap year before going to Cambridge to study archaeology and anthropology.

Jennifer Peachey
"I'm perfectly normal" says star pupil Jennifer Peachey
Jennifer said she was pleased with her results, but did not feel particularly special.

"I'm perfectly normal. Because I went to a school where a grade B was the norm, I don't feel particularly special, which is nice," she said

But it is believed the highest-achieving pupil this year is Frederick van der Wyck, of Westminster School in central London.

The 18-year-old scored A grades in seven A-levels - Dutch, German, history, mechanics, physics, pure maths and statistics.

He is planning to read maths at St John's College, Oxford.

At Cadbury College in Birmingham, many pupils were delighted with their performances.

Pallavi Mishra
Pallavi Mishra: "A-levels are not getting easier, we all worked hard"
Hammell was very pleased with an A and two Bs, which he said would get him to university.

"I wasn't expecting these grades. I was expecting lower.

"But this is brilliant. I should get into Leeds to study statistics and management."

Thon picked up two As and a C and was also delighted.

"I'm very pleased, excited but also quite nervous," she said.

With three As and a C, Tom will have no trouble getting his place at Cardiff to study law and politics, but he has opted to take a year out before deciding what to do.

Lydia had been very nervous before opening her results, but was pleased with her A and two Bs: "I'm going to university and that's all that matters," she said.

Dozens of teenagers gathered in the rain outside Manchester High School for Girls to get their grades.

The overall pass rate at the school is 99.1% - higher than the national pass rate of 86.6%.

Girls there are annoyed at suggestions that exams are getting easier.

Nicole Goldstein got four As, including one of the top five marks in the country for her history A-level.

Tom
"I'm taking a year off to decide what to do," says Tom
Nicole - who is going to Cambridge to study history - said: "I'm relieved it's all over.

These exams are not getting easier at all.

"You work hard and you get what you deserve."

Another student, Pallavi Mishra, achieved three A grades and is also going to Cambridge.

"A-levels are not getting easier," she said.

"I found them hard. We have all worked hard to get our results."

The school's head teacher, Christine Lee-Jones, said the results reflected the hard work and dedication of the girls and their teachers.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Navdip Dhariwal
"Girls are still outperforming the boys"
David Hart, National Association of Head Teachers
"Standards are not being dumbed down"
Have A-levels become feminised?
Angela Phillips, of Goldsmiths college and Chris Woodhead, former Chief Inspector of schools discuss

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See also:

30 Mar 01 | Education
Concern over new A-level results
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