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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Pensioner passes 29th A-level
Terry (R) and grandson
Terry Tyacke sat A-levels with his grandson last year
A 76-year-old pensioner is celebrating passing his 29th A-level.

Terry Tyacke started taking A-levels back in 1973 to encourage his daughter in her studies and last year was sitting exams alongside his grandson.

This summer Terry, who only spends a year on each A-level, is celebrating a grade B in social policy A-level from the City of Bath College.

"Because I got the results, it was a snowball effect really," said Terry.

"If I hadn't got any results, I'd have packed it in, but getting something for doing something keeps me going.

"I don't do it for the grades - of my results only 2 are As, 4 are Bs, 6 are Cs and the rest are Ds and Es."

Exams 'not easier'

He dismissed claims from critics that A-levels were getting easier.

"Last year I would have said things were not getting any easier," said Terry.

"This year - with the AS-level system - it could be seen to be getting easier but that is offset by all the exams.

"It takes a hell of a lot of work to get through an A-level and with the AS-level exams there's a lot of extra pressure on students."

Terry hopes to sit his 30th A-level next year in history of art - and then will consider giving up his crusade.

Kosovan's success

Meanwhile, a Kosovan refugee - who arrived in the UK three and a half years ago and could not speak a word of English - has gained a place at University College London to study medicine, after successfully passing his A-levels

Perparim Shehu
Perparim Shehu has always wanted to be a doctor
Perparim Shehu, 17, got grade Cs in chemistry and physics and an A in maths.

Perparim, a student at the College of North East London, said he had wanted to be a doctor since he was five years old.

"I'm very happy and I'm looking forward to getting another step ahead in my life," said Perparim.

Single mother's success

And single mother Nadine Oba was celebrating after successfully combining looking after a two-year-old son with sitting AS-levels and A-levels.

Nadine, 20, got pregnant in her lower sixth year at school and was forced to put her studies on hold.


I've overcome all the odds and I can only go forward from here on

Nadine Oba
But, when Lewisham College in south London offered her a place with a childcare grant, Nadine was able to resume her courses in business studies, biology, graphic design and citizenship.

"I was really depressed during the summer before I started at Lewisham and I knew college would get me out of the house and get me meeting people," said Nadine.

She now hopes to go to Goldsmiths College, University of London, to study for a degree in computing and design.

"I feel great - I've overcome all the odds and I can only go forward from here on," said Nadine.


GCSES

Background

Success stories

TALKING POINTS

A-LEVELS

Row over standards

Real lives

TOMLINSON INQUIRY
See also:

15 Aug 02 | UK Education
14 Aug 02 | UK Education
14 Aug 02 | UK Education
Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


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