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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 August, 2004, 23:30 GMT 00:30 UK
A-level wait 'threatens health'
A-level exam
Waiting for results can be as stressful as the exams themselves
The stress of waiting for A-level grades - due to be published this Thursday - could be damaging teenagers' health, a snapshot study suggests.

Hertfordshire University researchers found 21% suffered from depression, 12% from insomnia and that 8% had experienced panic attacks.

One in 10 of the 123 sixth-formers interviewed had sought medical help.

The university said 35% of students did not have a back-up plan if they achieved poor grades, adding to stress.

'Nerve-racking experience'

Alastair McFadyen, head of admissions at Hertfordshire, said: "Results time is an incredibly nerve-racking experience and more than four in 10 school leavers have considered leaving education as a result of not knowing what to do or how to get a university place.

"But there are many avenues available. Options such as the clearing process often give students a better opportunity at finding the right course and university whether their results are better or worse than expected."

Clearing, which involves students applying after A-levels, is run by all UK universities.

More than 38,000 people find places using this service every year.

Around 250,000 A-level candidates will find out their results on Thursday. Grades are expected to improve for the 22nd year in a row.

Options for university hopefuls
09 Aug 04  |  Education
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10 Jun 04  |  Education
State school pupils 'missing out'
17 May 04  |  Education

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