A-Level success for students in Wales

Students across North Wales have been celebrating another record year for A-level passes.

One in every twelve grades was the new A* standard - far higher than experts had predicted.

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland 97.6% of exams were at least awarded a grade E.

It means that overall the pass rate rose for the 28th year in a row although in Wales it was down slightly to 97.1%.

Among those getting their results were students at Ysgol David Hughes in Menai Bridge.

Bethan Mon said:

"I got two As and one B.

"I felt so sick this morning but it's all good now.  The pressure gets worse every year, what with fewer places in universities and I reckon the exams are getting harder.  Everyone's feeling the pressure.  I'm just happy it’s all over."

Meanwhile her fellow student Rebecca Williams got a scholarship to Bangor University.

She said:

"I'm so happy – I'm going to study Welsh and German in Bangor Uni.

"I knew I only needed two Es (because of the scholarship) but I was still so afraid of the results.

"All my friends have done well – we can’t wait to enjoy ourselves now.  I feel for the people who missed their grades and wish them luck for next year."

Eirias High School at Colwyn Bay got 100% passes, with more than 80% at grades C and above.

At John Bright comprehensive in Llandudno identical twin sisters Laura and Lisa Hughes, 18, who both passed their driving tests on the same day, have won university places.

Laura achieved A* in Geography and two As in Chemistry and Biology and will study Medicine at Keele University; Lisa got two As in History and Sociology and a B in Critical Thinking and will study Geography at Lancaster.

Meanwhile the head of the Welsh Joint Education Committee exam board said the proportion of A*s in Wales was lower than the 8.1% awarded in England because of the number of private schools.

WJEC chief executive Gareth Pierce said:

"Given the influence of the independent school sector in England, where a comparatively larger proportion of A* grades was obtained than in the maintained sector, Wales's results compare very well."

It comes as Universities like Bangor in North Wales warn that there will be limited places through clearing this year.

Carys Roberts - Head of Student Recruitment at Bangor University said:

"Things will be finishing a lot earlier this year.  The days when clearing went on for two or three weeks are over.  There are places on courses being offered today - maybe tomorrow - and there will be hardly any after that."

A spokesman for Glyndwr University in Wrexham said:

"Glyndwr University has received a record number of applications this year and it is anticipated that the university will enter clearing with a significantly lower number of full time undergraduate places than in previous years."