SOLIHULL students celebrated another year of excellent A Level results last week.
But with university applications at a record-high, many will still face fierce competition to get on the course they want.
At the Sixth Form College, Solihull, the pass rate was 97 per cent, with several students securing places at Oxbridge.
Lauren Peters, still 17, is one of the youngest in the year but picked up some of the best results - achieving five A*s.
The former Lode Heath pupil, who will study physics at Oxford University, dismissed claims that qualifications were getting easier: “I can only speak for what A levels are like in 2011,” she said.
“But people do need to work hard to get the top grades.
“Many degree courses are competitive these days, but I think to begin with you should do a subject you enjoy.”
Jenny Haigh, aged 19, will be studying archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge - having got two A*s and two As
“There is a lot of pressure this year, with tuitions fees going up, gap years aren’t really an option and more are applying.”
But the usual stream of teenagers trudging up Widney Manor Road were not to be seen this year. Instead, results were available online from 6am, giving students a head-start if they needed to go through clearing.
Meanwhile there were celebrations at Knowle’s Arden Academy as students racked up impressive results.
David Parman, head of Sixth Form, said: “The students worked extremely hard and have been rewarded with offers of places at top universities.
“We were particularly pleased to see a six per cent increase in the percentage of A and A* grades with 35 per cent of all our results being A/A*.”
Grace Endley scored two A* and two A’s and is set to study law at Sheffield.
The 18-year-old, of Blackdown Road, said: “I am more than pleased with my results”.
And in north Solihull, Roy Bayliss, principal of the Grace Academy was delighted with a set of results which, he said, were ‘the best the sixth form had ever had.’
Maria Allcroft, Ryan Hodgins and Hannah Rought were singled out for praise, having all received straight As/A*s.
In Castle Bromwich, Park Hall Academy also reported record-breaking results - it only left special measures in 2008.