SOLIHULL students were celebrating another year of excellent A Level results today.
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 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 streams 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 need to go through clearing.
Bev Bishop, spokeswoman for the Sixth Form, said: "Obviously we miss having them come in to collect their envelopes.
"But I think in a few years time every single school will be doing things electronically, it's so much easier for the students."
Some 991 students have applied for university places, with principal Paul Ashdown saying he was delighted with results.
We've got great links with local universities and getting students onto courses seems to have gone well so far.
Meanwhile there were celebrations at Arden Academy in Knowle as students racked up impressive results at the Station Road school.
David Parman, Head of Sixth Form said: "I am absolutely delighted with Arden's results .
"The students worked extremely hard and have been rewarded with offers of places and 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 As and is set to study law at Sheffield.
The 18-year-old from 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 were the best the sixth form had ever had.
"Eight per cent of our students got an A*, which we are really pleased with and it is also in line with the national average.
"There were just short of 50 people taking A levels at the Academy."
In Castle Bromwich, Park Hall Academy sixth formers also received their best ever A Level Results.
Park Hall Principal, Tony Morrison said that: "These are the best ever A Level results achieved at Park Hall.
"It is no mean feat considering that results have been dramatically improving for the last three years our students have again beaten their previous best."
And there were also celebrations at the borough's private schools - St Martin's and Solihull School.
The latter recorded a 100 per cent pass rate for the sixth year running.