A-Level Results Day is stressful at the best of times.
It’s a defining moment in the lives of teenagers all over the country, with kids finding out where they are likely to spend the next three years of their life in an instant, while also discovering whether all that effort over the previous two years was worth it.
Now imagine having that moment of destiny go badly, and go badly live on television.
That’s what just happened to Niall, an 18-year-old student from Hull.
He opened his results in front of the nation on Good Morning Britain and, well, things didn’t go as planned.
Niall, a student at Wyke Sixth Form College in Hull and needed a pretty impressive A star and an A to study Russian History at Cambridge or Edinburgh.
“I got an A in German, an A in History, an A in Maths and a B in Physics, which isn’t quite what I needed,” said Nial.
“It isn’t quite what I needed, but it’s one of those things you can’t really change isn’t it?” he said, taking the news well.
I mean – three As and a B is better than a slap in the chops, for sure. It’s pretty bloody good by anyone’s standards.
Results up and down the UK were worse across the board than expected, but more kids than ever will enter universities.
Fewer students achieved C grades or above than last year, with girls slipping back on boys in terms of performance.
The reduction in pass rates has been attributed by some to reforms in courses, which has seen exams become more intensive.
“We reformed A-levels after universities told us they were failing to prepare students for higher education,” said a Department of Education spokesperson.
“Reducing the number of exams students have to sit will give them more time for study and to gain a deeper understanding of the courses they are studying, an essential skill for undergraduate study.”
In Wales, where the A Level reforms were not implemented, students received better results than last year.
Maths remained the most popular subject, while languages continued to slide, with eight percent less students taking a foreign language course. German slipped from the third most popular language, with Mandarin Chinese overtaking it