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Christian Limatola had been predicted to get three A*s and an A in his A-levels however discovered on Thursday morning that he had been awarded ABBB in maths, additional maths, physics and chemistry. “Once I informed my mum, she was as shocked as I used to be,” he stated.

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“I really feel like the final consensus is that everybody bought decrease than they thought they’d. Individuals are telling me they both simply made it or they’re upset,” stated Limatola, 18, who’s now heading to the College of Nottingham to review physics as an alternative of his first alternative, Edinburgh.

His college, Richard Challoner, an all-boys Catholic state college in New Malden, on the Surrey border, had carefully matched the nationwide common for state colleges with 23% of scholars reaching A or A* in 2019, and this yr had 28.1% at that normal.

Limatola, having initially felt upset, stated he was now targeted on his surprising new journey. “I now must search for lodging, I’ll see the way it goes, I didn’t put together for my insurance coverage. I’m gonna have lunch with my mum after which have a good time later, I want it!”

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This yr throughout England, grades have returned almost to pre-pandemic ranges, after the Covid period when college students obtained teacher-assessed value determinations in 2020 and 2021. The exams regulator, Ofqual, launched a plan to sort out grade inflation, and 26.5% of all entries have been awarded A or A*, in contrast with 25.2% in 2019.

At Richard Challoner, some college students have been forgoing the prospect of college owing to its price and their curiosity in careers primarily based on a commerce. Freddie Fuller, 18, stated he was planning on taking a niche yr and was “actually happy” with the BBC he bought in PE, sociology and RE. “In the mean time an apprenticeship appeals to me way more than an workplace job and hopefully I can use the time to resolve between the choices I’ve,” he stated.

Students receive their results at Richard Challoner school
It was a thumbs up from some A-level college students at Richard Challoner college. {Photograph}: Martin Godwin/The Guardian

The general image was overwhelmingly optimistic and the headteacher, Sean Maher, stated the return to pre-pandemic grading had not affected the college “in any respect, actually”. The common grade at Richard Challoner was B-, the identical as in 2020 and 2021.

“It’s testomony to the professionalism of our employees. I really feel vindicated by the onerous work,” Maher stated. “In some methods outcomes are immaterial. Are they pretty younger women and men? If we will say that they usually’ve bought the outcomes they deserve, then we will say our job is completed.”

The top prefect, Niall McCormack, goes to Oxford to review geography, having scored A*AA in geography, economics and historical past. He stated the excellent news was a weight off his shoulders after weeks of listening to that grade boundaries could be a lot stricter this yr.

So, how would the scholars be celebrating? Ryan Galazka and Matthew Frusicante, each 18, stated they’d one final hurrah deliberate at Pryzm nightclub in close by Kingston upon Thames. “I feel we’ll see everybody out tomorrow,” they stated. “It’s time for us to chill out and let our hair down and revel in ourselves for one final night time collectively.”

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