AFTER two years of hard work, students at Queen Mary's College in Basingstoke have finally opened their results.

In circumstances far different to usual, grades were based on mock exams and teacher assessments rather than exam results, after all tests were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

And whilst data from Ofqual suggests that 40 per cent of teacher assessments were later downgraded, those attending QMC on Thursday morning were delighted with their results.

Annabel Rand was one of those, who received 3 As. She said: "I'm really pleased, it got me what I needed. It's hard not knowing, you've not got an exam to judge it off of."

Meanwhile Eve Cleland was celebrating 4 A*s in Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Maths. "I'm really happy, I'm glad it's all over now and I can start getting ready for Uni." Eve will be off to Cambridge to study Medicine in September.

Ciaron Cooney also received 4 A*s: "I'm over the moon, it's put a lot of anxiety about results to rest. The standardisation process was mysterious and felt like a lottery," he told The Gazette. "It's very easy for us to say this should have been done differently. Things might have not been done in the best manner, but they don't really know what to do so they've done their best."

Matt Partridge, who is off to Oxford Uni to study Medicine, was proud of his results of 3 A*s in Biology, Chemistry and Maths. "I'm absolutely looking forward to Uni. I'm just relieved that I've got a plan and don't care how it's going to look. The last few months have been very strange."

Similarly delighted was Nicole Haynes, who received an A* and 2 As. "I am really pleased. I got higher in one of my mocks so I wasn't overjoyed about that, but I got into the Uni I wanted so it's all good." That Uni is Birmingham, where she'll study English with Drama come September.

And Ari Margetts was celebrating after her envelope contained the letters A*A*AA and a place at Bristol to study Physics. "I'm really relieved. It was really good, the teachers are lovely and supportive. It felt really nice and it was a nice transition. I'm looking forward to [University] even though it is going to be different."