United Kingdom

Despair and delight of UK's Covid exam generation

Pupils hit by the coronavirus A level chaos vowed to appeal yesterday after seeing predicted top grades downgraded, leaving them fearing they will miss out on university dreams.

A government algorithm recalculated marks suggested by teachers, with 40 per cent of results downgraded. 

Teenagers who lost out told the Mail regrading was 'unfair' and was affecting their mental health.

But there was still celebration for some, with one pair of identical twins both off to Oxford - albeit different colleges.

Here youngsters from across Britain describe the joys and despairs of a results day like no other... 

Sixth form where three top pupils got the chop 

Several pupils at one sixth form college were downgraded after getting top predicted grades.

Wiktoria Sniadowska said she would 'definitely' appeal after a computer algorithm cut her straight As to BBC. 

She is continuing her studies at Leyton Sixth Form College in London, where she will take an art foundation diploma. 

But she said: 'I know that if I'd done my exams, I'd have got better grades. It's unfair.'

Left to right: Victoria Sniadowska, Tamzin Iyayi and Aqsa Ali. Wiktoria Sniadowska said she would 'definitely' appeal after a computer algorithm cut her straight As to BBC

Tamzin Iyayi lost out on a place at Cambridge after being marked down from A*AA in history, law and politics.  She said: 'I just feel let down by the Government.' 

Aqsa Ali had been offered places to study politics and international relations.

But she missed out after being downgraded to a B in politics and Cs in history and religious studies.

She said: 'It's had a big impact on my mental health and confidence.'

Young carer robbed of university place

A young carer has had his A levels lowered by as much as three grades, putting his university plans in doubt.

Maks Ovnik cares for his grandmother, 102, alongside his mother on the Isle of Wight. 

He got ABB in his mocks and his school gave him AAB in maths, computing and physics. 

Maks Ovnik cares for his grandmother, 102, alongside his mother on the Isle of Wight

But these were downgraded by Ofqual to ADE, meaning he loses his place to study physics at Southampton. 

Maks, 18, who plans to appeal, thinks his results were downgraded due to his school's performance last year. He said: 'It's not a nice feeling at all.'

Identical A*s for twins off to Oxford

Identical twin sisters are setting off to Oxford together – but will finally be separated as they go to different colleges.

Arianne and Enyala Banks have always taken similar paths and it was no surprise when both achieved four A*s.

But they are finally set to be parted as Arianne (pictured in blue and white top) will study law with French law at Mansfield College, while Enyala (in maroon top) will read materials science at Queen's College.

Arianne and Enyala Banks have always taken similar paths and it was no surprise when both achieved four A*s

Arianne studied French, history, politics and biology for A level at the private Cardiff Sixth Form College while Enyala took maths, physics, chemistry and history.

Enyala said of their A level experience: 'For the first time Arianne and I have made separate friends, perhaps because we chose such different subjects.

'As twins this is quite unusual as we are very alike in many ways but also have very different sides to our personalities.'

From Iraqi patient to Cambridge medic

A refugee who left Iraq as a toddler to receive urgent medical treatment in the UK has earned a place at Cambridge to study medicine after getting four A*s.

Buraq Ahmed, 18, suffered an agonising hip condition. When he was three his parents sold their home to fund surgery in Britain. 

Buraq, pictured as a child, came with grandma Saadiyah, 69 – and they couldn't go home due to the Iraq War.

The teenager, who studied biology, chemistry, economics and maths at Cardiff Sixth Form College, said: 'Having spent so much time in hospitals with some of my happiest times being looked after by amazing NHS nurses, I decided I wanted to help other people.'

Buraq Ahmed (pictured with his grandmother Saadiyah Khattab) suffered an agonising hip condition. When he was three his parents sold their home to fund surgery in Britain

Buraq, pictured as a child, came with grandma Saadiyah, 69 – and they couldn't go home due to the Iraq War

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