The wait is over for thousands of students across the North West who today received their A Level Results. For the first time in more than 2 decades there's been a fall in the number of A star or A grades - 26.6% had the two top grades, down from 27% last summer.
But the overall pass rate continued to rise - as it has for the last 30 years - to 98%. Boys got more A* grades than girls but girls got more A grades than boys.
Our correspondent Matt O'Donoghue has been with students at Rochdale College to find out what the future holds for them:
Don't beg the University to reconsider you, places are competitive it's best try try something else that you do have the grades for.
Don't ask what courses they still have left - you may end up taking something you regret later.
Don't go into how many points you have and ask what courses they have available for you. It has to be something you're interested in.
There are a lot of courses available on the clearing list don't assume what's left is no good or isn't popular.
For students whose results weren't what they were expecting - either better or worse - trying to work out what to do next can be a daunting prospect. But help and a lot of options are at hand. Andy Bonner has been to Liverpool University to find out how to make the most of clearing:
If you didn't get the results you needed today there is help at hand.
Click here to go through to clearing or call 0808 100 8000. Calls are free from landlines.
A Didsbury school is celebrating after outperforming the national average for the top A Level grades despite figures falling across the country for the first time.
At Parrs Wood High School in Didsbury, 34 per cent of results attained were either A* to A – an impressive nine per cent increase from last year’s results and nearly nine per cent above the national average.
Twenty two students achieved at least three A/As, with two pupils collecting five A/As each – and five pupils successfully gained much coveted places at Oxford and Cambridge
Whalley Range High School for Girls had an overall pass rate of 97.4 per cent and William Hulme Academy had an overall pass rate of 97.1 per cent.
Students from across the North West have been getting their A -level results today.
National figures show there's been a drop in top grades for the first time in more than 20 years. Matt O'Donoghue reports from Rochdale Sixth Form College:
Thousands of people across Greater Manchester are finding out their A-Level results.
Nationally figures show fewer A-levels scored top grades this year in the first drop for more than two decades, official figures show.
It comes as data showed that the number of students who have had their university places confirmed after receiving their results has dropped by almost seven percent.
We've been at Rochdale Sixth Form College as students open their envelopes.
Didn't get the results you need? The UCAS social media team answer queries on Twitter and Facebook and will be available from 06:00 on results day. The helpline is open from 07:00 to 19:00 on 0871 468 0 46
A' Level students across the North West are preparing to celebrate or commiserate their results.
It's expected that more than one in four grades will be an A or better.
Students that don't get into their preferred university will be able to apply elsewhere when the clearing process opens shortly.