It's been a day of celebration, relief and for some disappointment across the west today, as students got their GCSE results.
Nationally the number of top grades has fallen for a second year - but here there have plenty of success stories.
Karen Griggs has been to one school in Bristol to see how the students there got on:
Employers and Chambers of Commerce in the West Country said there was a big gap between education and employment that needs to be addressed to give young people the chance to find jobs when they leave school.
Romily Simmons who attends Queen's College in Taunton received her GCSE results by phone.
That is because the 16 year old is in Ireland competing at the Young Rider Championships.
Oli and Josh picked up their GCSE results at Oasis Academy John Williams in Hengrove.
They are pictured here with headteacher Victoria Bloomer.
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An impressive 43 A* and 44 A grades have been notched up by six sets of twins who attend the same school.
The siblings are all in the same year group at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School in Bristol, where results shot up by six per cent.
Dorothy and Florence Hislop, 16, scored 13 A*, six As and one B between them.
Dorothy, who gained seven A*s, two As and one B, said: "We were so nervous, everyone kept saying the grades were slipping, so today was a surprise. I am really happy with my results."
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General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said the "obsessive target driven culture" in schools is "stifling learning".
Christine Blower said: "Congratulations to all pupils and teachers for the hard work they have put into passing this year’s GCSEs.
“The great results speak for themselves and have been achieved despite persistent criticism from the Education Secretary about the validity of GCSEs as a qualification, and the continual shifting of pass rate criteria.
“Schools and pupils are being put under ridiculous pressures to meet the latest demands from Ofsted and Government. As exam and test results are increasingly the only measure by which schools are judged it is no surprise some schools are entering pupils for different exams or entering them earlier.
"Everyone wants the best for pupils but the obsessive target driven culture imposed on schools is stifling learning and pupil engagement."
Exam boards have criticised the rise in the number of 15-year-olds taking GCSE exams, with 91,000 children sitting the tests a year early.
Why oh why do we now get a significant increase in 15-year-olds taking GCSE?
Early entry does not benefit the students. The results are far lower for 15-year-olds - these qualifications are designed for 16-year-olds.
Students should be left to learn for those two years and that is what we would encourage.