IT has been a day of mixed feelings for students across the region – as even those who achieved the grades they required for university felt underwhelmed by the process.

Thomas Chandler, 18, from Richmond, took his exams at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington in English literature, fine art and German, achieving A, A*, A.

Despite his top grades, to gain his place at Cambridge University to study classics he needed an A* in either English literature or German – so was waiting in limbo to hear if would be accepted.

He said: "It is very stressful and frustrating. I've been feeling very anxious about it all. It is such a long process to get an offer with several interviews and submitting essays.

"Trying to log into UCAS this morning was impossible because the website crashed. And when I did get in, it still just said my application was pending. I got a very vague email from the university to say it was considering my application.

"I was so sure of getting the A* in English literature. I had worked so hard, and was even going back into first year classes to revise the texts.

"My teachers said I would get the A*, and I was so sure I would. That is the frustrating thing.

"The Government should have trusted teachers to give the grades they believed we would get."

However, some students were delighted with their marks.

Thomas Fallais, 18, from Stockton-on-Tees, achieved A* in English literature, English language and history. He will study English literature and history at Durham University.

He said: "I was very surprised to get all A* and really pleased. I had worked hard, but I just didn't know what I'd get. I was ready for the exams, so when they were cancelled it was a worrying time, and quite a shock to think they wouldn't take place.

"The information about what was happening kept changing too. I'm glad it's all over!"

Jack Parsons-Munn, 18, from Barnard Castle, got A* in chemistry, biology and modern history. Despite his exceptional grades, he said he felt underwhelmed.

"When I got my GCSEs I was so proud of what I had achieved. But today, I don't really feel anything. I'm really pleased with my grades but I didn't get into a course to do medicine, so I'm taking a year out and will try again next year.

"It doesn't feel like a year to celebrate."

Catherine Roberts, 18, from Darlington, got A* in history, French, chemistry and an extended project qualification.

She said: "I'm really pleased with my results, but for so many people the results have been very inconsistent.

"I have friends who got BBC but needed ABB but still got into university. But then others just dropped one grade and didn't get their place. The Government has been consistent with its inconsistencies."

Rebecca Taylor, 18, from Darlington, got three A* and an A and will study geography at Manchester University.

Abullah Alazzawi, 18, from Darlington, achieved two A* and an A in biology, maths and chemistry.

He said: "I'm going to Sunderland to study medicine. I'm very pleased with my results but it has been a very confusing year.

"I did a massive sigh of relief when I got my grades!"

Also happy was Abigail Charlton, 18, form Shildon, who is set to study astrophysics at Edinburgh.

She got two A* and two As in her extended project qualification, geology, physics and maths.

She said: "I'm really excited to start university in Edinburgh."