Amy Burbanks from Mansfield attended All Saints’ Catholic Academy and achieved three A* grades in Geography, English language and her extended project qualification as well as an A grade in English literature, but she was originally given one A* and three A’s.
Exams were cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so grades were determined using an algorithm which involved teachers submitting predicted grades.
A formula was then used based on the schools' prior grades to work out students overall results.
However, the new grading system was widely criticised after nearly 40 per cent of teacher predictions had been downgraded by the algorithm, leading the government to make changes to decide how final results were given.
After the major U-turn by the government, many students achieved better results than they were originally given.
Claire Burbank, Amy’s mum, said: “Beforehand our anxiety was quite high due to our daughter not able to take her A level exams.
“Myself and my husband felt Amy deserved the best due to her studying so hard the past few years.
“On the morning of the results we were all so nervous but once Amy received her results it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off our shoulders and we were all in tears.”
She added: “Amy was extremely nervous opening her results knowing grades had been downgraded by nearly 40%, ‘What if’ was circulating her mind constantly, in a negative sense.
“Once her place was confirmed, the relief and excitement were unimaginable.”
Amy will now study a degree in English at The University of Cambridge in October.
Claire said: “We are both so proud of our daughter and what she has accomplished and we knew she would go far as she has always loved studying English and reading books from a very young age.
“We always said to her from a young age if you want the best things in life you have to work hard for it so being the first person in our family to go on and study at university is a great accomplishment in itself.”
Amy said that she is ‘very proud’ of herself knowing that all her hard work has paid off.
Nothing about the application process to the University of Cambridge or her A-Level studies was easy, so she is ‘extremely grateful’ to be given an opportunity of a lifetime to study what she is passionate about at a university that can offer her so much.
Cambridge is consistently rated at the top of international league tables for the quality of teaching and research and offers undergraduate degree courses in the arts, social sciences, sciences, engineering and medical sciences.
In 2019, 117 students out of 714 applicants from the East Midlands were accepted into the university.