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  1. A-level results for the top grades are the best since 2009 in Wales
  2. The proportion of A* and A grades is 25% - 2.7% higher than 2016
  3. This year sees results for 14 reformed A-level courses for the first time
  4. Overall, the number of entries - 35,530 - is 6% lower than in 2016 and 8% lower than 2015

Live Reporting

By Rhiannon Beacham and Nicola Bryan

All times stated are UK

Goodbye and good luck

That brings our live coverage of today's A-level results to an end. Thanks for joining us.

Our full report on the results is here.

Double celebration

Coleg Gwent tweets

Your first day and freshers week

University of South Wales tweets

The bigger picture

Wales has closed the gap with the rest of the UK for the top grades and is ahead of all northern and Midland regions of England at A*-A.

But for A* to C grades it is still behind all regions of England, apart from the West Midlands and East Midlands.

From Merthyr to Oxford

Aspiring barrister Megan Howells, from Penyard, Merthyr Tydfil, achieved two A*s in law and English, and two As in history and Welsh Bacc.

She will be accepting her place to study law at The Queen’s College at the University of Oxford.

“When I started Year 12 I was thinking about places like Bristol as I thought Oxford and Cambridge were out of reach and I didn’t think I would be good enough to get in," she said.

"But over the course of the year I felt more and more confident, and when I received three As and a B in my AS exams I began to believe that I could aim for Oxbridge."

Megan Howells
Seren Network

What to know your options?

Careers Wales tweets

A picture of success

Sioned from Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth got an A and two Bs and is heading to Cardiff University in September to study English Literature.

Sioned from Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth

'Emotional day'

St David's College, in Llandudno, tweets

Cardiff duo heading stateside

Eighteen-year-old friends Tom Burr and Ben Roberts, from Bishop of Llandaff high school, are off to prestigious American Ivy League universities after receiving top grades in their A-levels.

Tom, who is flying to America tomorrow ahead of the new academic year at Harvard, said: "I’m travelling there on my own, but my family will be visiting in October, so I hope I’ve packed everything I’m going to need."

Ben, who is heading to Princeton, added: “I’ll be taking part in one of Princeton’s gap year programmes this year, and will travel to Senegal with six other people from across the globe to support community-based initiatives there."

Tom Burr and Ben Roberts
Seren Network

Trio off to Cambridge University

'Heartening' results in Gwynedd

Garem Jackson, head of education for Gwynedd Council, said: "The students and their teachers are to be congratulated warmly on their success.

"The percentage achieving grades A*-E across all subjects was very heartening again this year.

"The percentage achieving a grade A or better [25.5%] is higher than the figure for Wales [25.0%], and it is pleasing that the percentage gaining A*-E grades is 100% across the majority of subjects and this reflects the support and guidance provided for our young people."

Thought about jabs?

Public Health Wales tells students heading to university to get a meningitis jab.

View more on twitter

Education Secretary meets students

Need to talk?

Samaritans Cymru says its ready to support students who are having a hard time today.

View more on twitter

Swansea students elated

These students at Ffynone House School in Swansea are clearly thrilled with their results.

Vicky Baker (R) hugs Abu Latif after receiving their AS Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea
Matthew Horwood
Adam Frangakas-Williams (L) and Daniel Davies receive their A Level results at Ffynone House School in Swansea
Matthew Horwood

Students choosing foreign universities

Phil McTague, the head teacher at Ysgol Eirias, in Colwyn Bay, says he wonders if the drop in students applying to British universities is because some are opting to study abroad.

"We've got students who are off to Maastricht in the Netherlands and Trinity in Dublin.

"For some, it's not any more expensive to study abroad when you factor in the fees they would have to pay here in the UK."

Phil McTague

Bangor University's library staff are eager to meet the new undergrads

Some students are more laid back than others...

Results still waiting to be collected at Ysgol Penweddig in Abersytwyth.

Results waiting for collection

Glyndwr University has some advice on clearing

The A team: students in Neath celebrate

Amy Davies, Rebecca Penney and Amy Davies from Neath Port Talbot College got nine A*s and an A between them

Rebecca, who got four A*s and is off to Cardiff University to study pharmacy said: "It still hasn't sunk in. I've been so nervous these past few weeks. I feel so happy and a massive sense of relief. I worked hard but didn't expect 4 A*s."

L-R: Amy Davies, Rebecca Penney and Amy Davies
L-R: Amy Davies, Rebecca Penney and Amy Davies got nine A stars and As between them

Facebook messenger used to offer places

Aberystwyth University has a number of clearing places across more than 100 courses and is using live chat and Facebook messenger for the first time to offer places.

View more on twitter

University is not the only option

Daniel Davies, from Ysgol Penweddig, in Aberystwyth, is one of those choosing not to go to university next year. He hopes to gain an apprenticeship in engineering.

Daniel Davies

'Encouraging' results

Speaking at John Frost School in Newport, Education Secretary Kirsty Williams congratulated pupils, teachers and staff for their hard work:

"These set of results show an encouraging increase in the number achieving the top grades, with improvement in results across maths, biology,chemistry and physics.

"We have also seen the results go up across a range of subjects and I want us to continue to build on this.

"I am committed to making sure our education system provides pupils with the skills and knowledge they need for the modern world.

"Our ongoing reform of A-levels is an important part in our national mission to raise standards and extend opportunities for all our young people."

Kirsty Williams

Clearing via social media

The University of Wales Trinity St David is using Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter to offer clearance places.

View more on twitter

Have your results exceeded your expectations?

You may be able to go to a different university, Ucas says.

View more on twitter

Smiles all round

BBC reporter Chris Dearden is with students finding out their results at Ysgol Eirias, in Colwyn Bay.

Biz Romachney (left) gained an A and two Bs and is off to Manchester to study French and Chinese.

Billy Leathwood-Hill (centre) achieved three As and is off to York to study French and German.

And Isla Middleton (right) gained an A and two Bs, meaning she is off to Liverpool to study Media and Film Studies.

Left to right: Biz Romachney, Billy Leathwood-Hill and Isla Middleton

The University of South Wales is feeling the love

And... relax

BBC reporter Mari Grug is with students opening their results at Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth this morning.

A mixture of As and A*s all round for Will and Ffion (top), and Rebecca and Daniel (bottom) are looking forward to their final year after picking up their AS-level results.

Wil (left) and Ffion (right)
Rebecca and Daniel picking up their AS results

Clearing opens at Bangor University

The university's admissions helpline is open.

View more on twitter

Best results since 2009

A-level results for the top grades are the best since 2009 in Wales, according to results published today.The proportion of A* and A grades is 25% - 2.7% higher than 2016. The 8.3% of A* grades is the best since 2010 when it was introduced.But the number of entries, 33,294, is the lowest for more than a decade.

Students taking an exam
Wales has seen its best results for eight years

I'll drink to that!

Coffee-fuelled staff at Neath Port Talbot College have been at work since 5am.

Empty coffee cups on a desk
Staff needed a caffeine fix to get them through the morning

Someone's excited to meet their new students...

If you can't treat yourself on A-level results day, when can you?

Students from Ysgol Penweddig in Aberystwyth fuel up for a day of celebrations.

View more on twitter

Entries down

pupils sitting exams

The number of entries is down this year at 35,530.

That's 6% lower than in 2016 and 8% lower than the year before.

Qualifications Wales is to research the causes of the fall, looking into whether pupils are dropping out or choosing more vocational career paths.

Got any questions about your results?

Strike a pose

Top marks for this photographer who opted against the standard jumping in the air photo at Neath Port Talbot College.

A student poses on a giant deckchair at Neath Port Talbot College
A student poses on a giant deckchair at Neath Port Talbot College

On and off the field talents

Cardiff and Vale College Rugby Academy tweets

New syllabus

This year will see results for 14 reformed A-level courses for the first time after the content of courses was changed and refreshed in 2015.

The subjects include art and design, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, English language, history, psychology, physics, sociology and Welsh language.

Unlike in England, AS levels - taken a year earlier - have continued in Wales and still contribute 40% towards the overall A-level result.

But from now on students in Wales will only be able to re-sit exams once.

A-level results sheet
Getty Images

These students already know which university they are going to!

Students arrive at Neath college for results

BBC reporter Ben Wright is at Neath Port Talbot College this morning to get all the reaction there.

Students outside Neath Port Talbot College
Results day at Neath Port Talbot College