MICHELLE MARTIN congratulates her son Bradley
BRADLEY MARTIN was one of Glas-gow's top pupils celebrating the city's rise in attainment.
The 16-year-old achieved straight As in five Highers – prompting tears of joy from mum Michelle and younger sister Holly.
He was one of 15,000 Glasgow youngsters who yesterday discovered their results amid news pupils were again celebrating record pass rates, as reported in last night's Evening Times.
Results were up across the board throughout Scotland, prompting concerns qualifications are being "dumbed down".
High results also mean students face a tougher task finding university places.
More university and college applicants have been accepted into their first-choice institution this year and Universities Scotland said there are fewer empty places available through clearing due to increasing competit-ion and higher grades.
Bradley, a fifth-year pupil at St Andrew's Secondary School in Carntyne, tore open his results envelope just after 9am yesterday to find he had As in Maths, English, Modern Studies, Accounts and Physics.
The Riddrie teenager said: "I'm over the moon. I can't believe it. I'd expected four As and a B for English but I actually did not know how I had done. I wasn't too nervous though – whatever comes, comes. But I am just really, really pleased."
While Holly phoned dad James to tell him the good news, Michelle gave her boy a huge hug.
He hopes to study maths or science at university after finishing sixth year when he will study Advanced Higher Maths and Physics, and Higher Graphics and Biology.
Michelle added: "You can't tell how Brad feels – he's so laid back. I was really nervous. I didn't expect him to get five As as I know English is not his strong point but this is great. I'm overwhelmed.
"We'll be going out for a nice family meal to celebrate – and a big bottle of champagne for mum."
Pass rates rose for the sixth year in a row, though the pass rate dropped for the Scottish Baccalaureate exams, where 79.1% passed compared to more than 80% last year.
And youngsters who had signed up to the electronic results service had an early shock.
Scottish Qualifications Authority bosses had pledged to have results for the 35,084 youngsters using the text and e-mail service out by 9am. Text messages were sent out to Standard Grade and Higher pupils at 8am but e-mails were dropping into in-boxes from just before 2am.
Pupils took to social networking sites Twitter and Facebook as the results began coming through.
One girl said she had her results at 1.48am while another posted at 8am to ask if she was the only pupil still waiting for her grades.
A spokeswoman for the SQA said the e-mail service had begun in the early hours to allow different mail servers to process e-mails and ensure results were available before the deadline of 9am.
Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative education spokeswoman, congratul-ated pupils and teachers, but said education bosses should ensure exams are rigorous.
She said: "I am very aware of the public suspicion that there has been some dumbing down in certain aspects of the exam system. Employers especially find it hard to understand how there can be a continuous rate of improvement every year."
However, Education Secretary Michael Russell defended the hard work of pupils. He said: "I am delighted with these results and would like to extend my congratulations to our school pupils and their teachers on another year of high achievement.
"These results are a reflection of the hard work and dedication they have shown. To suggest otherwise would belittle the next generation of ambitious young Scots."
As of midnight, 22,292 Scottish applicants had been accepted into a Scottish university or college compared with 21,630 at the same stage last year, an increase of 3.1%.
Those students who have not made it into their first-choice institution will have to go through the clearing process to gain a place in another institution.
Applicants will need to call universities and colleges to discuss courses that interest them, in search of a provisional offer.
After checking their status, eligible applicants can browse clearing vacancies on the Univers-ities and Colleges Admission Service (Ucas) website, www.ucas.ac.uk/
By the end of the application cycle last year, 30,800 Scottish applicants were accepted by universities and colleges through Ucas, 29,075 by institutions in Scotland.
Andrea Robertson, Ucas director of customer operations, said: "If you are flexible and make sure you match the requirements, there's a great chance of finding a fulfilling course."
In 2011, 1395 Scottish students found a place through clearing.
Youngsters who did not get the results they were expecting can also call the Skills Development Scotland Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000, until Wednesday next week.