WE ARE full of admiration for A-level students across Gwent.

Our reporters and photographers spent yesterday morning at schools and colleges across the area as teenagers picked up their results.

It was an emotional day for the youngsters, whether they achieved the grades they wanted or not.

Many people are quick to criticise A-levels as being dumbed-down. The 'exams were harder in my day' to our young people a disservice.

Comparing education policies and standards across the generations is like comparing apples with pears.

The reality is students can only sit the examinations that are placed in front of them. They cannot go back in time.

Any parent of an A-level student will know how hard they have to work, and how much stress they have to go through, to achieve their grades.

To then be told by some that exams are too easy these days is an unwarranted kick in the teeth.

To everyone who completed their courses, we say well done.

We send our best wishes every teenager about to embark on their adult years either at university or in the world of work.

And if you didn't get the grades you had hoped for, then don't worry too much.

There are many hugely successful people who did not get great exam results or go to university. So don't give up hope.