Students who studied the wrong book for their English literature A level at Newmarket College, were among those who collected their exam results on Thursday.
Two of them, Abbie Stallabrass and Daniel Owen, managed D grades but Abbie’s father, Andrew, said: “She had already attained that grade with her course work and lost her chance of doing any better in the exam.
“The whole thing has left a very bitter taste in her mouth. Her other grades mean she has enough to go to university if she wants to.”
Daniel, 18, said he was “relieved” to have got a D and is now going to University Campus Suffolk to do a combined degree in English literature and history.
Both students were victims of a mistake by their tutor which saw them studying Bram Stoker’s Dracula instead of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, an error which was only picked up two weeks before the exam.
Meanwhile college principal, Bob Cadwalladr, said the school, which is currently in special measures, had had its best set of A level “and equivalent results” for more than five years.
Top performers was Jack Lockwood who gained an A, two Bs and a C and will be starting a motorsport engineering degree. Lauren McGivern, the school’s head girl, who had undergone a serious heart operation during her final year’s study still managed an A/A* distinction in business studies.
No figures were available for the percentage of students receiving A*-C grades in A-levels.
At Mildenhall College, that percentage was 48 per cent with the overall pass rate 97 per cent.
“This is a great set of results and the students must be congratulated on how hard they have worked,” said head teacher Susan Byles.
“Our priority is to make sure that everyone gets a university place, apprenticeship or job offer and hopefully we have achieved that.”
Among the college’s top performers was 18-year-old Jessica Charles who achieved an A* in history, A* in her extended project, A in general studies, B in maths and B in English literature. She is now heading to Bristol University to study history.
“I am genuinely speechless,” said Jessica. I’ve been desperate to go to university and I now can’t wait.”
Another high achiever who is also heading to university is Jordan Carter who will study accountancy and management at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich. The 18 year old from West Row secured his place at the UEA after gaining a double distinction in a business OCR diploma, and a distinction in sports studies.