When you've worked so hard to set up your future, it is a good feeling to have the next few years mapped out.
Just ask Eastbury Community School pupil Jamil Ahmed, who will be progressing to Queen Mary University of London to study dentistry after achieving two A*s in biology and PE and an A in maths in his A-levels.
"I'm amazed, I didn't expect it at all," the Dagenham 18-year-old said.
"I put in a lot of work in the last few months but I didn't realise - other people, like my cousins, told me - the amount of work I should put in and I came out better than expected.
"I was expecting one A* star (in PE) so I'm extremely proud, especially biology - that is one of the most difficult subjects."
Jamil admitted once August rolled around, it became an anxious wait for results, and he was relieved to leave the worry behind.
"It feels amazing, it's surreal - I'm speechless," he said.
"The next five years of my life is sorted so I'm extremely happy about that."
Five pupils at Eastbury earned A* or A grades in all of the subjects they studied.
Zainab Shafan, 18, from Barking, is off to the University of Cambridge to study psychological and behavioural sciences.
A*s in maths and psychology and an A in English literature - exceeding the A*, A, A grades she needed.
"I spent a lot of time revising, so I'm glad it paid off," Zainab said with a laugh.
"I wasn't expecting (the university offer), I wasn't really confident but thought I would give it a try and when I got actually in I was so surprised.
"But I've had a lot of support from my school and my friends and family."
Other top achievers included Hamid Azhar, who earned an A* and three A grades and will progress to the University of Warwick to study mathematics, operational research, statistics and economics.
More than half of all grades at Eastbury achieved at A Level were A* to B and one in four were A*/A.
Executive headteacher David Dickson said: "I am extremely proud of the results achieved by our amazing, positive and hardworking pupils.
"Many have surpassed their targets. I am so pleased that so many are progressing in their chosen careers.
"I am absolutely delighted for all those who have worked hard to secure the grades needed for their chosen university, high level and degree apprenticeships, or job.
"All, whatever their pathway, have made an excellent start to their careers.
"I would like to thank them alongside our supportive parents, governors and local authority.
"It is a privilege to work with such a great staff team and enthusiastic pupils."
Story courtesy of Barking & Dagenham Post