Sarah Flynn (right), 23, did A-levels in home economics, chemistry and biology at Watford grammar for girls. She was predicted to get CCD and had a place to study nutrition and dietetics at King's College London on CCC. But she didn't make the grades and switched to food and consumer studies at the University of North London (UNL).

"I was told to ring King's College on the day if there was a problem with the grades. I went into school the morning the results came out. It was quite horrendous - all 120 girls cramming to look at a piece of paper on a wall. I had a C for human biology, a D for home economics, and an N for chemistry. I thought maybe I could still get into King's. But they told me there was no way as I'd failed chemistry.

"So I rang North London, a bit worried about whether they'd have me. But they said they'd love to, as I had the right A-level profile. Then it hit me that I didn't really know what this course was I had signed up for! I felt like a bit of a failure. But during my freshers week I felt a lot more reassured. In the end I got a 2:1 and really enjoyed the experience."