THIS IS known as 'Awful Envelope Week', in which nervous students around the country receive their A-level results. The Candid Caller asked: did you get where you are by passing exams? Which is the greater mark of success - having impressive qualifications to your name or just lots of money?

Mrs Ann Cribb of Cambridge: 'I'm a sales assistant. I have six O-levels, and I'm pretty sure they helped me to get the job two years ago; they proved I knew something. I think money, and the amount you can earn, is the only way to measure success.'

Mr Mark Passmore of Gloucester: 'I'm a plumber and although I had to do an apprenticeship to learn my craft, exams proper have never been any use to me. Money is more important.'

Mrs Jane Tester of Cardiff: 'Exams are an important part of a good education. They measure how much you've learnt and how bright a person you are. I'm an accountant - imagine what sort of world we'd have if accountants didn't have to qualify before they practised. Qualifications are still more important than money, although the two go together. If you are a qualified professional, you can usually earn more.'

Mr John Fail of Tyneside: 'Exam results would be important if we had a decent education system in Britain. But I've interviewed people who may have passed plenty of exams but still can't write properly or add up. As a businessman, I think the amount of money you can earn is the only relevant factor'

Mrs Claire Cheater of Birmingham: 'I'm a nurse and had to take plenty of exams. There's more to life than the ability to earn money. We need educated people to help make ours a better society.'

Mrs Rosemary Over: 'I didn't pass any exams. I was a kid in the last war and left school as early as I could to get a job and help with the family housekeeping. So I can honestly say I didn't get where I am today by passing exams. The ability to earn money has always been more important: what's the point of a string of qualifications if you can't get a job?'