Excited and nervous teenagers filled school halls in Maldon and Burnham as they received their GCSE results this morning.
Plume School opened its doors to queuing pupils at 9am.
Headteacher David Stephenson said he was "impressed" and "just really pleased" with pupils' achievements.
Among the high achievers was Amber Hegarty, of Maldon, who achieved 5 A* and 6 As.
The 16-year-old said: "I'm really happy and relieved."
Ormiston Rivers Academy was also a hive of activity.