There was relief this year as results day looked poised to pass relatively smoothly following last year's outcry over last-minute changes to grade boundaries in some subjects.
But while the numbers studying psychology, law and media studies shot up by 20 per cent, "harder" subjects such as French, German and physics were less popular.
John Dunford, general secretary of the Secondary Heads Association, said:
"We are producing a nation ofpsychologists, when the country desperately needs more linguists and scientists."
Felicity Theobald plans to study drama. Richard Johnston is taking a gap year and hopes to study psychology.