Surely this entire argument could be sidestepped if we adopted a system in which candidates applied to universities after receiving their grades? Better still, the universities could be given access to UMS marks (which I understand is happening next year). I'm not quite sure I agree with the 'D in Maths/not very intelligent' comment but I do see the point that was being made. With my Distinction at AEA English, plus four A-Levels at AABB, I wouldn't consider myself thick. However, there are others who could achieve the same level in English AND in the sciences who are indisputably more intelligent than me. It should surely be these people, with genuine 'hard' intelligence, who get into Oxbridge. I find the argument that exam results are not a fair indication of intelligence spurious - the importance of an ability to work well under pressure should not be underestimated.