Exams standards watchdog, Ofqual, is to launch an investigation into the standards of exams taken every year by youngsters.
This will be the largest inquiry by the regulator and is expected to cover annual rises in grades, the perceived difficulty - or otherwise - of exams, the range of courses and commercial rivalry between exam boards.
Ofqal's announcement comes shortly after Education Minister Michael Gove yesterday warned that "dumbing down has got to stop."
The move has been welcomed in academic circles. Head of History at Maidenhead University, Ken Lucid, said: "It's about bloody time.
"I've been banging on about the standard of undergraduates coming through these doors for ages.
"Latest case... a woman I know was annoyed with her daughter the other day because she hadn't sent off her student loan application.
"When she asked why, the girl said because she didn't know what 'an affix stamp' was!
"I tell you - I often think of giving up!"