GCSE results are up significantly on last year after a decision to base them on teachers' assessment.
Qualifications Wales estimated almost three-quarters of grades awarded were A* to C, with more than 25% A* and A grades - up from 18.4% last year.
It follows the uproar after last week's A-levels with 42% of moderated grades lower than teacher assessments.
A pupil at Mary Immaculate school in Cardiff said the fallout from A-levels had caused stress for GCSE students.
"But seeing my results today, I'm really happy and proud of myself," said Louis. "The results I got are the ones I wanted."
The exams regulator Qualifications Wales said its "best estimate" was that 74.5% of GCSE grades were awarded at A*-C, compared to 62.8% in 2019.
For GCSE, A-level, AS-levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate, pupils now receive the highest grade, whether that was their teacher's prediction or the standardised grades.
Source BBC Wales - Read and watch the news report