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We analyze the radio link level queueing performance for a multi-rate wireless network using adaptive modulation and coding (AMC), scheduling, and automatic repeat request (ARQ)-based error control. The analytical framework, which is developed based on a vacation queueing model, can be applied to any scheduling scheme as long as the evolution of the joint service/vacation and channel processes can be determined. The exact statistics of queue length and delay are obtained. As an example of using the general analytical model, we analyze the performance of a max-rate (MR) scheduling scheme which exploits multiuser diversity. Based on the queueing analysis, the impacts of channel and system parameters on the radio link level performance can be determined and hence cross-layer design and engineering can be performed. Also, efficient admission control schemes can be designed for delay-constrained applications.