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What to do after getting your A Level results

Posted 21 August 2015
Bellerbys

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The most nerve-wracking day of students for all grades/ages/programmes is result day. Even now as a university student, just the mention of result day automatically sends a shiver down my spine and makes me tingle with anticipation and anxiety. On result day you will ‘reap what you sow’, crudely speaking. Will you be rewarded for all the hard work you have been doing all year long, or will you be penalised for that temporary lapse of concentration?

The most nerve-wracking day of students for all grades/ages/programmes is result day. Even now as a university student, just the mention of result day automatically sends a shiver down my spine and makes me tingle with anticipation and anxiety. On result day you will ‘reap what you sow’, crudely speaking. Will you be rewarded for all the hard work you have been doing all year long, or will you be penalised for that temporary lapse of concentration? The dreaded day will come and go, but your grade remains. If your grade is not what you expect it to be, there are certain courses of action, briefly outlined below, that you should take. 

If you are AS student:

As your grades are not final and you can still retake your exams, bear in mind that your AS grades do have quite a significant impact on your university application. Admission officers are likely to take into account your AS grades when deciding whether or not you should be given a place at their university. Therefore, if you get a result better than what you hope for, pat yourself on the back for a school year well spent. However, if your grades don’t look too promising or less than what your dream university require, don’t be despair. Your AS grades are only one component of your application. So instead of beating yourself up or wallowing in defeat, you should start devising a plan to improve other components. Your personal statement is crucial; invest extra time and effort to perfect it. Talk to your tutors and prove, through your actions, that you can do much better than what your current grades are to increase your chance of getting a sterling reference and higher than expected grade. It is not too late to step up a gear and strive for your dream.

If you are A2 student:

The pressure on you must be enormous. I know mine was. I was hysterically counting minutes (due to the time difference) till the moment when I could log into Track. I kept checking my UCAS app on my phone, while refreshing my email. I entertained myself (now looking back, it was more like torturing myself) by trying to guess which would come first: an email from Bellerbys containing my final grades, or an email from UCAS telling me whether or not I could go to university. If you are calm and composed, you are doing a much better job than I did last year. If you are desperately nervous, I sympathise with you.

When the results come to you, there are three scenarios:


  • YOUR RESULTS ARE WHAT YOU HOPE FOR:

Congratulations! You are going to the University of your choice. You have worked consistently hard all year round; your results prove it. But don’t get too relaxed, since from now on things will be moving at neck-breaking speed. You will need to accept the university you choose and reject the other, be it your firm or insurance choice. The university will send you all the documents you need to apply for your visa if required. You have to move fast as term starts in September/October; you only have a month or so to prepare and you don’t want to miss Fresher’s week. Get moving!

 

  • YOUR RESULTS ARE HIGHER THAN WHAT YOU EXPECT:

Stupendous, you outdid your own expectations! However, you might be at a loss now. There is plenty of advice about what to do if your results are lower than what you expect, but few on what if your results are so much better. If you are more than happy with your university choice, then you have no worries. But if you are reconsidering your choices, you can swap your university or course by going through Adjustment. If your grades exceed the terms of your firm choice, you are eligible to apply for Adjustment. You will be able to ‘shop around’ for alternatives, while retain your unconditional offers. The adjustment process is rather complicated, and requires a lot of phone calls. As an international student you may be intimated, but if you truly think you can do better at another university or different course, don’t hesitate to go for it. Many top universities offer places through adjustment. Since there is no list of places available, you will have to ring individual universities and express your interests. If the university is happy to offer you a place, your Track will be updated.

 

  • YOUR RESULTS ARE LOWER THAN WHAT YOU EXPECT:

As your worst nightmare is realised, you may feel like the end of the world. However, drowning yourself in despair should be the last thing on your list this moment. You should stay as calm as possible and try to figure out where you are standing. If your results meet your insurance offer and you are happy to go there, heave a sigh of relief. In many cases, if you miss your offer by a few points, Track hasn’t been updated, your choices may still be considering you. It is advisable to ring the admissions officer to confirm your status. However, if you find yourself in Clearing (your Track will be updated to reflect this), don’t freak out. Clearing will help you find a place at university. Clearing is the gloomier sibling of Adjustment, available July-September each year. Unlike Adjustment, UCAS has an official Clearing vacancy list for you to browse through. Make a list of all the universities offering Clearing places that you are interested in and start calling!

 

CONCLUSION

Getting your results is an exciting, a bit terrifying experience. A level in England takes a lot of effort and preparation. However, what more important is what you do after getting your grades. Remember that you can always seek help. At Bellerbys, staff and teachers are available on result days to offer you advice and support. If you find yourself lost, or confused by one the many UCAS procedures, your first point of contact should be your Bellerbys tutors or programme managers. They will be more than willing and eager to talk you through your choices and alternatives. Rest assured since Bellerbys is there to help.

Autumn Hoang

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