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Your guide to A Level results day 2016

Posted 08 August 2016
international friends in the UK

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Advice on what to do when you get your A Level results on 18th August 2016

The most important time for around 300,000 A Level students is nearly here. If you are confident about how well you did in your exams, you may be feeling excited that you are one step closer to your dream university.

However, if you think you might not get the grades you are hoping for, you might be feeling nervous. So what are you going to do if this does happen?

When you’ve worked so hard and missed out on your goal, it is okay to be disappointed. But there are still things you can do. Places for university may be becoming more competitive, but there are plenty of options open to you if you don’t get the grades. Your career is only just beginning and exams alone won’t determine your future.

When you get your results there are three scenarios. Here is our guide on what you can do next:

1. Your results are what you hoped for:

Congratulations! You are going to your university of choice. You’ve worked hard all year and your results prove it. But don’t get too relaxed as you will need to confirm your acceptance of the university’s offer online. Then the university will send you all the documents you need to apply for a visa if you need one. You have to move fast as term starts late September/early October 2016, so you only have a month to prepare.

2. Your results are higher than expected:

Amazing! You’ve achieved more than you expectations. You might want to look at the UCAS Adjustment scheme that will enable you to hold a firm university offer while you look for a university or a course needing the higher grades you achieved. Of course, you don’t have to upgrade your university place if you are more than happy with your choice.

Top tip: Adjustment places are not advertised on the UCAS website so you’ll have to telephone universities directly to tell them you’re interested. Find out more about Adjustment.

3. Your results are lower than expected:

Just because you didn’t get the A Level grades you needed for your university, this does not mean you have to give up on your career dreams. You have three options:

Option 1:

If you missed out on the required grades for your firm or insurance university choice, there are things you can do. The best advice is to call the university and ask if they are still willing to offer you a place, especially if you’re only a few marks off a grade. Advisors are available throughout the exam results period to discuss what you can do with lower than expected grades.

Top tip: You may be asked why you didn’t achieve your grades, so be prepared to give answers about what factors played a part here. Also, think about positive points to share – this could be a really good subject mark or experience.

Option 2:

You might be able to find yourself another university course through Clearing. This is a process that matches universities and available course places with students seeking a place. Over 64,300 students found a university place through Clearing in 2015 – so you won’t be alone.

Top tip: Clearing opens several weeks before A Level results day, so you can get a head start by researching it now. Find out more about Clearing.

How do you find out if you can use Clearing?

Once you have received your results, you can enter Clearing if your UCAS Track status says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’. Go to the UCAS website for details of the latest university course vacancies – you’ll need to call them to secure a place.

What happens next?

You can speak to as many universities with available Clearing choices as you like. If you receive verbal offers from them, get them to send you the offer in writing so you can fully review it. You will need to then think about the pros and cons of the offer. This is when you will need to talk to your family, friends or a teacher to discuss options.

If you’re happy with the offer, go to Track and click ‘Add Clearing Choice’ and enter the course details. Once the university confirms this via UCAS you will receive a confirmation letter and your Track status will change. You’re in!

Top tip: Clearing can be a stressful process. The best way to deal with it is to be very focused about the course you want to study and ensure you select the best course available to you for that subject area. Only accept it if you really want it.

Option 3 (alternatives to Clearing):

  • Take some time out and go travelling or gain some very valuable work experience
  • Think about courses outside of university that would help you achieve your career goals
  • Retake your exams. Many students retake their A Level exams either to improve their existing grades or to start completely different courses

Remember that you are not along and your family, friends and teachers are here to help you on A Level results day. Whatever happens, you can look forward to the adventures ahead. It’s important to know there are options out there for you.

If you are a student at Bellerbys College and you find yourself feeling lost or confused by what to do next, your contact can be your Bellerbys tutors or programme managers. They will be happy to talk you through your choices and alternatives and advice you on what is next.

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