This blog was written by Ann Tunstall,  University Consultant.

In this time of uncertainty, it is important to try and focus on the facts and stay positive. Here are some ideas for sixth form students on useful ways to conduct research on future options and choices:

Students in Lower 6th or Year 12, can look to use this time to continue with any organised school work, but also use it as an opportunity for wider reading around subject areas.
This is useful to develop knowledge, research topics towards completion of any Extended Project Qualifications or look at ways to evidence an interest in potential subjects to study at University.

It is also a good time to research some of the course options at university using a range of resources:

Whilst open day events are cancelled this summer, some universities are providing virtual open days, webinars or other ways to explore the university online.


If considering other alternatives such as Gap Years or Degree Apprenticeships, find out about the schemes available, research employers and sectors to find out more about the world of work:

You can download a free reading list here with subject specific suggestions


Although students have been working very hard towards their A level and equivalent examinations, understandably students are concerned about final grades and securing places at university, on apprenticeships or the implications for future career choices.

For those in Upper 6th or Year 13 the following links are providing the most up to date information about how the changes will impact on your grades and university places:

Some schools are advising you continue to study and are setting specific work tasks for you to complete, until they get more clarification as to the criteria for determining “calculated grades.”

Whilst there are some useful links on social media that provide up to date information such as Twitter, be careful not to get too distracted as there is an overwhelming amount of information that can cause anxiety and uncertainty on the current situation.

Keep positive by checking your UCAS Track page for information from UCAS or universities direct. Your offers received stay the same and whilst some universities are making adjustments and sending out unconditional offers, you need to think what is in your best interest and consider all the options before making any decisions.

If you haven’t accepted your initial offers to indicate Firm and Insurance then I suggest you do that, UCAS have extended the date for this by two weeks to allow more time for students to make these decisions.

There will be more direction and updates sent out soon once the exam boards have given clear direction on how the calculated grades will be administered.


The Independent Education Consultants have a team of Careers and Higher Education Consultants who can help you with the next stages of your Education.   We can help with course decisions, Personal Statements, advice on offers and all aspects of your UCAS application.

We offer a range of free and paid-for resource guides for parents alongside our consultancy advice.


Ann Tunstell

If you would like to speak to Ann or any of our university or careers consultants get in touch to discuss organising a Skype consultation.