With A Level exams having been cancelled for the second year and replaced this year with teacher-assessed grades, there is no real life precedent for what to expect on Results Day. Whether your grades are higher or lower than expected, the last thing you need on this important day is panic and stress. Knowledge is power so this week it’s a good idea to invest some time preparing and planning for different scenarios which will help you to feel in control of your situation on 10 August.

  1. Think about your Plan B. Spend some time looking at possible other courses and reviewing your Personal Statement in case it needs some revision to suit a different direction.
  1. Research what happens if you need to go through Clearing. Keep your UCAS ID, clearing number and A Level and GCSE results handy and note the phone numbers of universities with courses that interest you. The phone call you make to see if a place is available might end up being an impromptu interview so be ready to answer questions such as why you would like to study that course at that particular university. Have a few questions of your own prepared. Be enthusiastic! Pick out some key points from your Personal Statement to remind you about why you want to go to university and why you’d be their perfect student. Remember universities need to speak to you, not a family member. Try to use a landline rather than a mobile (knowing your battery isn’t going to go flat means one less thing to worry about!). If you can’t get through on the phone, many universities will also have a Live chat function on their website.
  1. Where will you be when you receive your results? At home or school? Ucas receives your results directly and will update Track around 8am. The system will be very busy, so you’ll need be prepared to wait. Use Track to confirm whether you’ve been successful but if you need clearing you still have to collect your results to see exactly what grades you got which you’ll need. The advantage of being at school is that teachers are on hand to support you if things don’t go as you’d hoped. You can also discuss with them whether to submit an Appeal.
  1. If you’ve met the requirement for your firm offer, that’s brilliant and congratulations! Track will update with your status and you’ll receive an email confirming your firm choice. If your grades are slightly below you could still be offered so check Track anyway to confirm if the status has updated to unconditional. Sometimes you might be offered an alternative course at the same university, which you will need to accept or decline.
  1. If your grades are higher than expected, new options may be open to you that you may wish to explore. Look at University Adjustment for more options.
  1. If your grades are significantly lower than expected, check Track to see whether you have any offers. You could also try phoning your preferred university to discuss your situation, especially if they haven’t yet made a decision or if there are other courses you’re interested in. This is a tough situation to be in but remember that there are many different pathways to university and a successful career. This is simply a setback but it doesn’t define you – and it really isn’t the end of everything as you still have options including re-taking A Levels (in Autumn or next summer) or taking a year out for work experience. Don’t beat yourself up, but pick yourself up and be pro-active in exploring alternatives.

We sincerely hope that you receive the results you hope for but, if not, remember there is ALWAYS another option. Just call us. Our team of experts have many years of experience of guiding University applicants just like you and are here to support and advise to help you get back in the saddle.