A Level results day is here and whether your results are as good as, better than or worse than expected you probably have lots of questions.
Here are just a few of the popular questions asked by students along with the answers.
My A level results are better than expected, what should I do?
Celebrate? Well done you! There are of course other things that you might be wondering if you’ve just picked up great results that you weren’t necessarily expecting, such as –
Can I apply to uni after getting my A-level results?
The answer is yes, you can apply to university when you get your A level results even if you didn’t do through the UCAS application process at the same time as everyone else. If you decide that you want to go to university after all then you’ll need to go through UCAS Clearing, which is the process used by universities to fill any places on courses that they have left. Hopefully there will be a member of staff around to support you through the process, but here’s a basic outline of what to do.
The Clearing process
1) Apply as usual and include your personal statement. If you didn’t write a personal statement because you were sure that you wouldn’t go to university then you will need to do this – don’t rush this; you need to get it right. Read our quick guide to writing a personal statement. You will need to pay a £23 fee, so make sure that you have the means to do this.
You will receive a welcome email once this is done
2) Next you need to access UCAS Track and get your Clearing number, which universities will need to progress your application.
3) Search the vacancies list and contact universities or colleges you want to apply to (you can approach universities before your clearing number appears in track although you won’t be able to complete the process formally)
4) Get a verbal offer and add the course in Track
I’ve accepted a place on a course; can I switch to a different university?
If you have accepted a firm offer but have now changed your mind and want to go to a different university then you should act very quickly because it can take a while.
You will need to telephone (not email) the university and ask to be released. This can take up to two weeks which is why you need to be quick. Once you have confirmation that you have been released then you will need to access your clearing number through UCAS track and start ringing round.
My results are much better than expected, can I trade up to more prestigious uni?
If you have met or exceeded your expected results then yes, you can ‘trade up’. To do this you enter a process called Adjustment. If you only applied for one course previously, you’ll have to pay an additional £11 to go through Adjustment.
Things to consider – accommodation, which you might already have sorted for your first choice uni and also remember that just because another university might be more prestigious or rank more highly this doesn’t automatically make it the right uni or course for you.
Adjustment – what to do
Register with Track and have your personal ID ready. Once you’ve done this, telephone the universities you’re interested in and sell yourself to them.
You only have one adjustment choice so don’t accept any offers over the telephone until you are absolutely certain. Your unconditional firm offer is safe while you look at Adjustment places, so don’t worry that you’ll lose your original offer.
Once you’re sure, accept your place and the university will be added to your application and Track will be updated.
My A-level results are terrible, what should I do?
Results can go wrong for all sorts of reasons, from lack of hard work to ill health or personal problems. If you open up your results and make your heart sink the first thing to do is take a breath, find somewhere quiet and perhaps someone that you trust to be with. It can be very difficult when your exam results are a disappointment but those around you all appear to be celebrating and you need to take some time to digest what’s just happened but above all – don’t despair; setbacks can be the making of us, they can cause us to think deeply about what went wrong and why and they can encourage us to take a different path which ultimately is the best thing we could have done.
Options on A level results day when it all goes wrong
1) Hurl yourself on the floor, weeping and wailing * note this is only an option for a very limited amount of time, then you have to choose one of the other options, but you are entitled to a momentary lapse of reason.
2) Speak to teachers, your head of school and parents / guardians about your results and find out what your options are. These might include:
- Getting a remark for particular modules
- Restarting the year / course if your circumstances in the first year are the reason for your poor results – this might be done at the same place or somewhere new if a fresh start is what you need.
- Moving to a different course of study perhaps A-levels really were not right for you and you would have done better on a different programme of study or an apprenticeship.
Above all, try to remember that getting bad A level results is not the end of the world – you’re not the first and you certainly won’t be the last.
I got lower grades than my firm and insurance place required, what should I do?
The first thing to do if you get say BBB when you needed AAB or ABB is get on Track and check – you might not have been rejected at all and you might be worrying about nothing.
If you have lost out of your uni place
If you do miss out on your firm and your insurance places but you do still want to go to university then you will need to go through clearing so follow the process outline above.
Do I have to go to university to get a degree?
The short answer is no, you do not have to go to university to get a degree or any other higher education qualification.
You can study for all sorts of higher education qualifications at college, including Higher National Certificates (HNC), Higher National Diplomas (HND), Foundation Degrees and Bachelor’s Degrees.
Ask at your local college or visit their website to see what is on offer.
Whatever A Level results day brings you, the team here at Moving On wish you the very best. So, whether you are moving into your second year of A Levels, starting afresh in a new direction, taking a gap year or heading off to university – enjoy!