With Exam results day fasting approaching, many students will be wondering how well they have done and if they have got their place on their next course. Some may have given it thought about what their options are if things don’t work out. Follow our advice on what to do on results day.
What do I do if my exam results were worse than expected?
First of all don’t panic and make a rush decision. Don’t presume that you have not got into your chosen course or university. Even if you have slipped a grade or received results that are a lot worse than you expected, the university could still be flexible. Contact them first before making any decisions. You may find that they offer you an alternative course such as a foundation degree or HND where entry requirements are slightly lower but still give you the chance to get onto that degree.
If you have missed your place completely then you may decide to go through clearing. There are a list of clearing vacancies on the UCAS Website http://search.ucas.com/
If you decide you want to go through clearing, look at all your options and discuss with family, friends or a careers advisor. If you can be flexible in where you go you could find an alternative course.
- Look through course specifics, including entry requirements, placements, modules, course content and student support are all really important considerations
- Pay the university a visit, you want to be sure that you are going to be happy studying there and that’s going to be hard if you have never visited the place
- Look at the facilities, accommodation, teaching facilities and social aspects and speak to members of staff there on the day
If you find a suitable course you will need to contact that university and get a verbal offer before making your application on Track.
What is clearing?
You will be able to take part in clearing if:
- Your firm or insurance choice are unable to accept your application based on the results you have achieved
- You have already applied to university but currently do not hold any offers or you declined any of your offers
- You have not yet applied for a course during the 2016 cycle or you applied after the 30th June deadline
If you decide to go through clearing dont panic and be tempted into take the first course that you find just to get onto a degree course. If you are having doubts about a course that you find, then keep looking.
What is Adjustment?
You can apply to adjustment if you have met and exceeded the conditions of your firm choice. Adjustment is available from A Levels result day and completely optional but allows you the option to reconsider where and what you study, whilst also having the security of holding your place at your firm choice university for up to 5 days. It’s worth remembering that a lot of competitive courses will be full but other applicants might have missed their conditions or changed courses, so it’s still worth considering contacting the university to see if they would accept you.
You will see the option to register in Track. Unlike clearing there isn’t a course list, you will need research the universities and contact the admissions departments.
Changed your mind?
So now you’re thinking of not going to university or thinking of changing courses. Now’s the best time to make that decision. You want to ensure that you are going to university for the right reasons and that you are happy with your choice.
If you have been offered a place but want to change this. You will need to get a verbal offer from the other university you want to go to. You will then need to speak to the institution where you hold the firm offer and ask that they release you. Once they have done this, which can take up to a couple of days particularly around clearing, you will then be able to make your choice on Track with the University you want to attend.
Thinking of taking a gap year
If you have met all the conditions of your offers, but now decided you want to defer for a year. You will need to contact that institution and request that they defer your application. You may need to be prepared that for particularly competitive courses they may not be able to do this and will need to make another application.
Should I resit my exams to get better grades
This will very much depends on your college or sixth form, you will need to check with them firstly. You will need to ask yourself if spending a year retaking exams is going to be the best use of your time. For some competitive courses, the universities will look less favourably on candidates who have taken 3 years to get the A Levels even with mitigating circumstances. If you do decide to retake and apply the following year, look to enhance your application and personal statement with lots of work experience and volunteering.
Still cant find a place
If you have been through the clearing list and still cant find a course, what next? What are your options? If you have exhausted all options and still cant find a suitable course, you will need to ask yourself if this due to the lack of the UCAS points and what you will need to do to increase these. Is there another course that you could do such as a BTEC that would increase your points during the following year. If a course is particularily competitive, you will need to ensure you get an appplication in as soon as possible for the next UCAS cycle, ideally during the autumn term.
Look to get as much work experience as possible which will really enhance your personal statement.
Have you looked at all options available to you? National apprenticeships are now becoming a very popular option for those wishing to combine study with work experience. There are also more advanced level apprenticeships, which are degree level and usually studied over between 3 and 5 years. The real benefit with this, is that you are more likely to have a graduate job lined up once you have completed the apprenticeship, which is something that is not guaranteed once you complete a degree. On the plus side you will also have all the work experience and work related training alongside the degree, which many graduates will be lacking, putting you in a much better position.
Still not sure on what to do next, contact CV Surgery for impartial careers advice and options available to you Career Counselling – Graduate / School / College Leavers 2 hour session