How to Prepare for A-Level Results Day

Thursday, July 23, 2015 12:00 AM

A Level Results – advance preparation for 13th August 2015

Your A-level exams are a distant memory: the sun is out and you’ve a whole summer ahead of you. But before you start to chat to others in a Facebook group of potential fellow undergrads, are you SURE your exam results are going to be as predicted? What happens if you just miss your target, even by a point or two? Don’t be complacent. Be prepared! Do a little contingency planning into what you’ll need to do if the worst comes to the worst, and your A-level results are not what you expected. You don’t want to have to start from scratch when you are in a panic in August! And it sounds obvious, but don’t plan to be away on holiday over the results period.

Read on and you’ll get some great advice on how to approach results day, what to do in advance, and how to have some handy information at your fingertips.

What to do if you miss out on your predicted grades…

  1. Check your UCAS track
    See if you have been accepted; some unis may still take you if other candidates have also not achieved predicted grades. They are not obliged to, BUT the removal of a cap on student numbers in 2015 means that some near-miss candidates may be allowed on the course even if that takes unis over their quota. But DON’T rely on this.

  2. Telephone your uni YOURSELF
    Your uni department may be able to help you either get on the course you want or find a similar one; they want to keep the good quality students that they have already conditionally accepted. Some may have a specific hotline – so find this out before your results are due. You want to be the first one on that telephone line don’t you?! If you can’t get through, send an email. Keep trying.

  3. Insurance choices
    Did you meet the conditions of your insurance uni choice? If so, you will have been accepted by them. If you didn’t meet their requirements you may also be able to get in based on the criteria outlined in (1) above.

  4. Consider changing courses.
    If you are dead set on a particular course at a particular university then you may prefer to resit and apply again. But if you are willing to do a joint honours (e.g. History and sociology rather than just History) it may be worth looking into what you could combine your core subject with. Speak to your university and your school careers advisors/teachers ahead of results day so you can be prepared to make a decision quickly.

  5. The clearing process
    If none of the above works out, then you will need to go through the clearing process. This is where universities who need to fill their courses and students who have missed their grades are matched up. There are plenty of advice sites on the Internet that will take you through the process, see the bottom of this blog for details. BUT you need to do have some research up your sleeve in order to secure the university and course that fits you best. Don’t ‘panic-buy’. This is where comes in…

    Before results day, head over to where you can get good advice based on hard data. This is the time that that the brilliant ‘Clearing Course Finder’ comes into its own. This handy one-stop clearing advice gizmo, updated for 2015, allows students to key in their A-level subjects and grades, and the subject they want to study from a drop-down menu. The Course Finder then shows a list of suggested universities to approach first for a clearing place, based on previously accepted A-level grades for their chosen courses. Easy! Make a list of the unis that you would consider. This is a KEY part of being prepared on the day.

  7. Criteria for choosing
    THINK about the course you are choosing. Think about your employability at the end of the course. Will his course help you in your future career? Have you made your choice based on what your friends are doing or what your parents want you do to? Will your course be worth the £9000+ a year that you are spending?

Hopefully you won’t need to do any of this. But put a day aside to create your contingency plan. You won’t regret it. Good luck!

Other useful university clearing informational sites:

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