Published on August 13, 2019 by Holly Porter

Students find out their results and look at them together

A-Level results day will be one of the most emotional and important days of your life so far. Therefore, it is important to be as prepared as possible. Here is a guide to help you plan for the big day.

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1. Firstly Keep Calm

Whilst it is natural to become stressed and anxious about your A-Level results, it is important to distract yourself as much as possible for the final days before you know. Meeting friends, spending time with family and generally being busy is important. Overthinking will not change your results so it is best to keep yourself occupied.

Conversely, whilst it seems appealing to make plans with your friends for the afternoon or evening following collection of your results, it might be best to hold off. You may need to spend more time at school talking to universities negotiating a place there.

As such, keep plans at a ‘maybe’ until you know your results. There is plenty of time to celebrate your results and see your friends before freshers.

2. Research Your Insurance Choice

In a perfect world, you would receive the A-Level results needed for your firm choice and all would be well. However, it might be beneficial to get used to the idea of going to your insurance university.

Research its accommodation, transport links and generally imagine your life if you were to end up there. Hopefully, this will prepare you for if you miss your grades by one or two.

3. Clearing and Adjustment

Last year 64,300 applicants managed to obtain a place at university through clearing. Therefore, it really is a huge opportunity. In the run-up to A-Level results day, check the UCAS clearing page several times. It should be noted that although clearing opened on the 5thJuly, most universities will not reveal potential places until after results have been released.

It is possible though to express an interest in some universities and request clearing email alerts from them. Therefore, it is good to be prepared and have made a list of possible courses to apply to if your results are not quite what you envisaged.

Similarly, it might be a good idea to look at universities with entry grades one or two above your firm choice (if possible). Adjustment is only open for 5 days following results day so you do need to make enquiries quickly if you want to apply to different university this way.

4. Know Your UCAS Information

Most students will not have visited the UCAS site since they input their firm and insurance choices and therefore may have forgotten their log-in details. The night before results day, the site closes and you are unable to login to your account.

It might be worthwhile making sure you are able to do this and have all the information you need in order to access your results before the 13thAugust.

It can be very frustrating at 8am knowing your results have been released but you are not able to see whether you have got into your university of choice due to password changes etc.

Furthermore, should you need to access clearing and adjustment, this information will be invaluable.

You should have the following with you when you collect your results:

  • Your UCAS ID and login details
  • Phone numbers of the relevant university admissions teams (including your firm and insurance)
  • The university and course IDs (e.g. to apply for law at Manchester would need the course ID: M100 as well as the UCAS institution ID: M20)
  • Your GCSE results

5. The Night Before

If you want to collect your A-Level results personally, check what time your school will allow this. Consider whether you want to open them with your parents, friends or alone. I would suggest alone.

Turn off your phone. Stress is infectious and reading your friends’ panicked messages will affect you. Not to mention the social media storm and celebrities posting tweets about their triple D results and yet they are doing fine. None of that is helpful. It is much easier to just switch off.

When you do turn it on in the morning, check your emails first. Many universities choose to email you directly with a welcome message if you have met their grades. This certainly made my drive to school to collect my results a lot more comfortable!

Above all else, try not to worry about A-Level results. I know it seems impossible. In a worst-case scenario, you can sit some or all of your exams in autumn.

Before you get to this stage, make the most out of clearing. Scour the UCAS clearing search tool and ring up as many admissions teams as you can – you may be pleasantly surprised.

In a best-case scenario – congratulations – welcome to law school!

Words: Holly Porter 

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