The countdown to A Level results day is approaching, and if you are waiting for your exam results it can be a time of excitement and uncertainty. You might be confident you will get the results you need, or be dreading hearing the news.
However you feel, it's going to be an important day, and one which shapes your future career. What you must remember is that if you don't achieve the grades you had hoped for, you still have plenty of options.
On the Day
First of all, let's look at what you're likely to experience on the day. You'll probably be dying to find out what you got, while at the same time terrified to know! Before you open that envelope or make that call, it is a good idea to give yourself a little pep talk - remind yourself that while achieving good results is wonderful, you aren't alone if you feel disappointed with your grades.
By staying calm and understanding what you need to do next, you'll feel so much more positive, and be better prepared for your results - whatever they may be.
'I got the grades I wanted - what now?'
Congratulations! If you got what you needed to fulfill the conditions of your university offer, you can check the progress of your application through the UCAS check track system. You can respond to offers via this system and make sure all your details are up to date. Your offer letters should appear within 5-7 days after results day.
'My grades are even better than I thought - what should I do?'
If you did better than you expected you might want to reconsider your options. You may wish to apply to a different university, or for another course where the entry requirements are higher. (Although you may have to re-apply for 2017 entry).
You can check out your options via the UCAS adjustment service and see what's available. Also bear in mind that you may be able to switch courses at the university which you applied to previously.
'So what can I do if I didn't get the grades I needed for my university place?'
If you've not met the conditions of your offer for a place you can search for one through the UCAS clearing service. Clearing is a service designed to help students who aren't able to get into their desired course, didn't receive an offer from a university that they wanted to accept, or have applied late for a university place.
You may have to be flexible in your degree choice or your area of study when going through clearing, however this is a great way to find similar courses at the university of your choice which you can get into. You may well find a course that you hadn't thought of before and your career could take a completely new turn! It's up to you.
The courses available are released by UCAS on results day and you can use their search tool to see what's out there.
Another option is to resit your exams again in order to try and get the grades you need. You can either do this at a retake college or with an experienced tutor.
It is important to bear in mind that you will probably have to defer for a year and then re-apply for university the following year. However, getting the grades you need to attend the university and study the course of your choice perhaps makes it worth it.
It's a good option for students who want to make sure they have the best results they can for a strong start at university, and ensure they feel confident at the beginning of their course.
In addition, if you do decide to retake your exams this can be an excellent opportunity to explore exciting alternative options. You can continue with your studies while getting some work experience, taking a mini gap year or working to save money.
A-Level Results - Getting the Grades You Need
It's possible you can teach yourself all that you need to know for a successful retake by going through all of your revision and preparing fully. Maybe you failed to get the desired grade in a particular subject because you were too focused on or stressed about your other exams. If this was the case and you believe you have the dedication and self-discipline to apply yourself, self-study could be a good option for you.
However, many students find it more beneficial to study with others, or hire a private tutor to help them focus on their work and to tackle areas of a subject they have found particularly challenging. Additional support is always advisable, especially closer to the exam period.
Attending a group revision course at a college can help you to study and get the grades you need. These courses can be very useful for those who work well with others as students can bounce ideas off one another, test each other, and help each other with problems in a supportive classroom environment.
The downside of group classes is that students cannot expect one-on-one attention, and so those with a singular need, or who are finding a specific area particularly tough might not find the focus and personal assistance they require to overcome these problems. If you've already struggled in large groups, private tuition may be a better option.
Tutors can help students to achieve the grades they need through private tuition.
A good tutor will come up with a bespoke learning plan dependent on that particular student's requirements. They will focus on key areas of study and work patiently with the student, coming up with solutions to bring clarity and understanding to topics that the student has previously struggled with.
It's important to find an experienced and professional tutor who you feel you can work well with - in doing so the benefits of 1-1 tuition can be huge.
Another benefit to hiring a tutor is that lesson timings can be flexible (as opposed to fixed college revision courses), so can be arranged to fit around jobs, work experience or gap year adventures and activities that you want to get involved in too.
A-level Results Day
A Level results day is huge, but whatever your results - good or bad - you still have plenty of options and big decisions to make.
Remember, if you want something badly enough there are always alternative routes to get you there, so try to relax in the knowledge that there is plenty of time for you to reassess, and if things don't go exactly according to plan it is just the start of a different adventure!
If you are looking for an experienced, professional and friendly tutor to help you study for exam retakes, why not get in touch with Tutor House