With A Level Results Day now less than a week away I wanted to share some top tips to make this stressful time a little easier, because let's face it, whatever results you're expecting, this day can be daunting!
Things to take with you when you go to collect your results
Let's start with some basics. Preparation is key, so even if you're reading this at 2am on Results Day, take note and take action! Resist the urge of taking nothing to collect your results - to ensure you're prepared for almost all eventualities, I suggest you pack the following:
• Phone - you will need calculator function to calculate module marks/UCAS points
• Pen and a notepad
• UCAS letter
• Contact details of your firm and insurance offers
• Copy of your personal statement
• If you're concerned you might need to go through UCAS Clearing, take a laptop or tablet with you as it may be easier to view websites on them
• This list isn't exhaustive so if you want to take your lucky teddy or an umbrella then do!
Possible Results Day Scenarios
So when you go to pick up your results, there are lots of different outcomes that could happen. To make things easier, I've summarised the most common here:
• I've met my firm offer
Congratulations, you've made it! You're going to your chosen university so it's time to celebrate!
• I've exceeded my firm offer
Congratulations that's fantastic! You have an exciting opportunity to consider other courses that you haven't applied to but are now eligible for through UCAS Adjustment, here's a YouTube video that explains how it works You'll have 5 calendar days to make another choice while your original firm choice will still be held for you so get searching!
• I haven't met my firm offer but I have met my insurance offer
On results day UCAS Track will update to show you whether you've met your firm/insurance offers (sometimes even before you've gone to collect your results!). If you don't meet your firm it will look at your insurance and offer you that instead.
• I haven't met my firm or my insurance
If you missed both your offers but still want to go to university this year you'll probably need to be flexible about your course or where you study to look for something that suits you in UCAS Clearing. You can find more information and advice about Clearing 2017 here
• You haven't met your offer but the uni has offered you an alternative place
Sometimes the university who offered you a place on another course that you've missed out on will offer you an alternative place on another course, usually in the same area e.g. an offer to study Biomedicine for someone who's missed out on Medicine. This place is offered through negotiation directly with the university. If it works for you then you can accept it or you can go through UCAS Clearing to look at other options.
• My results don't look right, should I get them re-marked?
Although this is an option, there's no guarantee that your offers will remain open whilst you go through an appeal/re-mark process. Speak to your school/college tutors to get in-depth advice about your situation and to decide if it's right for you as the decision could mean that your marks go down rather than up!
• I've decided to defer my offer
This isn't always possible so as soon as your place is confirmed you should contact your university to negotiate! It's a good idea to have the reasons why you want to defer ready in your mind or written down somewhere ready to explain to the admissions team.
• I'm not sure university is the right step for me anymore
Saying no to university this year does not mean you'll never go to university or that you'll never get a good job. If the university or the course you picked is the main thing that's holding you back then maybe look through Clearing to see what else is available, or take a gap year and reapply next year.
University life isn't for everyone, indeed there are more alternative options than ever right now! How about an apprenticeship? Before making this decision make sure you do your research and get advice. If you want to work in the NHS then there are over 350 careers and not all of them require a degree - head to our website for more info
My organisation - Generation Medics - has a forum on our site dedicated to results day. So if you're aspiring to enter a Health career then sign up for free to speak to other students in your situation as well as my team, our student volunteers and qualified health professionals who can offer you advice based on their experiences and just be there to listen. We'll be sharing tips, insider news, and there's a possibility that admissions tutors will see you too as we've already been told by some that they'll be looking at our forums to fill their Clearing places!
If you found this helpful or know someone else who might please share this with them. Like I said this is a really stressful time for many so if you or someone you know needs emotional support then call the UCAS Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 - Made in Chelsea's Tiffany Watson & Nicola Hughes and YouTuber Luke Cutforth are all also backing the helpline!
Good Luck and whatever happens, remember that you are more than a number or letter on a piece of paper. Your future is what you make it.