In August we will join with many of our students who are celebrating their success in the A level examinations and confirming their place at University. Yet we will meet many others over this summer from other schools that are facing difficult decisions. Here is some advice for those that do not get the grades they need to take up a place at their preferred university.
Many schools might text you results but it is still a good idea to go to your school or college on results day to get help and advice from your teachers. At Brampton College all the teaching and careers staff will be here to help you. The Universities will already have your results and they will have let you know through ‘Track’ whether they will offer you a place.
What to do if you do not get the A level grades you need
If you do not get the grades for your first choice, your CF choice, then you may get offered a place with your second option, the CI choice. (This is why we encourage students to make careful decisions about these choices that build in an insurance against narrowly missing your grades.)
Over the past few years there have been many cases where the exam boards have made mistakes in their marking. If you feel strongly that your grades are wrong and do not reflect your ability, you can ask for a remark of your papers. Requests for remarking can only be done through your school or college. (This is another reason to plan to go to your school so this can be done quickly). If your university place is at stake you can order a priority remark. There is a fee for this service which is reimbursed by the examination board if there is a grade change.
If you have not obtained a University place then you can try to get a place through Clearing. These are advertised on the UCAS website and in the Daily Telegraph, but most places go within a few days and you will need to act decisively and fast. This is why it is important to get advice so that you make an informed decision.
It is so important you make an informed decision at this stage, every year students accept a place for a course they do not really want to study at a place they do not really want to go to. The government statistics site www.unistats.com will give you information about student satisfaction and how many students complete their course.
Where to get advice about your University decision
The UCAS website has lots of advice about navigating Clearing and Adjustment and you can also get feeds from UCAS on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, it is advising applicants to follow @ucas_online and @ucasclearing to get up-to-date information. You can also call the UCAS customer contact centre on 0871 468 0 468. Calls cost up to 10p/min from most landlines (an additional connection fee may also apply). Calls from mobiles may cost considerably more. You can also call the national Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 which is run by UCAS on behalf of the Department for Education. It is staffed by careers advisers, is already open and will run for 10 days after results day. Calls are free from most landlines. Some networks and mobile operators will charge for these calls.
You can also phone Brampton College on 020 8203 5025 and speak to our staff. We are pleased that every year we help students fulfil their dreams. If a young person wants to do something they should explore all the possibilities to enable them to reach their final goal. Our expert careers advice and excellent teaching helps students improve their grades and achieve places on highly competitive courses. There are many reasons this may not have happened the first time but we do not believe in letting one set of examination results define who you are as a person or determine what you can achieve.
There are other options like taking a gap year and perhaps doing some volunteer work, travelling or getting a job. You could also consider information about other routes to degree-level qualifications, such as foundation degrees and diplomas or going back to College to retake your A levels and then re-apply. It may be better to wait a year and go somewhere that is right for you rather than making a hasty decision you will regret later.