Advice & Hacks

Don't Panic! WhyMissing YourPredicted GradesIsn't The End OfThe WorldDon't Panic! Why MissingYour Predicted GradesIsn't The End Of The World

Jasmine TomlinsonAugust 6th
2019

Stress is rising, students are waiting and universities are ready to 'pounce'...

Suddenly, the summer holiday excitement has melted away and bigger matters than how not to be bored and what to pack for youir holiday are now at stake. Your efforts have been tested and the exam results are in...

Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy There's vomit on their sweaters already, mom's spaghetti They're nervous, but on the surface they look calm and ready To drop bombs, but students keeps on forgettin - that A-level results aren't that important!!!

What? This goes against everything you've been told for the last two years right? Well, listen in, because we have some important information for you.

Although people may make it sound like results day is the scariest nightmare you'll ever face, and that 'failure isn't an option' the reality is it's not all that bad, and even if you don't meet your predicted grades it's not the end of the world.

Don't believe us? Here are just some of the reasons why...

There's more to life than a bunch of letters...

Getting to this moment may have taken a lot of time and sleepless nights, but it represents neither your whole life nor the full range of your abilities.

If you're feeling uncomfortable about putting these grades on your CV for future employers to see, there's plenty of other ways you can sell yourself and promote the best version of you possible.

Getting involved in real life activities like volunteering for a charity or having relevant work experience are actually much more valuable attributes that employers will appreciate seeing on your C.V. You could talk about joining your school choir, being part of a sports event or even babysitting for your next door neighbour.

Sounds a bit odd right? Well, anything like this expresses both life and people-skills, and demonstrates a desire to be involved with the community - way more valuable than a couple of grades that show your ability to regurgitate endless facts, quotes and names you had to cram into your brain before exams.

In the meantime, while you do of course still need to include your A-level grades on your CV, it's well worth making the rest of it amazing, because you probably have way more to offer than you think!

'Life, finds a way...'

This neat little thing called 'clearing' was thankfully invented to help you get to the next step in life - even if A-levels didn't go the way you wanted.

Clearing is a service run by UCAS where universities and colleges can advertise any places they still have available - and they'll be waiting on the phone to discuss your results to see if they can offer you a place.

Even if you think your grades aren't 'good enough', they'll be there, and they want you on their course - remember who's paying them those lovely tuition fees... .

If there are any universities you remember liking the sound of that maybe you didn't put down as one of your top choices, it might be a good idea to write down their contact details and have them ready for results day - there's absolutely no harm in having a back-up plan!

This will be useful in case you didn't meet the entry requirements for your chosen uni and need to go through the clearing system. Some unis are contactable through social media or online forms so make sure to have a look at their website for details.

It's better to be safe than sorry, and doing this research earlier on will help you massively, as the moment results are received, students and unis will be picking up the phone very quickly for their best chance at securing a spot.

If you need any further help or you're unsure , careers advisors and teachers can help you talk through what you want to do next. You can also visit the UCAS website for more information on the clearing process.

If you’re totally set on one university, you can contact their admissions office directly and ask if they’d still consider you. If you just slip a grade or two, you might still be able to go. Alternative courses or foundation years may be available too – so there’s nothing to lose from giving them a quick ring.

Don't forget that re-sitting exams next year, or pursuing an apprenticeship or vocational training are also other possibilities .

A whole new world...

If you're fortunate enough to get into the university you want, but still aren't happy with the grades you've received, don't worry because right now A-level results genuinely aren't that important.

This doesn't mean that a whole load of stress and time has been wasted, we're saying this because soon you'll be embarking on a new section of life, and you'll have the opportunity to improve yourself, learn from previous mistakes and excel in your studies.

University is like your Narnia. Once you've adventured through your uni journey and out of the other side, you'll be a different person and will have opened the doors to a whole world of opportunities. Employers are more interested in someone who's been through all that and gained real world experience than some grades you got three or four years ago.

In reality, most employers are interested in your university grades, and A-level results just don't equate to that much in the grand scheme of things.

The numbers have got your back...

Still stressed? Here are some facts that might help to ease your worried mind.

  • In 2018, UCAS revealed that more than one in three students who applied to university were offered a place on a degree course regardless of their final exam grades.

  • According to Laura McInerney of The Guardian: "This country has a shortage of this age group, due to a birth dip at the time of the millennium. Not only does this mean the group will have an incredible market value in a few years’ time when graduate recruiters struggle to fill their vacancies; Uncapped student numbers and an ongoing decline of 18-year-olds in the population has increased the competition between universities to fill places on degrees."

  • A higher proportion of students with low A-level grades have been awarded university places in recent years, figures from UCAS show.

  • More than 81% of 18-year-old applicants from the UK with three D grades at A-level or the equivalent, were admitted to university courses in 2018.

  • Acceptance rates for students with three pass grades in BTECs - vocational qualifications - have also increased from 50% in 2013 to 70% this year.

It's all one big lesson

We all make mistakes, and whether this means you feel like your revision techniques didn't quite cut it this time round, you felt less motivated in a subject area you didn't enjoy, or it feels like your guilty conscience has been shouting at you for not studying enough, these A-levels are in the past.

There's always an opportunity to learn something or grow through difficult times, so the important thing to take away from these exams - before you chuck your flashbacks to mental breakdowns in the bin - is to take note of what you could've done differently and how you can apply it in future to be the 'best you' there ever was.

Don't Let A-levels Define You And Bring You Down.

It's not worth it, and you'll definitely get another chance to prove yourself, so seriously don't panic!

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