How to Prepare for A-Level Results Day

By on July 29th, 2016

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Despite how confident they felt during exams, every student gets anxious about A-level results day. Immediately you start to worry whether you studied hard enough; whether you’ll get into your chosen university and what you’ll do if you don’t.

But the key is to relax! With a bit of careful planning ahead of time, you can ensure you have every avenue covered, making for a smooth and (almost) stress-free results day.

Here are 11 ways to prepare for A-level results day.

1. Remember you’ve done everything you can

All of the hard work has been done, so there’s no use worrying now. Tell yourself that you’ve done everything you can at this point and the outcome is out of your hands. Whatever will be, will be, and you’ll be more than ready to handle it.

2. Ensure you have everything you need on the day

A couple of days before, root out your Ucas Track login details, a working mobile phone and contact details for your chosen universities. This will make everything easier and fuss-free. (Don’t forget your camera or phone for taking your results day selfie!)

3. Get a good night’s sleep

It may be difficult to fall asleep the night before results day, but feeling rested is essential if you’re going to make big decisions clearly. Try to stay off social media at least an hour before you do to bed, as this is bound to make you feel more restless and talking about results is probably the last thing you want to do!

4. Don’t let others faze you

It’s so easy to get caught up in the emotions and reactions of fellow students on results day – panic, desperation, worry, uncertainty. But don’t let their habits or attitudes faze you. The more you remain calm and focused, the smarter your results day choices will be.

5. Take the pressure off by checking Ucas Track

You can take the pressure off collecting your grades by checking your application status on Ucas Track. From 8am, you’ll be able to see whether you’ve been accepted into your chosen university (firm or insurance) and can already be thinking of your next steps.

If you made the grades…

6. Make sure you read your confirmation letter carefully

Congratulations, you got accepted! Read your confirmation letter carefully as it may contain important information from the uni about what to do next. You should also double check the contact details you registered with them so that any communications from them go to the right place.

7. Prepare to have an ‘Admissions’ talk

Even if you got accepted, some unis will still have an Admissions Tutor give you a call to ask why you want to study this particular course. Have your Ucas personal statement on hand to refer back to, and be prepared to explain why this course and uni was your first choice. You’ll also be free to ask any questions about the course, so it may be a good thought to prepare those too.

8. Decide whether you’d consider going through Adjustment

If your grades are better than expected, decide in advance whether you’d be interested in going through ‘Adjustment’. This is where you’re able to ‘trade off’ your current uni choice for a uni with higher grade requirements, without losing your current place.
The chances are your first choice will have been so all along, but if you were aiming low initially, it’s a good opportunity to get where you really wanted. Remember that this decision will be final and don’t be tempted to switch simply for the sake of institute reputation.

If you missed your grades by a little…

9. Speak to your chosen uni

If you missed your grades by just a few marks, contact your chosen uni and explain. They may still let you in, or at least offer you an alternative course, which you can accept or decline via Ucas Track.

If you didn’t get the grades you wanted…

10. Prepare a list of ‘back-up’ unis

Not getting into your chosen university can feel less than ideal at first, but many people end up feeling that everything worked out for the best. Before results day, do some research into back-up unis you would genuinely consider going to, as well as similar courses to your own that you would be happy to accept.
After results day, you will be able to go through clearing to find a place that’s right for you, so it’s good to have an idea of what you’d say yes to.

Deferring your place…

11. Prepare a good reason for deferring your place

Whether or not you get accepted, you may decide to defer your place till next year. This could be to travel, do work experience or re-sit any exams to get the grades you want.
Either way, you’ll need to have a good idea of how you’ll actually spend your gap year should you decide to do this, and be prepared to explain it convincingly to the university. That way they’ll be more likely to say yes – but don’t worry, you won’t lose your place just for enquiring.

Above all, Downing wishes all students the best of luck! We look forward to meeting you.

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