Results day is fast approaching (A-Level results will be announced on Thursday 17 August, and GCSEs on Thursday 24 August) but first things first: do not panic! No matter what the outcome, the best thing students can do is try to remain calm; understanding all the options available to them will certainly help with that.
Let’s look at A-Levels first. There are three possible outcomes here: 1) students do as expected and receive their first choice course. Happy days! 2) Students do even better than anticipated (even happier days!) or 3) students don’t do as well as they had hoped.
For students who haven’t done as well as anticipated, UCAS’ Clearing process can be a real saviour. UCAS’s Clearing is for students who have not received any offers, rejected all their offers, or missed the conditions of their offers, and it lets them apply for courses that still have places available. Every year, The Telegraph publishes a really useful Clearing guide which shows students how the process works and talks them through a step-by-step guide of how to apply. You can check out this year’s one here.
In the instance where students have done better than expected, there is an opportunity for them to consider applying through Adjustment, which gives them the opportunity to ‘trade up’ to a better university course without losing their current offer. In the same way that Clearing accommodates students that haven’t performed as well as they’d hoped during their exams, Adjustment makes sure overachievers are free to reconsider their options and perhaps enrol on a different course at a different university. The Telegraph also does a really useful Guide to Adjustment each year, which is well worth a read.
We can’t talk about GCSE results, without mentioning the new grading scale, which is bound to cause mass confusion on the 24th! The new 9-1 grading scale will replace the old A*- G grading in maths, English language and English literature this month, and will be phased into all other GCSEs over the next two years.
So, what will the new grading scale actually look like? The BBC explains the new system really well, breaking it down as follows: “grades nine, eight and seven are broadly equivalent to an A* and A. Grades six, five and four are in line with B and C grades. A three would be broadly similar to a D grade, with two and one taking in grades E, F and G”.
We’d like to wish all students collecting their results over the next two weeks the very best of luck, but remember, whatever the outcome, you have lots of options available to you so make sure you explore them all! The world is your oyster, and your future is certainly bright!