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What to do if you don’t get your desired A-Level results

Putting down your pens and staring wistfully out to the college courtyard on the day of your final exam may seem like eons ago. Perhaps it was the promise of a long summer ahead or the knowledge that you studied your colloquial “butt-off”, but results day suddenly became the last of your concerns. Until of course this week, when parents and pupils alike regained that apprehensive buzz that so often epitomises the day of A-Level results.

It’s hard not to feel stressed, when something as important as attaining the grade you need for your desired university is on the line.

Once you’ve opened your envelope you will quickly be able to assess whether you have reached the grades necessary for your university of choice. If you have, well done; fresher’s week is just around the corner.

However, if you haven’t got your first choice university grade, then there is no need to panic. You have several immediate avenues to follow, and some longer-term contingency plans, these can be defined by the four Rs:

1. Recalculate

Make sure there hasn’t been a mistake. Use your phone calculator to add up your UMS points to double check that a mistake hasn’t been made.

2. Reason

Call your university of choice to reason with them; explain your position. Will they still let you on the course despite your grades? If you’ve reviewed your modules and one is the cause of your missed mark, perhaps the university will approve a remark wherein the condition is that you attain the grade above. Although, this route is rare and may not guarantee you attaining your desired university place this academic year.

3. Rethink

You now need to consider whether you want to accept your back up choice (if you can) or go through clearing. Perhaps its better you wait a year and resit.

If it’s the former than you will need to start the clearing process online through UCAS, where you will follow steps to apply to a new course.

However, if you are only a few modules away from your favourite university, then resiting is recommended. With the cost of university fees having skyrocketed in the past five years and the ever-competitive job market, going to the best university for you puts you in a strong position post graduation.

4. Resit

If your desired university has said that you haven’t got your place and you are adamant that you want to go there; rather than your back-up choice, then the best option is to resit the necessary exams.

While this may seem like a difficult option to take, as it means beginning university a different academic year to your friends; it may actually be a blessing in disguise. Undergoing an exam resit isn’t like taking your A-Levels all over again, but revolves around selecting the modules that need resiting and doing those papers in June next year.

This actually gives you a year to do whatever you want be it academic or otherwise; some options include getting work experience that will boost your university prospects, taking a non-ironic “gap yah” or helping your parent’s redecorate the garden shed (an oddly therapeutic task).

Of course, Tutor House is on hand if you need extra help resiting those crucial exams.

Find me a retake tutor

We will also be on hand via phone, email and in person both on Thursday August 17th and Friday August 18th. We will happily chat through your options with you. You’ll find us on and on 0203 9500 320, or you can even Skype us, just add TutorHouse1.

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