Well, here it is. Results day.
It’s a strange one, results day, because it is a day filled with dread. It’s a day that determines your future in more ways than we care to realise, whether you get the grades or you don’t. I remember mine well. Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such pressure in my life as I did that day. And it was a pressure I’d put on myself. I needed ABB to get into my chosen university and I had worked hard to get those grades. As I walked down towards my college to collect that all important piece of paper, I could feel my stomach churning: What if I didn’t get the grades? What else would I do? Could I work? Will they let me in anyway? What about clearing? The questions were endless…
I certainly didn’t feel this much pressure on GCSE results day. In fact, I remember that day too. I was sat on a boat on a lake in Austria, sunning myself. My grandparents picked up my results. And university? I don’t even remember.
For some reason, A-Level results day is a day of fear. For some, it can determine their future path. For others, they simply make their own. So, jumping on the bandwagon of media output today, here’s our A-Level results day guide for everyone: Students, employers and parents!
- Check your results!
First off, don’t panic. Before you collect your results, start to think of the different possibilities. Think it over in your head - what are your options if you don’t get your desired grades? This will make it easier when you do find out your results. Once you’ve got your results, you’ll need to check your status on UCAS Track. This will have updated and let you know the situation with the individual universities, colleges or courses you’ve applied to.
- If you don’t meet your conditions, you’ll have to go through clearing. Clearing is basically the place where you can find courses with vacancies if your results are not as expected. You can read UCAS’ very helpful guide here. Above all, don’t worry - there’s plenty other options out there…
- Met your conditions?
Congratulations! Well done. All that hard work paid off. You can now start to prepare for university… think about accommodation, finance etc. If you’ve done better than expected, you can also look at the adjustments service to see if you want to change your course.
University not for you?
If you haven’t met your conditions, that’s fine. There are so many options out there now for young people. If you’d prefer to earn while you learn, there are plenty of jobs out there. Mostly, applications open for apprenticeship schemes with the bigger companies around September / October time, so you can carry on enjoying your summer and using these few weeks to bolster up your CV and make yourself look the best you possibly can to employers. Top tips for making your CV appealing? Volunteering! Part-time jobs! MOOCS!
If you’re looking at getting employment straight away, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Not Going To Uni. As one of the biggest job boards for people (funnily enough) not going to university, you’re likely to find something on there that suits you and is available to start immediately.
It can be disappointing not to get the grades you need, but there are plenty of people that have succeeded without them. Check out these amazing stories from the Guardian: how to cope with disappointing A-Level results.
Remember, no two journeys are ever the same. You can achieve whatever it is you want to achieve, you just have to make your own path.
There will be plenty of students who don’t make the grades and will start to look into alternative routes. NotGoingToUni report a massive influx of students on their website on today alone, so I hope you have taken heed of our newsletter advice - and placed your job adverts on relevant sites! It might seem to be too late now, but there are plenty of students out there who will bury their heads in the sand for about a week, before resurfacing and trying to find out their next steps. Definitely worth getting something online.
Similarly, if your vacancies aren’t open yet - get your sites updated and let students know when they are going to be open. Even if they have met the required criteria, there is so much noise around at the moment surrounding the expense of going to university vs. the benefits and career options at the end of it. Inevitably, you’re going to get students looking for alternatives.
Be clear with your communication! Students want information to be readily available, easily accessible and concise. Put up a one or two liner informing them of when applications will open - and even better, an option for them to receive notifications when it’s application time.
If your applications are open, make sure the early careers team is ready for the rush. Students will be all over, everywhere. Get ready for an influx of communication on email, twitter, facebook, wherever else you have a presence, because believe me, the questions will be coming in thick and fast. If you need any guidance on what students might ask you, check out our list here.
Inevitably, some of my network and contacts here will be parents with children receiving their results today. We’ve scoured the internet for some of the best information on what to do and what not to do today…
The best one we’ve found is this one from the Telegraph: Dos and don’ts for parents on results day. The best piece of advice they’ve got?
Don’t take anything to heart! Your child is under enormous stress, so you’re bound to say something wrong. Whether positive or negative, they’ll need to get their feelings out, so let them do it. It’ll mean a clear head going forward, which they’ll need for making some important decisions.
Do your research! Make sure you’ve read up on the next stages, whether that’s clearing or the adjustments service, they may come to you for answers and you need to know your stuff. There are plenty of alternatives to university too - such as apprenticeships and school leaver programmes, gap years and more, so whatever they decide, you can provide them with some solid information.
Results Day As it Happens
- The BBC have reported record number of UK university places have been offered this year - with A-Level results showing a marginal fall in top grades for the fifth successive year.
- The proportion of A* and A grades was 25.8%, down 0.1% on last year. The pass rate of 98.1% remained the same.
- UCAS admissions services says 424,000 places have been offered - an increase of 3% on last year.
- [11:30 AM] : 60,000 course searches have been made on UCAS so far. The most searched for courses are: Economics, Law, Psychology, Business and Nursing
By now, I imagine that everyone, or at least most, have got their results - yes, frantically running into school to collect them, I remember the feeling. As a team who have done the full education thing (GCSE, A-Level, Degree etc) and now working in the early recruitment space, we’re a pretty good place to discuss your options going forward. Whether you’re a student who feels like they don’t have anywhere to turn, are confused with their results and options going forward, just want to discuss their future plans with someone or a parent who needs some information about the alternatives to university, we’re on hand to help. All you have to do is visit our website: www.classcareers.co.uk and click ‘Chat to us now’.