Managing A Level Results Day
Hundreds of thousands of teenagers will be waiting to receive their A-level results across the country tomorrow. With the recent changes to A-Levels introduced in 2017 teachers have expressed their concerns for student’s welfare and mental illness this coming results day. However, the UCAS social-media team available to answer any questions from 6am; you won’t be alone, and support is all around. Contact them on Twitter at @ucas_online and on Facebook: UCAS Online.
What will happen on 15th August?
From 8am UCAS track opens for students to see their university confirmations, but not the grades. If not offered their firm or insurance choice, students can use the clearing service to check which universities are still open for which courses. In 2018, nearly 67,000 students found a university place through clearing, an encouraging number for the applicants of this year.
Students will then have to visit their school or college, if in the country, to receive their grades by letter. Schools tend to open earlier on these days and most students will know by mid-morning at the latest. After this, it’s time for many to head out and celebrate their achievements. Accepting offers on UCAS and prepping for university can be an incredibly exciting time.
Congratulations! Whatever the results show today, you have now spent a whole 14 years in education and today should be a day to celebrate that.
If you aren’t seeing what you’d hoped for, don’t panic! Missing grades is not the end of your education journey! Universities offer clearing for exactly this reason. This opens at 3pm so there is plenty of time to discuss options with your tutors, teachers, parents and the university staff. You can still be picky even when though you’ve reached plan B. Don’t settle for a university you didn’t like just because they’ll now accept you. You can receive many verbal offers over the phone and all of those universities will open up UCAS to you- you don’t have to just call ‘the one’. Consider the original five to see if they’ll accept your received grades.
Some top tips from previous UCAS applicants include:
Approach the results with a realistic expectation
Take along someone you really trust to support you in your congratulations, or commiserations- talk to them and don’t bottle up your feelings
Stay level-headed- these results do not define you as a person
Don’t panic if you aren’t happy, it’s okay to be disappointed but remember to look forward and make a logical plan for your next steps
Don’t compare yourself to others- its easy to see that someone achieved the next grade, but its also easy to forget all that hard work you put in
It’s difficult for everyone on results day, but for you the most important job is to remain calm and supportive of your child. As much as you want to know their results, its important for your child to read them alone, then express their delight, or disappoint to you. This way you can act correctly and accordingly to their reactions. You don’t want to portray disappointment when they may actually be over the moon! As hard as it is, refrain from using social media. Its easy to compare siblings, friends and acquaintances. Announcing that your friend’s daughter achieved three A’s may not be what your child needs to hear right now.
The most important part of your job today is to express your pride. Let your child know just how much they’ve achieved and remind them just how hard they worked. Your pride will stem from their effort, not their result.
Grades are important, but equally, we know life is more important than a piece of paper. I never needed an A grade to become an entrepreneur; but; I always had a strong work ethic, along with excellent communication and social skills. Grades do not need to define your career or be a benchmark for success. As parents, raising well rounded, confident and kind children with a good work ethic should be considered a success in itself.
The exam results helpline is available all day on 0800 100 900 for additional support and queries.
Thank you to student and friend Bethan Sutton (aged 21) who co-wrote this piece.