A-level results day 2019: 'My grades are terrible – what do I do?

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As thousands of students celebrate securing a spot at University after getting their A-level results this morning, there’s also many who might not feel so lucky.

Some sixth formers might be opening their much-awaited envelopes to grades lower than expected.

One student has turned to The Student Room looking for help after gaining lower grades than anticipated, despite putting in the hours revising.

They studied maths and two sciences – getting C,C,E in their results this morning.

Writing on the student forum for help, they said: “I revised so hard for maths and yet got such a bad grade.

 

Around 300,000 students collected their A-level results this morning

“I’m not really sure what to do. I’m thinking about doing a different A-level privately, working my a** off and getting a better grade, then apply to uni but I’m not so sure.

“I can’t get into any good unis through clearing because my grades are so bad (especially the E).

“This did not go as expected.”

After reaching out for help, many university clearing officers were quick to offer advise – urging him to try his luck with clearing as a first option.

One clearing advisor wrote: “Talk to universities through their clearing lines. You never know! It’s better to know for sure than assuming you have no chance.

Some students might not have got their ideal results – but don’t lose hope

 

“A different A-level wouldn’t change the grade you’ve already got, so keep that in mind.”

The advisor also offered guidance on whether doing another A-level, even if they bagged an A, might not help as much as they think.

They wrote: “If you wanted to do a degree more related to the E, for example, then it might not make a massive amount of difference.

“I’d really recommend having a look at clearing just so you know all of your options properly.

“Something like a foundation degree might be a good step for you perhaps?.”

Others urged the student not to feel so disheartened, adding: “Those are good A-levels and you can go far with them”.

A representative at Bournemouth University added: “Sorry to hear your grades aren’t as you’d hoped, please don’t lose all hope though!

Thousands of places are offered through clearing every year

“We still have places available through clearing please take a look and give us a call if you’d like to discuss.

“Would waiting a year whilst doing another A level be so bad? Are you 100% set on which course/uni you want to go to?

“If not then I would suggest taking the next year to study and really reflect on where you want to spend the following 3 years.

“Good luck, let us know what you decide to do.”

Students can also get help on the Exam Results Helpline on 0800 100 900.

The helpline is a source of free, impartial advice after receiving results and is available to all parents, teachers and students.

Run by the Department for Education’s National Careers Service, people can use the helpline to get advice on what to do if a student does better or worse than expected in their exams, or if they get the results they hoped for but aren’t sure what steps to take next.

The number for the Exam Results Helpline is (0800 100 900).

You can use clearing if:

  • You’re not already holding an offer from a university or college, and the course still has places.
  • You didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • You didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
  • You’ve  declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in Track

How does clearing work?

Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses and offers students a way for students to find another course. 

  • If you haven’t already applied, you need to register and make an application, but you’ll only be able to add a choice after you’ve submitted it. UCAS will then send you plenty of information on how to access and track your application.
  • You’ll know you’re in clearing if your Track status says  ‘You are in clearing’  or  ‘Clearing has started’  – OR you follow the on screen prompts to  decline your firm place , and your Track status then says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’.
  • If Track doesn’t say either of these yet, it might just be waiting for your results to update. Get in touch with the universities/colleges if it’s taking a while – they might still be considering you, even if your results are a bit lower than required.
  • If you originally only applied for one course for the reduced fee of £18, you’ll have to pay an additional £6 to apply through clearing.
  • A full list of course vacancies is published between mid-August and late-September on the UCAS website. Here’s  how to search for a place or university .



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