Have you got your results and wondering what to do next?
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Young people all over England and Wales will be collecting their A Level and AS Level results on Thursday 15 August. For most people it is inevitably a nerve-racking, but exciting experience, as their future plans are usually dependent on getting the grades they need to go to their chosen university or college – or for some the work based next step for them as they head off into the world of work.
For those who do not get the results they need, or those who have changed their mind since applying for a higher education course, the period following results day can be a difficult time as they have to make decisions under pressure, and in a tight timeframe.
To help school-leavers and their parents, it’s worth making an effort to revisit the options available to them now that A Level results day has arrived.
Let’s have a look at the options for all outcomes:
I didn’t get the grades I needed
If you haven’t met the requirements of a conditional offer, don’t panic. First and foremost, don’t panic if you haven’t got the grades you thought you needed – check UCAS Track, as there’s still a chance your firm choice has accepted you. If it says ‘unconditional’ you’re in, whether or not you met the original conditions of the offer.
If you find you’ve missed out on the place you were hoping for at your firm choice, there’s still a chance you’ve been accepted by your insurance offer. If this is the case, remember to change your student loan details and sort out accommodation at your insurance choice. If the offer is still showing up as ‘conditional’ at your insurance choice by midday on results day, it means they haven’t decided yet and you’ll need to call them to find out.
If Track says you’ve been unsuccessful in getting a place at your firm or insurance choices, you have the option of entering the Clearing process.
Clearing is the system universities and colleges use to fill any places they still have left after results day. Clearing vacancies are listed on the UCAS Clearing website and are regularly updated from July to September, so do keep checking if you can’t find the course you want.
By entering Clearing you will see if your grades are acceptable to another college or university. You may be offered a place to do a different course than the one you originally applied for or at an institution you haven’t considered going to. You have five days accept, so read the course description carefully, discuss the options with your family, friends or teachers, and remember you don’t have to take it if it doesn’t feel right.
Retake and Reapply
One option is to retake your A Levels and reapply for entry to your chosen higher education course next year. This option can give you a second chance to get a place on the course you originally wanted, rather than accepting a place through Clearing which might not work out as you wish.
Alternatives routes to your dream career
But don’t despair! There are an increasing number of entry routes to the majority of careers, and it is worth considering whether one of these is the answer for you. Apprenticeships have become a popular choice for those who want to train for a career and gain qualifications without the hefty debt of a student loan. JTL currently trains over 7,000 apprentices to become electricians and plumbers and heating installers. All JTL apprenticeships lead to qualifications and you will have an employer who may be willing to help you get the qualifications – or similar ones to those you were hoping to achieve at University or College.
For those who don’t want to miss out on the student experience, taking a higher education course at college could be the right move. HNC courses are the equivalent of the first year of university, and HND and Foundation Degrees are the equivalent of years one and two of a degree. Many students opt to do these courses, which typically have lower entry requirements than university, and progress on to complete their degree via a top-up year at university. These courses must also be applied for through UCAS, with places available through Clearing for this September.
I did better than I expected
If your grades worked out better than you expected – that’s excellent! If you have exceeded the entry requirements of your firm choice, you now have the option of looking for a place on a different course or at a different university, which asks for higher entry grades. The UCAS Adjustment service is available from results day until 31 August through Track. It gives you the option of seeing what else is available to you whilst holding on to the offer from your firm choice while you decide.
I need more advice
If you need more advice you can speak to UCAS. If you want to know more about apprenticeships why not head to jtltraining.com and you can always call JTL free on 0800 085 2308
Apprenticeships with JTL
There are many benefits attached to becoming an apprentice. When you are taken on as an apprentice, you can gain valuable first-hand experience of the industry you are interested in spending your career in, take a close look at how the industry works, learn on the job and earn whilst doing so. If you’d like more information on becoming an apprentice, get in touch with us today.