Great exam results

A-level results day

So today was A-level results day, the day that this year’s candidates have awaited with trepidation for months now.

If you got the grades you were hoping for then that’s brilliant news – congratulations and well done!

If, on the other hand, your results were disappointing, you have my commiserations. However, please try not to view it as a catastrophe. Yes, it’s a major inconvenience – but, in the long run it may even turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to you!

Why it may not be such a catastrophe

Bear in mind that:

  • Universities are being considerably more flexible than usual on their entry requirements; they know that many of the grades awarded don’t reflect what the students would actually have achieved if they’d been able to sit the exams.
  • Universities also have lots of extra places to fill this year because very few overseas students are coming to the UK. So there will be lots of course places up for grabs at Clearing. Just make sure that you don’t simply grab whatever you can get; it has to be something that you’ll actually be happy to spend the next three years studying!
  • You still have the opportunity to show what you’re really capable of by sitting the exams in October.
  • A few universities offer the option of a January start date. Alternatively you can apply to universities for 2021 entry with exam results that you already know; then there will be no uncertainty about whether you’ll actually get in.
  • You can use the year out to build your CV and/or to improve further on your results by continuing to study and then resitting next summer. After a year out of the school environment you might even have a much better idea of your life plans.

Although I appreciate that your situation is different from what any previous cohort has been through, it may interest you to know that my A-level results weren’t good enough for my first-choice university so I ended up at my insurance choice. I had the time of my life there and couldn’t possibly have had a better time at my first choice!

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