The big day is almost here for students across west London finding out final A level grades on Thursday (August 17).
Students will soon discover if they've made it into university, or have a place on their selected apprenticeship programme.
But what happens when you finally have your results, and what if you don't get the grade you'd hoped for?
Don't panic, Kim Clifford from the Association of Colleges has shared some top tips to help you make sense of your results, and help you create a post-school plan.
You have your results in hand - what next?
1. Confirm your place
You’ve received your results, now log onto UCAS track.
If your offer has been confirmed, make sure you contact the college or university to confirm your place.
2. Didn’t get the grades you wanted?
First off, don't panic - you have options and there are lots of them out there.
Have you considered higher apprenticeships or the clearing system?
You may be able to re-sit exams or find a different higher education course.
3. Be clear about clearing
If you’re going through clearing, make sure you have:
- a clearing guide (such as the UCAS website).
- access to a phone.
- a notebook.
- a pen.
You’ll need them for calling universities and colleges to find out what is on offer, depending on your grades.
If you have a grade above your firm offer, you can use UCAS adjustment to trade up to another course, university or college.
4. Know your options
If you’ve changed your mind or don’t want to take the academic university route, investigate your local college.
They offer technical and professional qualifications such as BTECs at Level 3, advanced apprenticeships and also Foundation Degrees or Higher National Diplomas.
These qualifications often include working directly with employers on placements so it can be an excellent experience.
5. Explore apprenticeships
If you want a degree without university tuition fees and at the same time get a paid job, it may be possible to find a higher apprenticeship.
Many local and national companies now offer apprenticeships. Colleges can help find the right one for you.
Alternatively, search for apprenticeships at www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship .
6. And finally, be proud of yourself: You’ve got this far!
Whether you have received the grades you wanted or not, there is something out there that is right for you.
The key thing is to know your options, do your research and get advice from reliable sources such as careers advisers.
There’s also the option of taking a gap year and maybe getting some work experience before going on to further study.
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