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Top 6 Tips for students on A Level exam results day

17 August 2017

You’ve done the study, sat the exams and now it’s results day! Kim Clifford, from the Association of Colleges, is on hand with some top tips to help you make sense of your results and help you get one step closer to that bright future that is waiting for you. You have your results in hand - what next? Confirm your place: You’ve received your results, now log onto UCAS track! If your firm offer has been confirmed - make sure you contact the college or university to confirm your place. Didn’t get the grades you wanted? First off, don’t panic - you have options and there are lots of 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. 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. 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. 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 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. Kim Clifford is Associate Director for Sixth Form Colleges at the Association of Colleges (AoC) which is the membership organisation for colleges in England. She concludes: “This may seem like a really scary time as you are moving on to something new and unfamiliar. But stay calm and think carefully about what you want to do. Make sure you have access to information about all the options available, so that you’ll be able to make the best decision for your future. If you’re not sure, speak to your local college, which can advise you on all the options available.”