Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for A-Level results day

Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for A-Level results day

Sadie White No Comment

Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for A-Level results day

With A Level results day just around the corner, Sheffield’s students are coming to the end of a nerve wracking summer wait for those all-important grades. Many students will be celebrating on Thursday 17th August, but what happens if you don’t get the grades you want? To help navigate what can be a complicated process and to make sure students are prepared, local youth charity Sheffield Futures – responsible for delivering careers advice in many schools across Sheffield – is on hand to provide advice and guidance.

What to do if you don’t get the grades you need

  1. Don’t panic. It’s important to stay calm so that you can act quickly. You are one of many young people who may not have the results they need to secure a place and if you’re panicking you won’t be able to think clearly and act quickly to access the best courses left.
  2. Start by checking your ‘Track’ status on as this should tell you if you’ve been offered a place. If your ‘Track’ status hasn’t been updated, it probably means the university is still making a decision. Call the higher education institution straight away and ask if they will still accept you. There may be a chance you will still be accepted if you have narrowly missed your grades. If your chosen institution won’t accept you then you will go into the UCAS clearing process. However if ‘Track’ states that you’re in ‘Clearing’ then it means that you haven’t been offered a place but can start applying for other courses.
  3. Check the UCAS website/The Daily Telegraph for all University places still available through clearing. These are published on and many universities also publish their places on their own websites. You don’t have to stick to your original choice of course. It’s useful to have a plan B in your back pocket. Make sure you’ve done your research before results day and know where you would like to go if you don’t get your first choice so you can act quickly. If you like the look of a course then call them.  The idea is to persuade them to make you an informal offer over the phone.
  4. Again don’t panic and make sure you look at the clearing places and courses carefully. Consider what it might be like to live in that place. How far is it from home and is the course right or you? Try and visit if at all possible, especially if you haven’t already been to the university. Many of them hold clearing events in the days immediately following your results. It is useful to attend these as they will give you a real feel for the place and the course.
  5. If you’re happy with the course and university and if they’ve made you an informal offer then make an official application through UCAS.
  6. Confirm your place through UCAS and with the institution

‘If you don’t get the grades you need to get in to University, the key thing is not to panic and be proactive. It’s important so you can act quickly and make good decisions says Nigel Ball, All Age Guidance Manager at Sheffield Futures.

‘There’s a good chance that all may not be lost as some institutions may still accept students, if for example grades have only been missed by a grade. The important thing is to stay calm and to be proactive.’ He continues.

‘A really important thing to do is to prepare in advance and decide on second and third choices so that you can act quickly if you find yourself in the University clearing process. If you’ve got these names of institutions to hand then you’re not going to be wasting valuable time researching when how quickly you act may be the difference between securing a place you will thrive in versus one you may not.’

Sheffield Futures provides the careers guidance and advice in schools across Sheffield.

Outside of school careers advice sessions, students can call Star House on 0114 2012800.

A level results day for Sheffield schools this year is Thursday 17th August 2017.

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.