Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for A-Level results day

Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for A-Level results day

Sadie White No Comment

With A Level results day looming, 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 15th August, but what happens if you don’t get the grades you want or even if you do better than expected? 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. It’s really useful to use UCAS before results day to check which courses still have places so that you’re fully prepared and have a plan B in your back pocket.
  2. Go on ‘UCAS Track’ to see if you have secured a place. If your ‘Track’ status hasn’t been updated, it means the university is still making a decision. Call them and ask if they will still take you. There may be a chance you will still be accepted if you have narrowly missed your grades. If your chosen institution (or your insurance offer, if you have one) 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, and you should keep calm – but act quickly.

  1. Check the UCAS website for all University places still available through clearing. The official list is published on ucas.com and many universities also publish their places on their own websites. If you’ve already done some research and know where else you would like to go, then you will have a head start. You don’t have to stick to your original choice, of course.

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 so do some research beforehand and treat the phone call like an informal interview. You will need your Clearing number and Personal ID.

  1. 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 for you? Try and visit if at all possible, especially if you haven’t already been to the university. Many of them hold open events in the days immediately following your results. It is important to attend these, as they will give you a real feel for the place and the course.
  2. 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 Track. Only do this if you have spoken to the university or college and have their agreement.

If you’ve met your offer and changed your mind or done better than expected:

  1. There’s a brand new option this year on UCAS Track called ‘Self Release’ which will allow you to turn your place down and enter clearing.
  2. If you have not only met but exceeded your offer then there is still UCAS Adjustment, which allows you to apply for other courses without first having to give up your place.

‘It’s expected that there will be some good options in clearing this year. There are also signs that more young people are choosing to wait until they get their results before applying to university.’ Says Sarah Traynor, Careers Information Adviser at Sheffield Futures.

‘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 the details of these institutions to hand, you’re not going to be wasting valuable time researching. How quickly you act may be the difference between securing a place you will thrive in, versus one where you may not.’ She continues.

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

A level results day this year is Thursday 15th August 2019.

Help from Sheffield Futures

Sheffield Futures careers advisers may be in school or college on results day. For careers advice at Star House on Division Street please call 0114 201 2800 for an appointment.

For any young people looking at alternatives to university, such as apprenticeships, Sheffield Futures are holding a ‘Get Sorted’ event on 5th September at Star House, between 12noon and 2.00pm.

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.