When it comes to A-level results, Careers and UCAS Helpline Advisor Nick Haynes advises that nothing is as bad as it seems.
A listening ear
We don’t know all the answers, but I’d never send anyone away empty handed. Sometimes the advice may be simple – talk to your best friend and draw up a list of your strengths and weaknesses. It may be talking through the pluses and minuses of retaking your exams or thinking about a gap year.
Real answers to real questions
It isn’t just about giving out information – I can use my age, my experience, my knowledge of the labour market, my understanding of what employers want and my knowledge of the UCAS system and apply it to the individual caller.
Nothing is as bad as it seems
I once had a call from a girl called Michelle who felt as though her world had come crashing down when she received her A-level results last year and didn’t get the grades she’d hoped for. She said I’d saved her life and that if she hadn’t rung then she wouldn’t have known what to do! Eventually, I found her a place at Birmingham University studying Human Biology. She told me recently she’s having a “whale of a time”.
Another student called Sonal wasn’t sure what to do when she got her A-level results last summer. She needed an A and two Bs to study Pharmacy but didn’t get the right grade in one exam. She told me she’d been offered a place to study chemistry and that she really wanted to do pharmacy. Sonal didn’t want to resit her A-levels but I told her about a course at Lincoln, a Certificate in Health Science which she didn’t even know existed, but it was just what she needed. If she passes this, she can go to Nottingham and study Pharmacy.
The UCAS Exams Results Helpline number is 0808 100 8000 and calls are free from a landline.
Nick Haynes, Careers Advisor and UCAS Helpline Advisor.
Nick Haynes has been a careers adviser for more than 20 years, based in the East Midlands, and has been working on the helpline, based at UCAS, for 15 years. Nick works for Connexions in Nottingham and regularly visits schools as part of his work.
Find out more about surviving A-level results