If the thought of your exam results is keeping you awake at night, thinking through your options now can help put your mind at rest.
Prepare for Clearing
Clearing is the process which matches unfilled university places with students, so if you don’t make your grades you can often get onto a different course. Familiarising yourself with Clearing before results day and doing your research will give you the best possible chance of securing a place that’s right for you. See Bag a university place through Clearing for tips from admissions tutors on how to prepare.
Consider a gap year
A gap year can give you breathing space to think about what you really want, try new things and take stock. Considering your options with more experience under your belt – perhaps after traveling, volunteering or a few months of work, can help set you on a more fitting path than jumping in straight from A-levels. Allowing time to explore different opportunities, rather than hurrying into big decisions can really pay off in the long-term, and a gap year can be a lot of fun too.
Find out about retakes
If you didn’t give your studies your best shot and feel you could do much better a second time round, then find out about retakes. You may be able to repeat a year at your existing school or college, or find this option is offered by other colleges in your area. It’s also worth looking into evening or remote learning courses where it’s often possible to combine your retakes with a part-time job or work experience, potentially giving you an advantage further down the line.
Explore alternatives to university
Many students choose to go to university as they’re unsure what else to do. Schools and colleges are often geared up to help students apply to university but don’t always have the same level of support for other options. Exploring alternatives can take a little more detective work – take a look at Higher apprenticeships which offer a pathway to careers more traditionally followed by graduates and investigate general apprenticeships, other courses, training schemes and job vacancies. Speak to a careers adviser or check out sites such as Not Going to Uni for more information on different choices.
It’s much easier to dwell on your exams if you’ve not much else to think about – keeping busy is a good way to take your mind off things. Earn some holiday cash, get fit, or try a complete change of scene.The waiting will be over eventually – just remember whatever your results, there are plenty of options out there.