Cookies at

We use cookies to improve your experience of our site and to track site use. Please let us know if you agree to these cookies.

Worrying about your A-level results?

7th August 2017


facebook link twitter link print
Worrying about your A-level results?

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. Try and familiarise yourself with Clearing before results day and research alternative courses. This will give you the best possible chance of securing a place that’s right for you when Clearing opens.

See Bag a university place through Clearing for tips from admissions tutors on how to prepare.

Or see the UCAS Clearing FAQs for more details.

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.  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. Look into evening or remote learning courses – 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

Choosing university as you’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 and degree apprenticeships which offer pathways to careers more traditionally followed by graduates. And investigate 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.

Keep busy

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.

Find out more

Get volunteering

What is an apprenticeship and where can it lead?

Eight questions to help decide if university is your next step

Find out where to get help and support, whatever your problem or issue.