So the long-awaited date is finally here and over Wednesday night and Thursday morning, thousands of A-level students across Yorkshire will start to plan their futures, based on their A-level results.
This Thursday, August 18, is the day, and for all those who are anxiously waiting to know the grades they have achieved, it’s a good idea to plan and prepare for all eventualities.
All those years of study and exam tension have led to this moment, with possibly long-held plans for university courses, apprenticeships or employment paths dependent on A-level results.
Students must prepare for both elation, if all goes well, and disappointment if grades are not what is required. There is plenty of help out there in the form of alternative routes to take, people to talk to who can help, and many different options to consider.
If all runs according to plan, that’s great. But there is no need to despair if changes have to be made. Stay calm and take time to decide what to do next.
The first priority for results day is to know when and where you can access your results.
Arrange your collection of results and have your UCAS login details to hand with a full check list of what you are likely to need. Have contact details for both firm and insurance university choices.
Pen and paper is a necessity, a charged mobile phone, maybe a camera and calculator too. Write down appropriate numbers, who you speak to and at what time, for later reference.
The UCAS contact centre opens at 7.30am to answer queries and help deal with issues that arise.
From 8am students can check university confirmation on line as the Track system goes live at www.ucas.com but individual marks are not available and must be collected from school or college.
Track will also inform on acceptance into a firm or insurance choice university. A confirmation letter in Track may give details of who you should speak to next, so check carefully.
Once students are accepted by their firm university then the insurance university place becomes invalid.
As the envelopes are opened, you may find you have just what you were hoping for, and the celebrations can begin.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR RESULTS ARE NOT AS EXPECTED
If you only just missed the grades you needed, speak to your university of choice as they may still offer a place on that course, or on an alternative one. This can be accepted or declined via Ucas Track.
If you are eligible for the clearing process, and your status on Track will tell you, then move on to that process.
Both UCAS and university websites will show vacancies in particular subjects, and should supply contact details.
Should your grades be higher than you expected and you want to see what else might be available to you, without risking your already secured place at university, you can apply through Adjustment.
If you decide against an offer made to you, or would like to defer it for a year, you must contact the university concerned to ask for release, which is a lengthy but final procedure.
Here, the University of Sheffield helpline on 0114 222 8015 is open, from 7.30am to reassure potential students. Anyone wanting to upgrade to the university can advance register their interest in a place there at University of Sheffield - Results and Clearing 2016
Lynsey Hopkins, head of admissions at the university, said: “Anyone who gets a place through this clearing or adjustment process will also be offered guaranteed accommodation, to make sure their move to Sheffield is as stress-free as possible.”
Universities publish information for students to follow on their websites along with contact numbers.
Teachers and parents also have vital roles to play as students consider what to do, particularly if their chosen route now seems unlikely.
Some students may wish to retake exams, if they have less than expected and need particular grades. Others may prefer to try for an apprenticeship or full employment.
Heather Smith, principal, The Sheffield College, said: “There are different routes to job and career success, as well as gaining university level qualifications.”
Applications for this September are still being taken at the Sheffield College and many others around the region.
Apprenticeships are available in a wide range of business, professional and industry settings. Apprentices can earn as they learn, spending much of the week training with an employer, with the chance of acquiring a job afterwards.
College course fees are significantly less than a university-based degree.
Call 0114 2602600 or visit www.sheffcol.ac.uk to view what is on offer.
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