Today, I got my AS results. They were okay – not brilliant – but okay nonetheless. I had set myself up to fail, so it was a pleasant surprise when I opened up my letter to find that I had not failed a single class, including maths, which I had freaked out about.
The chances are, you have done exactly as expected: received the grades you were predicted, and are looking forward to pursuing the next part of your life, which you have spent the last year or two mapping out. However, there are two other ways your grades could have gone; better than expected, or worse.
If your exams had gone better than expected, congratulations! But what had you planned on doing now? If you’ve got a university acceptance already, that’s great, but is there a possibility that you could end up at an even better establishment? In the UK, UCAS run an “Extra” programme, which shows you all the places that are available in your area of study and match your results. If your GCSEs are better than expected, it’s really easy to get into a college of further education. You just have to act fast. As soon as you get your results, ring up all the local colleges and I’m sure there will be one that is right for you. Did you know that as long as your grades are the minimum requirement, they are not allowed to turn you way?
If your exam results weren’t quite as spectacular as you hoped they would be, don’t panic! Believe me, I’ve been there! What was your plan? Can it be altered? UCAS’ “Extra” programme can also help students look for places in universities with lower grade requirements than the ones you may have initially chosen. If university or college is no longer an option, maybe you could try a gap year. You could have so much fun travelling, or you could get a job and attempt to retake some of your classes from the previous year. You never know, having some extra life skills could enhance your CV or resume, and may even get you accepted a year later to university. There are also foundation degrees, which are year-long qualifications at university which could help you decide if university is really the right path for you. If it is, you can continue straight away onto the undergraduate course. After your GCSEs, you could take the level below in your choice qualification. For example, instead of doing a B-tec level 3 you could do a level 2 or 1 instead. Although it adds another year onto your study, it’s worth it to get exactly where you want to go.