Results day can be times of great joy for some, but if you’re left without a university it’s easy to feel disappointed, stressed and unsure about your future.
Clearing is the avenue many students who didn’t get the results they wanted go down. Clearing matches you to a university which still has a course vacancy, and it’s also an option for students who have left it slightly late to apply for university. You can find out more about clearing with our guide to clearing.
But clearing certainly isn’t your only option if results day didn’t go as planned. Let’s take a look at some of your alternatives.
Options To Consider If You Still Want To Go To Uni
Ask For An A Level Remark
We don’t always get the results we wanted, and sometimes the result is way off what we expected. In the event of the latter, you could request that your A Level exams are remarked.
Requesting a remark might mean that the university you received a conditional offer from holds your place. They aren’t obliged to, but it’s generally considered good practice for them to do so.
If for whatever reason they can’t or won’t hold your place, they might offer you a deferred place as an alternative.
To request a remark, speak to your teacher as quickly as possible. The deadline for asking for a remark in 2016 is 20th September.
Speak To The University
Without meeting the criteria, it’s unlikely that you will be offered the course you applied for*. But it’s still worth your time speaking to the university to find out if there are other options that you can explore.
For example, there might be a foundation year you could take, or perhaps an entry level course. Both these types of courses will provide you with a backdoor route onto your preferred degree.
* While it’s unlikely that you will be offered the course you applied to, it’s not a done deal. If lots of students didn’t get the grades, the university may still consider you if you just missed the magic number.
Options To Consider If You Decide Not To Pursue A Degree
Clearing is always the first thing that pops into a student’s head if they didn’t get the grades they wanted or expected. After letting the dust settle for a few days, you might decide that, actually, uni is not what you want to do just yet anyway. Here are a few alternatives to a degree:
Maybe you need a year out from education in order to freshen up your mind and make a clearer decision a few months down the line. If so, a gap year could be the perfect option.
During your gap year you could work at a part-time or even a full-time job, volunteer, or go travelling.
You could also use this time to re-sit your exams, or generally acquire more knowledge on any subject you wish to pursue at a higher level.
Whatever you do, it’s a good idea to use these months wisely.
Go Into Work
If you’re tired of living off hand-outs from your parents and want some money in your pocket, getting a job makes a lot of sense.
You’ll benefit from getting ahead of your peers who are heading to your university by putting your first foot on the career ladder, and it might even pave the way for an exciting and industrious career for you.
Take An Apprenticeship
University isn’t the only way to break into a solid career. If your career of choice involves technical skills, you might want to consider a vocational course instead.
The best thing about an apprenticeship is that you get to earn while you learn. You also make yourself an attractive proposition to employers who prefer experience over degrees.
Take A Traineeship
A traineeship is something you do before moving onto an apprenticeship. If you feel that you’re not quite at that level yet, a trainee-ship might be your best bet.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s always a good idea to discuss your options with your family. Good luck!