So you have endured the stress of study and revision, and stoically managed to get through the tense hours of sitting your exams. But there's more stress ahead - well, only if you allow it. Results day looms large on the horizon of all A Level students, but there are ways to alleviate the stress and strain associated with it.
Let's take a look at some of the ways preparation can help, in the build up to A Level results day on Thursday 13th August.
No... not what to wear. But, having said that, do have a decent breakfast, there will be important decisions to make. Being prepared in advance of A Level results day is one of the most important things you can do to ensure everything runs as smoothly as it possibly can.
The devil really is in the detail. Have all your contact details and your UCAS Track login details to hand (available on the UCAS website: Ucas.com). Type them all out and have them in front of you. Results will be available from 8am.
Make sure you are available in person on the day. (This is really important.) If you know in advance that you will not be available, then the results may be given to someone else, but only if you have arranged nominated access.
What will happen on the day
Once you have your results, you'll know whether you are in with a chance of your first choice university, or not. Even if your results are less than you expected, they might still offer you a place, it happens. Your chosen university might even decide to offer you a place but on a different course, so always be prepared to consider other options.
Do keep your phone charged - you'll be busy on it once you have called your parents, your friends, the dog etc. But... Don't phone your first choice university unless you have been asked to do so (you will know already in this case).
What happens if you don't have any university offers?
How to approach clearing
Clearing is for students who do not hold any university place offers or haven’t made the grades they need. Again, preparation really is key. Scrabbling around for reference numbers and pen and paper at the last minute won't go down well with a university you are trying to impress.
If you are heading down the Clearing route, you'll need to keep an open mind. See which courses still have vacancies; some may not be showing online (it's a busy day for everyone) so be prepared to give your universities of choice a call. Work out in advance how you will introduce yourself. Be clear and concise. Don't waffle or stammer, rushing to get the words out. Be confident. Treat every single university call as an interview – make them want you.
If things don't turn out so well...
It's not the end of the world as you know it. Have a good look around in Clearing – there may be something to suit you there, or something you haven't thought of. Maybe you'll want to find out about A Level re-marking? Or perhaps it's time for that gap year, and shelve your university plans in order to try again next year?
Or, if you do better than you hoped
Better marks than you could have hoped for? Well done – now think bigger. Go to the UCAS Adjustment Centre (which can be found here) and see whether you should upgrade on your original choice of course. Perhaps there's something even better waiting for you? You will have up to five days from results day to change university through the Adjustment Centre, and your original firm place will be held for you whilst you decide.
Haven't got the A Level results you were after? Don't despair - find out what your options are.