‘Your results do not define you’: Principal’s advice on A-level results day

Daniel Botting will be the new principal at Bobby Moore Academy in September 2020. Picture: DRET

Daniel Botting will be the new principal at Bobby Moore Academy in September 2020. Picture: DRET - Credit: DRET

Like everything else this summer, results day will be different; for students and schools, but also for universities, colleges and employers.

At the forefront of every student’s mind is the worry about what to do if you don’t get the grades you want. So, here’s three As to keep in mind for results day.

The first A is for alternatives. Think some of these through in advance and ask yourself; what are my options if things don’t go my way? It’s hard to remember when you’ve been working towards a goal for a long time, but there are always options out there – other universities, courses, or an entirely different training route such as an apprenticeship.

Think about what will work for you – close to home or further afield, online or in-person, academic or vocational. UCAS are expecting their clearing service to be busier than ever this year, so the more thought you’ve put into what your alternatives are, the better.

The second A is for ask. When you open the results on the day, don’t be afraid to ask your preferred university, college or employer whether they will still accept you with slightly lower grades.

With so much uncertainty around grades this year, you may find that opportunities are still open to you, even if you haven’t got the grades you wanted.

The third A is for action.

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After considering your alternatives, and asking the right questions, you’ll need to decide on the best actions to take. Whether you choose to accept a place with a different university, college or employer, or to register for re-sit exams this autumn, ultimately the choice is yours.

Crucially, amidst all the emotion on the day, you’ll need to take some cool-headed decisions on what course of action to follow.

Remember, your results do not define you.

They can help you in your next steps towards further study or your chosen career, but regardless of your grades there will be other obstacles to overcome, and other opportunities which open up as well. So, whether receiving your results in person or remotely, I hope they go well. Be proud of all that you’ve achieved and look ahead to stepping through the doors which open to you.