A-level results: What to do if you don’t get the grades you wanted

Students at the University of East London. Picture: UEL

Students at the University of East London. Picture: UEL - Credit: Archant

While many pupils will be celebrating, others will be worrying about what to do next - and the University of East London’s head of outreach and access Yvonne Bentley has advice for those concerned about their future.

What can students do if they don’t get the grades they want?

This year is a results day like no other. Students will discover how they fared in exams they didn’t sit and, instead discover what their teachers predict they might have done. In this age of Covid-19 an already-tumultuous and nerve-racking time has been turned on its head.

For some, not achieving expected grades can feel devastating. But you still have plenty of options and there will be a new and sometimes better way forward. The important thing is to stay calm and avoid making decisions based on panic.

If you’ve just missed the grades by a few marks, talk to your chosen university. It’s possible they might reconsider their decision or offer you a place on another course.

At the University of East London, we always look at the ‘applicant’ and not just the ‘application’ – it’s not just about your grades but rather a whole set of factors on which we make our decisions.

Whatever your circumstances, the Clearing operation gives you the opportunity to find and apply for available courses at universities throughout the UK. Every year, thousands of students secure great university places through Clearing. To apply, you need to be planning on going to university this September. Clearing supports applicants who haven’t received any offers for a course from a university or who have changed their mind about a previous application or haven’t been accepted by the university of choice because of their grades.

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Clearing is just one option if you miss your grades. An apprenticeship might be a more suitable alternative. You’ll be gaining valuable on the job experience, earning money as you study and, at the end, you’ll have a nationally recognised qualification.

If you’re really set on going to university and don’t feel your grades reflect your ability, then resitting exams is another option. Check with your school or college for details. Some universities, including UEL, offer several courses that start in January 2021.

These are extraordinary times and we are committed to doing everything we can to help students prepare for and progress to the next stage of their education.

If you didn’t get the grades you wanted, give our Clearing line a call now on 020 4509 1460.