With A Level results day coming ever closer, now is a good time to look at your options if your child didn’t quite manage the grades they needed or expected.
The first thing to remember is to be prepared. Go to school with the information you will need if things have not gone well for your child. Bring information about individual module results, GCSE grade, your child’s UCAS clearing number and UCAS personal ID.
Once your child has their results, the first thing to do is check Track, the online tracking system for UCAS applications. This is where your child can check how their application is progressing. Track will be available from 8am on results day, and UCAS can only speak to your child about their application unless they have already given permission for you to speak on their behalf.
Some students may find that they have achieved better results than expected. If they have an offer they’ve met and exceeded, they may want to think about courses with higher entry requirements. If this is the case, take a look at the UCAS Adjustment service to look at alternative courses.
If your child’s grade are only just lower than their conditional offer requires, they may still get a place on either their firm or insurance offer. They may also receive a "changed course offer” by the university or college - which they will need to either accept or decline.
If they do not get a place, all is not lost. The Clearing service can help to find courses with vacancies. If there are no decisions showing, call your universities or colleges and see if they can help.
If your child’s grades are nowhere near as good as expected, Clearing could still help. If you can’t find anything suitable in Clearing, there are still other options. A gap year, work or apprenticeship could help to build life experience and you could look at applying again for next year. This would also allow time to re-sit any exams if needed.
If your child has a place, their confirmation letter should appear in Track within five to seven days. It won’t usually be emailed or posted. It is important that your child check their confirmation letter carefully, as it will let them know if there is anything else they need to do, or whether the university or college will be in touch with further information. For example there may be a requirement to provide proof of qualifications or medical requirements.
A Level results day can be stressful for all concerned. Having supported our children through two years of hard work, we want what is best for them and it can be hard not to show our disappointment if things have not gone as well as we hoped. It’s important to be the voice of calm and reason though; if your child is having to go through clearing or investigate other options they are likely to be feeling quite panicked and stressed and will need you to help calm them.