A-levels arrive, but students drop gaps
THOUSANDS of teenagers were waking up tomorrow to the results of A-level exams they sat earlier this summer.
Students all over the country find out if they have made the grades to attend their chosen universities or start dream jobs, with youngsters in Swindon set to celebrate or commiserate their achievements.
New College was expecting 2,524 slips for AS, A2 and BTEC results and hoping students achieve the grades they want.
Last year, the college recorded a 98.3 per cent success rate in the exams, with 38 per cent of entries getting A*, A and B results and 19 students achieving three or more A grades.
Principal Graham Taylor said: “A nail biting time in anticipation of level 3 results, but results day is one of the best and most exciting in the New College calendar.
“Learners and staff have worked incredibly hard this year and we look forward to some great results and progression to top universities and great jobs.
“Results really can have a life changing effect and determine university choice and future job prospects.”
Students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy were also waiting for news, with most of them planning to go straight to university or into employment rather than taking a gap year.
Angela Bell, the assistant headteacher at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, said: “Students are very discerning now. They do a lot of research and they are seeing far more of the universities than they used to.
“Now, in their heads, they are paying for it – they want to see what they are paying for and make sure it provides everything they want.
“We are also seeing those who are looking to go into employment have done a lot of work experience over the past year in preparation to going into work and the results will, hopefully, be the final piece of the puzzle for them.
“We have also seen that far fewer people are planning on taking gap years.
“We just hope that the students achieve the best that they can, because the vast majority have worked very, very hard for them.”
Students who do not get their desired exam results today can reapply through the clearing system and are advised not to make any snap decisions.
Even if they do not get the results they want, they can still secure a university place by applying through the UCAS clearing service, which is how universities and colleges fill places they still have on courses.
A recent survey of 390 first-year university students by Which? found that more than 25 per cent of those placed through clearing felt unprepared, although UCAS said 94 per cent of students were confident in their choices.
The findings showed that 37 per cent felt pressured into accepting their first offer, while 45 per cent felt rushed into making a decision about where to go.
But students have time to think over options, because the service runs from July to September.
Students who do better than expected can also think about looking at a different course or swapping where they study.
Last year, 1,300 students found new places with the UCAS Adjustment service, which allows them to reconsider where and what they study and is available from August 15 to August 31.
Students’ original choices will remain safe while they have a look around, so, if candidates do not find anything they would rather do they can still go on to their original choice.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Important Telephone Numbers
- UCAS: 08714 680468
- Swindon Academy: 01793 426900
- New College: 01793 611470
- Swindon College: 01793 491591
- Commonweal School: 01793 612727
- St Joseph’s Catholic College: 01793 714200
- The Ridgeway School and Catholic College: 01793 846100
- Royal Wootton Bassett Academy: 01793 841900
What to do when you collect your results
- If you have met your offer, well done. But don’t call the university to confirm your offer unless you have been asked to. Leave lines free for those who have not met their offer. Do not worry if your UCAS Track status has not been updated; it can take a while. UCAS will post your AS12 letter in the day after Track has updated your status to confirm your place. Make sure you read this carefully and send back any slips to the university that you need to return. Remember to keep this letter safe.
- If you have exceeded your firm offer, you are entitled to look around for a university that carries higher entry requirements and to do this you will have to register for Adjustment on Track before the service closes on August 31. You will then have five days to find a different place. But if you do not find anything, your original choice will still be there for you.
- If you failed to get the right results, your university choice might still accept you. Check your status on Track.
- If in doubt, speak to your teachers. They will be in the best position to advise you.
- For advice, visit www.ucas.com or www.studential.com/applying/guide-to-A-level-results-day.
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