15 August 2009

A brief guide to surviving A Level results day

Thursday 20th August 2009 is a day that many year 13 students (6th formers / college kids or whatever you're calling yourselves these days) will be dreading/looking forward to in equal measures.

It is the much anticipated A2 level results day, and for many people will decide their immediate future come September.

It's a day I remember all too well. I'd retaken half of my AS levels along with my A2 exams and I unfortunately hadn't got the grades I needed for my offer for medicine. I was honestly heartbroken, but deep down knew that I hadn't tried hard enough. Looking back however, it's a fork in the path that has changed my life for the better.

I'm going to give you my brief advice on surviving the day in question, and how to make the most of whatever happens.

Firstly, you may not want them there, but if a parent/guardian/loved one offers to come with you on the day, take them up on it. My parents were the last people I wanted around on the day, but I am really glad they insisted on driving me there and waiting in the car. It's good to have a shoulder to cry on or to celebrate with. Either way, they probably want to be there too.

Secondly, if the worst happens then don't panic. I know everyone will be saying this, but I didn't get the grades I needed and I've still managed (by hook or by crook) to get onto my desired degree pathway. Call the university that has made you an offer if you miss your grades. Even if you have missed them by a mile (as I did) they may make you an alternate offer for a related course, and this is how I ended up where I did and doing the course I did (my actual back up courses were BSc Chemistry at Hull and MChem at York). Let's face it, they know which courses will be suitable as a foundation to medicine, and they obviously liked you at interview.

Thirdly, don't rush into anything. Even if you say yes to a back up course you can still decline it until you sign the UCAS paperwork. Making rush decisions is what leads to many drop outs in freshers week and the weeks following it. Make sure the decision is yours, and not your parents or an over eager admissions tutor.

All of this aside, this period will probably be a very rushed, slightly daunting time for anyone waiting for results.

Fingers crossed that you won't need any of this advice, and the results you get will be the ones you need.

And if that is the case, consider your local A&E department when you go out drinking to celebrate (I worked one of the results nights in A&E and it was messy...).

Best of luck,

Merys xxx


The Young Mummy said...

it the ones that miss there you want to worry about seeing at work.

Anonymous said...

I know the feeling! I did my A Levels and sucked at everything (apart from Sociology which I took at evening classes while doing my degree!) Anyway, I had realised half way through my second year of 6th form that I wasn't going to reach my points score for the place I had been offered. (OK so I'm a Christian and believe that God had a massive hand in what happened!) I used to babysit for a friend and her husband was the Head of Department for the Uni that I was applying to. I went to see him and asked was there anything that could be done - I didn't want to give up my place but I also knew I couldn't do it. He went to change to admissions etc on my behalf and managed to get me on a HND course - It was the first two years of a degree and I'd just need to take a top up to walk out with a degree. It had lower entry requirements that I could fulfil.

It was still sad when I went to collect my A Levels - my best friend got straight A's I didn't I scraped in with E's and U's. I got to Uni and two years ago I graduated with a 2.2 - I am amazed!

In my second year of uni I decided to take an AS level in Sociology - Unlike the rest of my AS's I passed this with a C (so at least I look a little more intelligent lol!)
Somehow I prove that A Levels aren't the end of the world!

Anonymous said...

Sorry for that essay!

Jo said...

And another bit of advice - ignore the newspapers and the media all week! They roll out the same bloody people every year (they are exactly the same headlines as when I had my results this time 10 years ago...) to say that the exams are getting easier - just ignore them.

You have worked hard to get the results that you have, and to have someone who only wants to sell a paper or make sure that their name gets into print deciding that this is the nice easy target to knock should not take the shine off of your achievement!