Results Day is an important time of the year for any student! Finally finding out if all your hard work in those exams and the extra hours of revision you put in were all worth it! Whether you're waiting for your A-Level results to move onto University, your A2 results to move onto your second year of A-Levels or even just your GCSE results. Your future is just inside that envelope. You probably have a lot of questions, hence why we've put together "The Ultimate Guide to Results Day 2016"!
We're pretty sure everyone should know when their results day is since it's only one of the biggest days in the upcoming month! But just in case you didn't know, we'll remind you! The dates for 2016 are:
A-Levels: 18th August 2016
GCSEs: 25th August 2016
You're probably not focusing on the years to come but the dates for 2017 are as follows:
A-Levels: 17th August 2017
GCSEs: 24th August 2017
You should have already sorted everything for before Results Day, so this should probably just be a checklist to you:
If you're waiting on your A-Level results prior to going to University, then the smart thing to do is, check Track and find out how your application is going. The University may have already confirmed your place - this would appear as "unconditional" within Track. You're probably wondering how they could possibly accept your application without you giving them your results, but they actually get your results before you do!
If you're waiting for your GCSE results, you should already know if your chosen college has accepted your application. You will usually get a letter before results day, letting you know that provided you achieve the required grades, you already have a place. If you didn't achieve the required grades, don't be disheartened, you may still get a place.
The night before Results Day can be a restless one, but make sure to get some sleep and stop panicking, getting worked up and worrying about your results isn't going to change them, no matter how hard you wish it would. Get some breakfast in the morning and relax! When you get to school, there's likely to be a full year of people thinking the same thing you are: "How did I do?". Usually, you'll find a table or member of staff handing out everybody's results. Open it up and find out how you did! Whether you did great or you fell short of your expectations, don't worry, you still have plenty of options!
So you've finally got your GCSE results! Hopefully, you did well! Your GCSE results will be the main impact on your A-Level choices, usually a grade C or above is needed to continue a subject to A-Level. If you fell short of the requirements, you should speak to your head of year or anyone in charge of the subject you fell short in, provided you're studying your A-Levels at the same school. If you plan on going to a different school or college you'll need to phone the school or college and explain everything to them, they may tell you that you can still study the A-Level you have chosen, but may also suggest an alternative that isn't reliant on GCSE results. If this is something you wouldn't be open to, you could always retake your paper to bring your final mark back up and hopefully achieve your desired grade. It's advisable that if you haven't achieved a grade C or higher in core subjects such as Science, Maths, and English you should retake those exams if possible as employers will require these, at a minimum.
Sometimes you'll get your AS-level results in raw UMS (Uniform Mark Scale) marks, which will leave you having to calculate your own grades. Your AS-level results will not make a huge difference, other than giving yourself and your teachers a signal of how well you are doing in relation to your predicted grade. An AS-Level is equivalent to half an A-Level.
When receiving your A-Level results, you should take any university letters along with you so you can check the requirements they have asked in order to secure your place. You might also need to work out your grades depending on how you receive your results (UMS or Graded).
You Achieved My Expectations: If you have met the offer requirements of the university, your place will be virtually guaranteed, if you're checking your progress on Track, it'll appear as "Unconditional". You are also likely to get a letter in the post confirming your place and detailing any other requirements to confirm your place.
You Exceeded Your Expectations: If you did better than you expected in your A-Levels, you will have the freedom to explore more courses through a process known as 'Adjustment', which you can apply for through Track. If this is something that interests you, be sure to phone the university and ask about available places and whether they'd be open to accepting you, be sure to let them know that you're going through 'Adjustment', rather than 'Clearing'. If they offer you a place on an alternative course and you accept, they will update your track for you.
You Fell Short Of Expectations: So your results weren't as good as you'd expected. Don't worry, there is still the possibility that your chosen university might still be willing to accept you, especially if you only missed out on the grade by a short margin (Universities don't usually see your UMS points but instead your actual grade, so they won't know if you missed your grade by 1 point or by 40!). Check your Track, if it says "Unsuccessful" you have been rejected by the university and they're unlikely to change their mind. If it says "Conditional" then phone the university and find out what is going on with your application.
Sometimes you might be rejected from both your first and second choice of university (Be sure to try asking if either of the universities would be willing to accept you despite your lower than requested grades). If you have tried asking if they'd accept you despite your grades and they still reject you it's time to get to work finding an alternative university place through UCAS clearing. UCAS clearing is a way for universities to fill any spaces they have left for the new academic year. This basically means logging into your UCAS account, searching for a suitable course at a university that you'd be open to attending and phoning them for an interview to see if they'll accept your application. If nothing in clearing takes your eye, perhaps you might want to take a year out and go travelling? Get your papers remarked (This will cost you a fee and doesn't guarantee your grade will go up, it could even go down!), or even maybe re-sit your papers and try to get the grades you need.