The whole summer’s felt like it’s been building up to this day, and now it’s here… what to do next?
In this article we’re going to take you through the next steps to confirming the university place you expected or down a new path if you didn’t quite hit the grades you were looking for. This article’s also here to remind you that, whether you’ve smashed it out the park or receive lower grades than you might have hoped for, there are still loads of excellent options open to you, be that finding a new university place through clearing, taking a year out to reapply, or pursuing a different exciting post-18 pathway.
With this in mind, below we’ve brought together a selection of resources to help you through the stages following results day, whatever grades you may have received!
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Congratulations! Exam period (especially after so many years of covid and exam cancellations) is a stressful period for all involved, and to come out of it with the grades you wanted is a real achievement, so well done. This doesn’t mean, however, that there’s nothing you could be doing to get ahead and prepare for the move to university over the remainder of the summer!
Even though you’ve got your grades and have been accepted by your first or insurance university, there’s still options to bone up on some of the content for the university course before turning up to your first-week lectures in the autumn. In fact, depending on your university and course choice, you may even be sent some holiday work or pre-course reading to be getting on with over the next few weeks. Whether you’ve been sent specific work or not, if you’ve got some spare time on your hands, it could be a good idea to read (or reread) some of the core texts for your subject/course so that you’ve refreshed your memory and are ready to hit the ground running come the new term. This by no means has to be hours sitting at a desk revising; perhaps you have an hour or two sat by the side of the pool with an academic book, or twenty minutes on the bus to the park in which you could do some duolingo lessons? A little really does go a long way.
Aside from the academic stuff, there’s also the practical considerations that come along with getting ready to go to university. Over the next few weeks, you’ll be receiving emails from your new institution asking you to set up online accounts, email addresses, student cards, accommodation contracts, and various other things before you head over in the autumn. Our advice is to make sure you’re keeping on top of your emails (as this will be their main method of communication) and not to leave all the admin to the last minute if you can help it! Delays in getting these kinds of things done can cause extra stress when it comes to actually moving in, so get it done over the summer and make sure it doesn’t get in the way of freshers’ week!
Whilst you may be disappointed with your results, we still want to say a massive congratulations regardless! End of school exams can be difficult for a whole variety of reasons, so regardless of your grades you should still be proud of yourself for getting through them. The next important message here is: don’t panic! Just because you may have missed the mark this time round, that’s not to say that you don’t still have plenty of very viable options ahead of you.
The first port of call would be to get in touch with your existing university offers. The best way to do this is either to phone or email them (have a look on the university or department website for contact details) and explain to them your situation. With universities being oversubscribed it is perhaps unlikely that there’s anything they can do, but in a small number of circumstances universities have been able to come to an arrangement with students who have missed their offers, so it’s always worth a shot. Do note though that Russell Group Universities, particularly Oxford and Cambridge, are highly unlikely to be amenable to lower grades.
Secondly, there is the route of remarking. If your grades are only just short of the boundary by a few marks, then it could be well worth applying to have your papers remarked to see if you can squeeze an extra few points out of them and jump up into that all-important final grade. We only recommend doing this if your grades are very close to the grade boundary you’re wanting, since remarks carry not only the chance of going up a grade but also the risk of going down! If this is an option you want to consider, then talk to your school about sending papers back for remarks. Also do bear in mind that if your paper is remarked and does not improve in grade then a cost is levied – some schools cover this cost, but others do not, so make sure you’re aware of this and, if your school is going to charge you, make sure you’re prepared to cover this cost.
Following these initial steps, it may be time to consider alternative options to your first or insurance choice universities. Below are a series of blogs which detail the wealth of options you might want to consider moving forward:
Applying to Competitive Courses when Results Don’t Go your Way
This article, written in partnership with Rochester Independent College, details the most popular options that students who miss their university offers, as well as discussing what the best option for you may be. The blog covers both how to find a new university place through UCAS Clearing, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of taking a year out to resit your A-levels and how this might affect a future university application.
Thinking of Reapplying to Oxbridge?
If you were holding an offer to Oxford or Cambridge and have just missed the mark, the decision whether to accept one of your other offers or to reapply to Oxbridge in next year’s cycle can be a tricky one. This article breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of each option in order to give you a full and informed picture to help make your decision as easy as possible.
Reapplying to Oxford or Cambridge: Your Questions Answered
If reapplication is something you’re considering, then make sure to take a look at our FAQ blog on reapplying to Oxbridge. We’ve brought together some of the most commonly asked questions we’ve received when it comes to reapplication with the answers of our expert senior consultants to help you get an idea of whether it’s the right path for you at this stage.
The main takeaway here is that there are still plenty of options open to you, and that plenty of students who have missed their grades first time round have gone on either to attend a university other than the one they’d planned to (be that by accepting an offer other than their firm choice or through UCAS Clearing) or to successfully reapply to university a year later and been very happy with their decision! There is no right answer for what to do next, other than to make sure that your decision is the right one for you personally and is made with all the information possible.
We at Oxbridge Applications are still here and welcome inquiries from any student who has missed their grades and wants expert advice on what to do next. We speak to students in this position very regularly, so please don’t hesitate to send an email to email@example.com or call +44 (0) 207 499 2394 for bespoke, expert advice and information on reapplying to university.
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