Q&A - What if I don’t get the A-level results I was expecting?

If your results aren't what you had hoped for the important thing is to stay calm and if it helps, talk to a parent or friend.

If your results aren't what you had hoped for the important thing is to stay calm and if it helps, talk to a parent or friend.

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Don’t panic! Everything is going to be okay.

A-level results day is often filled with happy images of students ripping open envelopes and discovering they have attained the grades they need to go on and study their subject of choice at university.

Sadly, thousands of students will be disappointed with their results and some may discover that they have fallen short of what is being asked by universities.

If you are one of these students the important thing to remember is that your life is not over, you have plenty of options and if it helps, talk to someone about it.

What should I do if I don’t get the grades I need?

Try to stay calm. If your grades aren’t enough for your first choice of university you may well be offered a place by your second choice. If your grades aren’t enough to warrant an offer from any of your choices and you have your heart set on going to university you may well be able to secure a place through clearing but be aware that these places disappear very quickly.

How do I get place through Clearing?

Clearing is something that is offered by Ucas and it aims to match students with suitable degree courses. If you have reasonable results and are willing to be flexible there is a good chance you will get a place through Clearing.

How can I try to get a good place through Clearing?

Be prepared. Have an idea in your head where you would be willing to go and what courses interest you. The important thing to remember is that there will be many other people in the same situation therefore the more planning and information you have at hand the quicker you will be able to secure a place through Clearing.

Should I think twice?

It’s important to remember that going to university is going to cost money. No one wants to feel left out and if all of your friends are heading off to university it’s only natural you will not want to feel left out. However, try and be practical. If you haven’t got the grades you’d hoped for don’t commit to a degree course for the sake of going to university.

Could I wait another year?

Of course you can. It might not seem like a great idea now but it’s better to wait a year to secure an offer on a degree course you genuinely want to do rather than agree to something in haste. Take your time.

Where can I access advice and support?

The Ucas website is full of useful information, advice and support.

You can follow Ucas on Twitter @ucas_online or on Facebook.com/ucasonline for up-to-date information.

You can also speak to an expert careers adviser by telephoning the Exams Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 (lines will be open from 08:00 – 20:00 on Thursday August 18).

You can also contact Ucas directly by telephoning 0371 468 0 468 but make sure to have all of your details ready.