Even if you know your stuff for your A-level exams, you will, unfortunately, have plenty of time to start doubting yourself by the time that Results Day comes around. Anxiety about whether or not you will get into the university of your choice may emerge.
Unless you are one of the lucky few with unconditional offers from all of your uni applications, then this is only natural. However, it is – we think – unnecessary. With some careful thought and preparation, it is possible to have a stress-free Results Day.
Here are some steps you can take to help you to get ready for R-Day:
Remind yourself of all you have achieved
It’s all too easy to give into worry when we are waiting to find out how we have done with something. It’s easy for people to criticize themselves about all of the extra studying they ‘could have done’, but there is no use for that now. Thinking like this will only make you panic and will not change the outcome. Instead, try reminding yourself about all of the things you did do – the late nights, the notes, the proof-reading. This will help you to feel calmer and better able to make alternative plans if things were to not go according to your Plan A.
Have a Plan B
Having a Plan B is not negative thinking, it is just practical. Before Results Day, try to get a clear idea of what else you might like to do or where else you might like to go. This will help you to keep things in perspective and will ensure that you don’t feel like your entire future happiness is going to be determined by a single letter.
Get the logistics organised
Ensuring that you have access to the internet, a working phone, your UCAS login details and the contact numbers of all of the relevant university admissions officers will help you to be efficient on the day. This will keep you from getting flustered and allow you to do what you need to do without unnecessary stressors.
Don’t let other’s bother you
Whether your family are trying to convince you that you have to choose University X instead of University Y, or your so-called ‘friends’ are gloating about their gap year, it can be tempting to let other people’s words affect how you feel. Try not to let them faze you. The more you can stick with what you feel is right and follow your own path.
Waiting to collect your results in person can end up just leading to a morning of unnecessary anxiety. Checking your results online can be done via UCAS Track from 8am in the morning, giving you no time in which to work yourself into a panic. You’ll then be able to take as much time as you need to accept the offer from the university you choose (firm or insurance).
What to do if you achieve or exceed your predicted grades
When you accept an offer from a university, make sure that you follow all of the correct steps to ensure that you actually get there.
After getting an offer from a university on UCAS, you will need to:
- Decide whether you want to go through the Adjustment Process, where you can trade university choices you made earlier for those with higher requirements, without losing your current offers.
- Check that you have read the confirmation letter carefully for any guidance about next steps
- Prepare for a possible admissions talk (some universities like to speak to students who have accepted offers from them)
What to do if you didn’t achieve your predicted grades
If you missed out on your predicted grades by just a little, then it is possible to still appeal to the university of your choice. There are some circumstances in which they may choose to still let you in.
If you were far off the grades you needed, then don’t be disheartened. While this can feel like a blow to start with, it can often work out for the best. Be proactive and start making a list of other universities which might accept you with your grades.
What to do if got your grades, but don’t want to start your course yet
If you have decided that you don’t want to start your chosen course yet, then it is possible to defer for a year, without losing your place. You will need to have a convincing reason to appeal to your university with – such as traveling or work experience – but universities will usually say yes.
As with many things recently, this year’s Results Day is likely to look a little different.
Yet, what will remain the same is that you will need to make sure you are prepared for it.
If you’re getting ready for the move to uni, read our handy what to take to uni checklist here.