For many young people, the very thought of Results Day is enough to keep you up at night! But, valid as your fears and anxieties are, Results Day is just as much a day of new opportunities, as it is the end of your college education.
A-Level Results Day is on Thursday 13th August this year, or Tuesday 4th August if you have studied Scottish Highers. You will be able to check UCAS Track from 8:00am to see if your firm and insurance universities have accepted you, or if you will need to apply through Clearing.
It's natural if the uncertainty of Results Day is giving you some sleepless nights, but below we've listed exactly what you need to do - whatever the outcome - so you have a clear idea of the steps you may need to take on the day.
I didn't get the results I needed to get into my firm or insurance choice university...
So, you didn't get the results you needed. This is a very real possibility and by no means the end of the world, as much as it may seem it. Not getting the grades you wanted is no measure of your ability and certainly no indicator of what great achievements lay ahead of you.
There are lots of factors beyond our control when it comes to exams, and sometimes things just don't work out in the way we want or expect them to.
However, what should you do on Results Day if you don't get the results you needed?
This is where Clearing comes in. Universities across the country will have plenty of spaces available on a wide range of courses, and one of them could be the one for you!
Clearing runs from July to October each year, giving you plenty of time to re-calibrate and find the course and university that's perfect for you. However, it's best to reach out to universities as soon as you have your results, in order to find the best match for you before spaces start to fill up.
When you've read your results, take a deep breath and give yourself a moment to process the news.
It's likely there's been a big build up to this day for you, and it's natural if you find emotions are running high.
Once you've taken some time to digest this change of plans, grab a notepad and pen, sit at your computer with your phone, and make a start on looking up the many options that are still available to you.
A good jumping-off point is to make a list of the universities or cities that you're interested in studying at. From here, you can visit their Clearing pages online for an indicator of the courses that still have spots available.
Once you've seen some courses that peak your interest, you can contact the universities via their dedicated Clearing phone lines or over live chat. If your grades match up to the university entry requirements, you will receive a verbal offer over the phone, soon followed by an email detailing the next steps you need to take.
What to do on results day if you're happy with your results
Congratulations! It's a long road to university, paved with lots of hard work and stress. This is your chance to celebrate and recharge.
In the next few days, you will receive confirmation of your place at your first choice university. This will outline what you'll need to do next, such as applying for student finance and preparing for enrolment.
What to do on results day if you got better results than you expected
What an achievement! Your grades are higher than you expected. You may want to stick with your original university choices, in which case, it's time to celebrate!
However, you might be considering new options too. Perhaps whilst you were researching universities, there was one that appealed to you, but you thought was out of reach. Or there may have been a university you've never even considered before with space still open.
Adjustment is your opportunity to apply to a university or course with higher entry requirements.
During Adjustment, you can contact universities and apply for other courses with higher entry requirements without risking your unconditional offer.
If you applied to your university choices through UCAS, you can register for Adjustment on UCAS Track when you receive your exam results from 13 August 2020 onward. Once you have registered for Adjustment, you have exactly five days to find a new course or university.
However, much like Clearing, it's best to reach out to universities as soon as you have your results to have a wider range of options.
If you find a course or university that you'd like to attend, simply contact the university in question via live chat or their phone lines. Once you're through to an adviser, make sure to mention that you're applying through Adjustment. At this point, an adviser will talk through your grades with you and - if you meet the requirements - you will receive a verbal offer!