Student Blog Squad

Is failing A-levels the End of the World?

Hi! My name is Dorothy and I’m in my final year at Leeds Beckett University. Failing A-levels is not the end of the world, even though it may feel like it. If results day doesn’t go to plan, it’s important to stay calm and think of the next viable step. To help, I’ve put together some of my top tips below…

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What happens if I miss my grades for university?

Firstly, remember that this is totally normal. Many students all over the country (including myself!) miss the grades that they need to get into their firm choice. That’s why you have to choose an insurance choice - just in case things don’t go to plan.

If you miss your grades for your firm choice it’s likely that you’ll get accepted onto your insurance course choice instead. You won’t have to do anything via UCAS, you’ll simply need to check over all the details in your offer letter and start preparing for university in September/October!

Alternatively, if you miss the grades for both your firm and insurance choices, you can still go through the clearing process. Find out more about clearing here.

What happens if I fail my A-levels?

Failing your A-levels can be a difficult experience to go through as it can feel like there are no alternative options. A-levels can bring about a lot of stress and anxiety about the future, which is why so many students put pressure on themselves to do well around this time. Despite this, mistakes and setbacks happen and in these instances, it’s best to stay focused, think of the positives and focus on your next step.

Below are some of the actions that you can take if your exams don’t go to plan.

Talk to family and friends

During this time, your friends and family will be an excellent resource of information. It might feel difficult at first, however, many of the people around you will have been through the same or similar experiences, therefore they can offer you first-hand advice on what to do next.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to family or friends, get in touch with your school’s careers adviser to see how they can help.

Resitting your A-levels

Resitting your A-levels is a viable option if you want to increase your chances of getting a place on your dream course, however, you shouldn’t take this decision lightly.

Firstly, it’s important to check if the university you want to go to will accept resits for your course, as some don’t. Once this is finalised, make sure that you ask yourself the following questions:

  • How likely is it that I will improve my grades?
  • Is university the right option for me?
  • Does the course have everything I need?

If you’ve answered these questions and you’re not 100 percent sure about resitting, there are alternative routes you can take.

Entry-level jobs

If you’ve decided that now is not the right time to re-apply to university, you could try to find an entry-level job instead and reassess your options in a year or two. These jobs usually don’t require any formal qualifications, thus giving you a better chance of securing the role. In the role you can build up key skills that may contribute towards your university application if you do choose to reapply next year.

Higher apprenticeships

These schemes can last between one and five years and at the end of this time period, you’ll receive a professional qualification! This can be a great alternative to get the qualifications you need for your desired career without going to university. Also, some apprenticeship schemes have lower entry requirements, so you won’t need to worry about resitting your A-levels.

In summary, there are a wealth of different options for you if your results day doesn’t pan out as planned. Stay calm and collected and make sure that the decisions you make are the right ones for your future.

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