If your results are not what you had hoped or expected, then do not panic. This is a strange year for any student receiving exam results, and colleges and universities are braced for the impact of the results that are issued.
Before you do anything, consider honestly whether the grades you got are a true reflection of the work you put in. Remember that these grades came from the school you studied in so will be a view of what your teachers felt you could achieve.
There is an expectation that there will be some human errors made when schools submitted the Centre Assessment Grades. If you think your school made an error, then you should immediately flag this up with school staff who can contact the exam board and have this rectified.
If you are worried that the grades your school submitted were unfair, then you can consider contacting the exam board to discuss your results and ask them for advice on what to do next. If they feel a school has behaved without integrity, then they have systems in place they can use to consider the validity of the grades issued.
If no school-based error has been made, then there is no way to appeal your grades this year as the exam regulators feel that it would be unfair to all candidates to reconsider grades. This may be a time that you need to be honest with yourself and consider if the grades you have achieved reflect where you are at.
There is an expectation that there will be opportunities for candidates to use the exam resit system later in the new academic year. This means that if you are unhappy with your result and want to sit the exam, then you will be able to. Your school or college will be able to provide you with more advice on resitting should you need it.
When you have your results, then it is a good time to seek advice on your next steps if your original plans look unlikely to work out. Tap into the expertise of the teachers and careers advisors at your school or college on what action to take next. Remember that these people know you well and will be able to give you personalised advice.
Because of the COVID-19, universities and colleges will be more open to discussing your application if you have not achieved the required grades. Get in touch with your first choice as soon as your results arrive and put your case forward for consideration. The admissions team and academic staff will review your results and the discussions you have had before giving you a decision on whether you can proceed with your first choice or not.
Tap into the UCAS Clearing system to look for new course options that are open to you with the grades you have. Try to see this as an exciting choice rather than a negative situation and challenge yourself to find a course that suits your interests and abilities.
Finally, see this as a process that will help you get to university rather than punishment because you did not get the grades you wanted. Changing direction is not always a bad thing, and you may find that the course you end up on is a better fit than your original choice anyway!
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