August 16, 2017, by studentcontributor

When Things Don’t Go To Plan… A Levels Result Day

With results day coming up, tensions can be running high, and the sense of trepidation might seem unbearable.  While I wish you the best of luck, it would be unwise to not approach the day with a sober sense of caution and sensible preparation.  

You must consider well in advance what you plan to do if that fateful slip of paper does not bear the grades you need, so here are some tips for what to do before and during results day:

Before Results Day

Plan your holidays around results day. It is highly advisable to be in college on the day to collect results in person, in the event that you need to contact your exams officer or UCAS adviser.

Decide whether, in the event of not getting in, you want to take up your insurance offer or ring the university and ask to be rejected/released into Clearing (be aware this might not be possible, ask them in advance if it is).  If you do not get into your firm or insurance courses, your Track application should read that you have been unsuccessful and you can choose, if you so wish, to apply to courses listed in Clearing.

UCAS Clearing

UCAS Clearing opens in July and lists courses across all universities with spare places, some of which you may be interested in as potential alternatives.  Unfortunately, Medicine courses are usually not among them, however you may find some alternatives, such as biology and biomedical science, that may take your interest. Check their offer requirements and jot down the phone numbers of the respective admissions offices, just in case! The courses available are updated regularly, so be sure to visit several times in the lead-up to results day if you think you might need it.

Ensure you have looked up and noted down all phone numbers that you might need on results day, so that you can act as soon as you know your results. Whether you’ll be celebrating or underwhelmed by your grades, a decent night’s sleep will not go amiss. Unwind however you do so best, put your phone on to charge (you may need it tomorrow!) and remember that everyone around the country is feeling the same nerves as you are.

On Results Day

Try to arrive at college early, in case there’s a substantial queue, taking with you a printout of your offer’s exact wording. If possible, contact your college to check if you can ring up in advance and get your results over the phone.  UCAS Track usually updates in the early morning (my result came through at around 8am) and will tell you if your offer has been made “unconditional” (if you’ve been accepted).  It does not provide an indication of your grades, so if you have been unsuccessful you will need the grades from college in order to determine how to proceed.

If you do not meet the requirements for your offer but plan to appeal your grades with a re-mark, get in touch with the university to inform them and ask if you might be accepted following a grade change.  If you do meet your offer, but are unhappy with your grades, resist the temptation to request a re-mark, lest it end up lowering your grades and causing the university to retract your offer!

Your grades may be insufficient for your firm and insurance but still good enough to re-apply in October. Consider in advance whether you feel able to go through the application process again, or whether you would prefer to try for a different course.  Medicine is, as you have no doubt been told numerous times, not for everyone, and you may find yourself happier studying a completely different course a year from now.  Equally, many people studying Medicine did not get accepted the first time round, so if your grades are decent, do not feel put out.  If you are thinking of resitting certain modules, remember that several universities do not accept resit marks in their offers.  Taking a year out also offers you the opportunity to get a job, go travelling or a combination of the two.

Results day can be an emotional roller coaster, with friends left, right and centre exuberant over their results.  Remember however that Medicine is quite unlike any other course, and that even not succeeding the first time can provide you with valuable lessons about your strengths and areas for improvement.

Best of luck, and may you get the results you deserve!

Written by James Persico, 3rd Year medical student

Posted in AdmissionsMedicine