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It’s an anxious wait for teenagers and their parents/carers as the moment of truth draws closer - 16th August, A Level Results Day. Hopefully the day will bring relief and celebration, but what if the results aren't as expected? Here our experienced careers advisers give their top tips to help you through this stressful time.

The key to surviving results day is to be prepared for any eventuality, so follow the tips below before, on and after results day:

Before the day

  • Keep results day and the following days free
  • Know the arrangements for getting your results
  • Plan something nice to do on results day once you've collected your results
  • Have contact phone numbers and your UCAS Track login details to hand
  • Research all your options so that you have a back up plan
  • If you’ve applied to university browse Clearing vacancies on the UCAS search https://www.ucas.com/clearing-launch
  • Sign up for the Direct contact service via your UCAS emails - universities with spaces may contact you with offers after results day
  • Check out www.getingofar.gov.ukwww.notgoingtouni.co.uk and Milkround to research alternatives to university
  • Try to get some sleep the night before - you've done all you can do so try to relax

On the day

  • Keep calm - remember that whatever happens there are always other options
  • If you’ve applied for university you can log on to UCAS Track from 8am. If your uni/college has given UCAS its decision, you can see if you've got a place (but you won't see your results)
  • If your results are better than expected check Track to see if you can upgrade via adjustment
  • If you’re not holding any offers you will be entered into Clearing and your Clearing number will appear on Track. Look at the vacancies and phone the institutions that interest you – but be prepared to wait in a queue! It’s important to act quickly as places get snapped up but consider your options carefully and don’t make a hasty decision could later regret
  • If you’ve applied for an apprenticeship or job, contact the employer to confirm your results or negotiate your offer if you haven't got the required grades as they may still accept you
  • Other options to explore include taking a gap year, reapplying next year or possibly retaking or repeating a year
  • Get advice from school staff and your school’s careers adviser on the day or call us on 0118 402 7050 to arrange to see an adviser
  • Adviza is offering a drop-in service in Reading and Slough for students getting results

After the day

  • If you need to change your plans and don't know where to start, consider getting further advice 
  • We offer guidance sessions and assessments. Book a session with a professional adviser

Good luck!

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