What Happens If I Don't Get The Grades?

By Dayna Spear, April 25, 2018

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. As usual, the British summertime weather lasted all but 3 days and we’ve already waved goodbye to the sun and said (a reluctant) welcome back to the cloudy, rainy weather. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m a bit sad about this.

To brighten your days even more, I’m here to talk about not getting good grades. Ah, an absolute ray of sunshine topic.

BUT… don’t leave just yet. It does need to be spoken about, as it does happen often, but I am not the bearer of bad news. Hear me out.

What so many young people like us don’t realise is that, although not getting the grades you needed or wanted can be disheartening and feel like the end of the world, it’s totally not. If you’ve tried your absolute best in your exams and just not got the best grades, there are so many other options you can think about before having a breakdown. Well, probably after.

Wanting to go to University?

So, if you have your heart set on university but didn't get the right grades, I have a couple of suggestions for this problem. Firstly, on application, most universities offer students places with ‘conditional’ offers - so, they’ll agree you can attend the university, so long as you gain, for example, grades ABB in your A-Levels. That’s pretty standard.

But if You Don’t Get These Grades, Remember:

  • Some universities may even accept you regardless (depending on what grades you actually received) but don’t hold me to this! Just keep your fingers crossed on results day.
  • You can go through the clearing process, which I will explain below.
  • University is really not the only option anymore. Read about what we think about university vs. apprenticeships.

What is Clearing?

‘Clearing’ is basically how universities fill up any spaces they have left on their courses come results day - this is done via UCAS. You may find your specific course has spaces leftover, but these won’t usually be at your first-choice uni - they’ll be elsewhere. It's up to you if you take a clearing space or if you wait until next year to re-apply.

Can I Retake?

If you’re not keen on the idea of clearing, you could retake your exams and re-apply to university the year after. It may sound like a huge inconvenience, but people often do this to generally better their grades or to get into the university they wanted most. Retaking exams does cost money, so you’ll have to decide if it’s personally worth it for you.

Although, if you don’t get the grades you need to get into higher education, some people decide to take another route altogether.

University really is not the only option. What about going into full-time employment, or, better, getting yourself an apprenticeship? Read our blog post here about why you should consider becoming an apprentice.

To summarise it as simply as possible: with an apprenticeship, you earn, learn, gain work experience and a new qualification. It’s the perfect kick-starter into the working world, especially for young people. If you have an idea about the kind of career you’d love to thrive in, why not see what we can do for you?

Pause Things Altogether and Take a Break

It’s not unheard of for people to ‘take a break’ from education and, for example, have a gap year to do a bit of travelling or volunteering abroad. It’s a great way to broaden your horizons, get a fresh slate and return back to the UK (possibly) with a clear head.

That pretty much sums up our ideas and encouragement of what you can possibly do if you don’t get the grades you really wanted or needed this year.

Are you worried you won’t get the grades you want come results day? Do not stress! Sign up below and see how we can help you get to where you want to be.

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