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University Advice ❱❱ What if I Don’t Have the Right A Levels?

What if I Don’t Have the Right A Levels?

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Once students have applied to university, it is time to knuckle down to study and revise to gain those results they bragged about to their choices. However, sometimes no matter how hard you try it cannot go the way that you planned and here is what to do if that happens. What if you don’t have the right A-Levels for your course?

Re-sits and re-takes

A-Levels and BTEC qualifications can offer the option for a re-mark of your paper or for students to take a re-sit. A re-sit is when you re-do the course again or simply sit the exam again and hope to get a better mark. You might be able to do this soon or wait until the next set of exams which could be as late as the next January! If this is the case, you can speak to the university and your college or sixth form about your options. If your heart is set on your university choices and you don’t want to go through clearing to find another option, you can defer your application and re-sit the courses and apply again the following year.

What if I take a re-sit and it goes wrong?

When students conduct re-sits, the examining board will take the best scores to make up the final grade. This means if you received a B on the test one year and sat it the following year again, but received a C, the examining board takes your best grade regardless. And if the re-sit still doesn’t give you the right grade there is still clearing.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is available to all students applying to university who haven’t been offered a place or haven’t received the right grades to go to the universities of their choice. It opens just before A Level results and usually lasts until the end of September. Students can contact universities that have available courses to receive an offer or choose a different course that requires lower grades.

Will my A Levels affect my student loan?

It only causes problems if you don’t contact the Student Loans Company. Once you have changed your course and/or university, you need to contact SFE (Student Finance England) to tell them what has happened. That way they can get in touch with your new university and set up the right details for you to get your student loan in enough time. The longer you leave it then you might have to wait a while until you get your money, and this might make Freshers boring!

What if I’ve changed my mind altogether?

There are still lots of options for you to take. Firstly you can find a course and defer it for a year, which means your place is kept, but you take a year out and then go to university the next year. If you’ve become unsure on what you want to study, then you can cancel your application and apply for the next year. But remember, you have to start your application in the autumn so there might not be a long period of time between A-Level results and applying for the next year. Or you can take a gap year to travel and try to find your answers there, you can get a job to gain experience and save while you make up your mind, or even get valuable work experience to help you get into university the following year also. If that appeals to you, then make sure you’re aware of all of the pros and cons of a gap year, before you decide to take one.

If your A-Levels don’t come back with the results you had in mind, there are so many options for you to move onto the next step. Don’t panic when you open that envelope and be prepared by understanding what options you actually have. University doesn’t have to happen when you’re 18; it will always be there waiting for you regardless of your age.


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