What To Do If Your Results Aren't What You Hoped They'd Be

What To Do If Your Results Aren't What You Hoped They'd Be

Posted in Applying on Aug 16, 2019 by

University Finder

If your A-Level results aren't what you hoped they'd be, don't panic! You have so many options available to you.


Clearing allows students to gain a place at university if they did not meet the entry requirements of their firm or insurance choice. Universities that have places available will be listed on UCAS’s website. Clearing opened on July 5th (International Baccalaureate results day) and runs until October 23rd 2019.

Get your Exams Re-Marked

If you don’t think you’ve been marked fairly you can pay to have your paper remarked. In some cases papers have gone from an E grade to an A!

Foundation Year

Foundation years allow students who can’t enter Year 1 of a university course to spend a year studying (Year 0) before moving onto Year 1 of the course. During Year 0 students learn more about the subject and develop the necessary skills for the course. At the end of Year 0 you move onto Year 1 (First Year) or the course. You apply for the course through UCAS (can be through UCAS Clearing) which has a title such as ‘Chemistry with a Foundation Year’.

Foundation years are a great way for students to study who’ve either studied different subjects at A-Level to the course entry requirements or people who did not get the required grades for the course.

Find out more about foundation years here.

Foundation Degree

Foundation degrees are a two-year degree which is the equivalent of two-thirds of a Bachelors degree. The foundation degree tends to focus on a particular job or profession. If you decide you’d like to continue studying you can continue for another year to gain a full honours degree. You apply for a foundation degree through UCAS and are eligible for Student Finance.

Gap Year

Another option is to take a gap year to think about your options before re-applying to university/re-sitting exams, instead of rushing into a random course through Clearing. Taking a gap year has thousands of advantages and provides you with so many opportunities university students don’t have the time to do. Whilst take a ‘gap yaah’ to travel to South East Asia to find yourself is a common staple of a gap year, there’s thousands of other things you can do. You can travel the world, volunteer locally or internationally, get an internship, get a job and save money, start your own business. The possibilities are endless.

Go into work

If after your A-Level grades you decide that university is no longer for you, entering the workforce from school is a viable option. An increasing number of large companies, such as EY, are dropping degree requirements from their graduate schemes. Companies are beginning to favour experience and aptitude over academic results. Find out what the highest paying jobs in the UK without a degree are here.


A final alternative is to take an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are growing in popularity as people begin to realise that they’re a viable alternative to university. Apprenticeships allow you to develop work specific skills and get a head start in your chosen industry. Lots of companies offer degree level appprenticeships which allow you to work full time and graduate with zero student debt. Head over to Apprenticeship Finder to discover more about apprenticeships available to you.

By Clarissa Ducie