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How to make the most out of results day

Ready for results day? Get guidance and advice ahead of the big day and explore all your options in this guide to making the most out of your results day.

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The sweaty palms, the anticipation and what seem like the most important documents you’ll ever see. Waiting on results can make any student feel overwhelmed, and while it can be a nerve-wrecking time, it doesn’t have to be. 

With GCSE and A-Level results days looming, there’s never been a better time to get clued up on all things relating to the big day. In this article, we’ll fill you in on the important dates to remember, offer useful advice, and give some guidance on what your next steps might look like. 

What you need to know about results day 2023

Before we delve into the bulk of the guide – here are some important dates to remember. This year, A-Level results day falls on Thursday 17th August whereas GCSE results day is on Thursday 24th August. Your school or college should offer specific guidance on where and what time you should arrive to collect your results. 

Top tips for surviving results day

It’s easy for results day to be a little chaotic and go by in a blur – to make things a little easier (and more organised), here are a few of our tips to make the most of the day.

  • Prepare beforehand. Make sure you know exactly where you need to go, and when, to get your results. You’ll also need to let your school know if you can’t make it on the day. Pack your bag with any important documents the night before (for sixth form students, this would include any letter from UCAS) and be sure to eat before you leave – there’s nothing worse than feeling anxious on an empty stomach. 
  • Talk with family, friends and teachers. As unfamiliar this may feel, you’ll no doubt know a few people who have been there and done that. Don’t be afraid to speak with family and friends about how you’re feeling before and after you get your results. Your teachers will be familiar with your academic progression and career aspirations, so having a chat beforehand may help put things into perspective. 
  • Keep your options open. By now, you’ll already have an idea of which college or university you want to study at, if you’ve decided to continue on to higher education. Depending on your results, things may go exactly as planned or look a little different. Fortunately, you always have options.

I’ve got my results – now what? 

Well done, whether you got the results you wanted or not, you’ve got through the hardest part and survived results day. Now onto the next potential steps. Luckily, there are a few options. 

University

If you’re an A-Level student, you’ll no doubt have submitted your applications to your choice of universities. By results day, your chosen universities will have already responded to your application with either a conditional offer (meaning that your place is dependent on your results), an unconditional offer (meaning you already meet their requirements) or an unsuccessful offer. 

Depending on your results and your offers (conditional or unconditional), you may have got into your first, second or third choice of university. If you haven’t got the results you’d hoped for, worry not. 

Universities across the country hold spaces for students, during a post-results day period known as Clearing. Applying to a university through Clearing will give you an opportunity to study your chosen degree, even if you didn’t get the results you wanted. 

For some added flexibility, if you’re interested in completing an online degree, FutureLearn offers a growing library of online degrees from top, global universities, so you can study whenever and wherever you want. 

If you’re a GCSE student, things are a little easier in terms of further study. By now, you’ll have chosen whether you want to keep studying at your school through to sixth form or move to a separate college. Simple enough, right?

Gap year

Now, if you want to try something new and hold off on starting university or a job in autumn, then you could consider a gap year. While gap years have a reputation for being hostel-hopping, train-catching and backpacking through Southeast Asia affairs, that’s not the only possibility. 

Whether you want to work for a bit, take a few online courses or simply travel, gap years are a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, learn a few skills and take some well-deserved time off before continuing your studies. 

Apprenticeship

Interested in building your CV and learning at the same time? Then an apprenticeship could be for you. For post-GCSE students (or anyone, really), apprenticeships give you the opportunity to work, earn money, and gain valuable experience and the necessary qualifications. 

Depending on which academic stage you’ll be starting from, there are a few levels to choose from. There are apprenticeships for practically every sector and career path, meaning you’re more than likely to find one that suits you. 

Work

Perhaps you’ve finished your A-Levels and you don’t want to go university. Going straight into the world of work may feel intimidating but armed with the knowledge you have and a little guidance, it can prove to be an exciting start to what will be sure to be a fruitful career. 

Whether you’re starting a paid internship or entry level role, we offer a range of courses to help to develop your skills at any stage of your career.

Prepare for the next stage of your life with FutureLearn

Even though results day is only one day, it can feel like a big moment in your academic life. Whatever your results are, it’s important to remember that careers are rarely linear and there are always multiple paths to a desired career. 

Results day is just the beginning, and FutureLearn is always on hand to help prepare you for the next stage of your life, whatever that looks like. 

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