If all that extra study and hard work has paid off and your results
are higher than you expected, then apart from the celebrations,
you have some thinking to do about your next steps.
you haven't already applied to university, it's not too late and
there are literally thousands of places available through clearing
via Cheltenham-based UCAS - the Universities and Colleges Admissions
Service - but you have to move fast!
more information about the benefits of higher education see www.aimhigher.gov.uk
are plenty of flexible options to suit your needs from full-time
and part-time study to learn while you earn options such as Foundation
Aimhigher's step-by-step guide for those who haven't applied and
visit the UCAS website www.ucas.com
let money stand in your way. For advice about the financial support
that is available to you and how to apply, contact your local education
authority or see www.dfes.gov.uk/studentsupport
you have been looking forward to a particular university or college
place for months, then finding out that you can't be accepted after
all can be a terrible shock and disappointment.
might feel quite distraught at first. But don't despair.
exam grades you've got, you still have a wide choice of things to
do, and there is no reason why you too can't go on to your dream
you're holding an offer from a university or college but your grades
are lower than they asked you for, then the first thing to do is
check with them. Perhaps you can still be accepted.
results are not the end of the world
as soon as you can, and find out before you go any further. If your
Firm Offer course turns you down, then check with your Insurance
Offer - your back-up plan.
both turn you down, then you can still go through clearing, see
the step-by-step guide at www.aimhigher.gov.uk
should think very carefully before deciding to do re-takes. Were
there any special circumstances - illness, family crisis, changing
school - that stopped you doing your best this time around?
not, what's going to be different next year? Try talking to your
teachers about why you didn't do so well in your exams, and whether
it's worth another try.
World of Work
young people will feel that they've had more than enough of education
by now, and can't wait to get out and start earning.
is important not to feel pressured into going to university just
because everyone else seems to be.
is possible in many jobs to work your way up to a degree, or go
back to studying later on, maybe at the same time as working.
young people will know the kind of work they want to get into, and
may already have done some work experience and have contacts in
can use these, alongside the Jobcentre, local papers and Connexions
to explore what is around locally, or even further afield.
young people do not know what they want to do, then Connexions personal
advisers will be able to help by listening to your ideas and skills
and suggesting some possible careers to investigate.
also have access to some sophisticated computer programmes designed
to help people reflect on career choices which may suit them.
with a Career
Although there may be plenty of jobs out there, it is important
that young people choose a job with prospects that will enable them
to continue to train and learn essential new skills while still
earning. One of the best ways of combining cash with a career is
by completing a Modern Apprenticeship - see the website at www.realworkrealpay.info
or call 08000 150 600.
well as being on a stronger footing when it comes to moving onwards
and upwards, and gaining the chance of higher positions and earnings
later on, training shows commitment from both the employer and the
is a myth that all gap years are just a way of going on holiday,
or that they have to be abroad. Some young people feel that they
just need some time to think, explore and postpone a career or university
for a bit.
spent travelling on a structured project (such as Raleigh International),
trying different jobs by temping in a different town, or volunteering
at home can be a great way of gaining confidence, new skills, experience,
maturity and direction.
are loads of organized gap year programmes such as www.gap.org.uk,
or closer to home, Millennium Volunteers - www.mvonline.gov.uk
- which can put you in touch with some local projects in your area.
up to you
Deciding what to do isn't always easy, but it is worth remembering
not to rush into any decision.
sure you talk though the options open to you with your family, teachers
and a Connexions personal adviser.
also remember that you are not planning for the next 50 years, just
the next step in your life.
contact a personal adviser call Connexions in Cheltenham (01242
250317) Gloucester (01452 426900) or Stroud (01453 757133).
click 'Ask Us' at www.connexionsglos.org.uk
or call the helpline on 01452 524800.
to After A-Levels Guide
A-Level congratulations or commiserations to friends or family -
or have your say about modern exam standards on the BBC Gloucestershire