A-level results: 'Don't lose all faith' if grades fall short

Deio outside a campus building Image copyright Deio Jones
Image caption Made it: Deio Jones got his place at Cardiff University

"Don't lose all faith" if you fail to get the predicted A-level grades needed to secure a first choice place at university.

That is the advice of Welsh language and journalism student Deio Jones, 19, who thought he would have to go to his second choice university after failing to get the marks he needed for his preferred one.

Undeterred, he called staff at Cardiff University to ask them to reconsider, saying he had already done enough to secure a place elsewhere.

After being advised to reapply through the clearing process to secure a placement via Ucas - the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service - his dream to study in the Welsh capital became a reality.

"It was worth giving it a go," he said.

Deio, from Benllech, Anglesey, realised it was not going to be plain sailing en route to collecting his A-level results last year at Ysgol David Hughes, Menai Bridge.

He said he was "gutted" when he checked his account with Ucas and saw the "congratulations" note to say he had a place at second-choice Bangor University.

So he called Ucas to see what could be done and also spoke to Cardiff University to see if there was a chance he could still be accepted.

'Very anxious time'

He reapplied online and then waited all day for confirmation from Ucas which is inundated on A-level results day as it manages the clearing process for universities and colleges filling places still available on their courses.

"I made about 12 calls that day to make sure everything was going through OK. I had set my sights on Cardiff," said Deio.

His persistence paid off and he has had a "really good" year helping to edit a Welsh newspaper and presenting a programme on student radio as part of his degree course in Cardiff.

So his advice to other students is to see what alternatives are available if grades fall short.

"There are other options and something for everyone," he said, but he also admitted it was a "very anxious time" for A-level students.

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