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A-level Results Day 2017: Guide for students and parents on university clearing, school league tables and more

PUBLISHED: 07:27 17 August 2017 | UPDATED: 07:27 17 August 2017

Students celebrate A-level results at Thomas Mills High School in Suffolk. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Students celebrate A-level results at Thomas Mills High School in Suffolk. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Thousands of students in Suffolk today find out their A-level results. Here is a guide for parents and students about what happens on the day and what to do after discovering your results, with advice from the University of Suffolk and UCAS.

For teenagers collecting their results, it will be a nerve-wracking day: the culmination of 14 years of education combined with the anxious wait to see if they did enough to get into their chosen university.

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Results Day Checklist

• UCAS Track login details, or your latest UCAS letter (make a note of your Clearing Number)

• Fully charged mobile phone / Camera

• Contact details for your university (University of Suffolk’s clearing hotline is 01473 338352 – more on this later)

• Pen and paper / AS Results

Mildenhall College Academy pupils celebrate their A-level results in 2016. Picture: ARCHANT Mildenhall College Academy pupils celebrate their A-level results in 2016. Picture: ARCHANT

• Copy of personal statement / Reference contact details

Students should be able to see their university confirmation on the UCAS website from 8am onwards on the day. Marks will not be shown, and will need to be picked up at school.

What if I got the results I wanted?

If you have met your grades, UCAS Track will confirm if you have been accepted into either your firm or insurance choice university. You will be able to view your confirmation letter in Track. This letter might contain important information about what to do next.

What if I did better than expected?

Adjustment, via UCAS Track, allows overachievers to reconsider all their options and perhaps enrol at a different university. This could give you the chance to ‘trade up’ your offer, without losing your original university or course. You have to be quick, and it ends on August 31. Perhaps contact a previous university which rejected you? Note: there are no participating universities, and there is no going back if you do ‘trade up’.

Clearing doesn’t have to mean compromise (credit: University of Suffolk)

Clearing is the process through which students who want to enter higher education but don’t yet have a place can apply directly to universities for courses that are available. It’s used by a variety of students – those who haven’t got the grades needed for their chosen universities, those who haven’t applied for university before June 30, and even those who have surpassed their expected grades.

Key facts about Clearing (credit: University of Suffolk)

• Clearing runs from July to September.

• New applications are completed directly with the chosen university – whether you haven’t applied before, or did apply but didn’t get the right grades for your chosen university and as a result have no offers.

• You can approach as many institutions as you like during the process and you are not obliged to accept the first offer you receive.

The University of Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN The University of Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN

• As well as late applications, Clearing can be used for those who have done better than expected and wish to reassess their options, possibly applying to a university with higher requirements. This is known as Adjustment.

Top tips for Clearing, from Holly Bowen, admissions manager at the University of Suffolk

• Don’t panic! Spaces will still be available on a wide range of different courses. Don’t forget to check our website for a full list of available courses.

• Think carefully about what you’d like to study, your original course choice might not be available, but there may be other options in a similar course area that you haven’t considered before.

• Research any course you think you might be interested in, check the university website for information about the modules you will be studying and the assessment methods so you can be sure it’s the right course for you.

See here for vacancies for September 2017 entry at the University of Suffolk.

Athena Hall, University of Suffolk. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER Athena Hall, University of Suffolk. Picture: JAMES FLETCHER

To apply to the University of Suffolk, call the Clearing Hotline on 01473 338352. They’ll take your details over the phone, explore your course options, and should be able to give you a decision immediately.

The University of Suffolk’s Guide to Clearing will be in the EADT and Ipswich Star on Wednesday August 16, the day before A-level results.

School results

In 2016, of almost 3,000 students which sat A-level examinations across the county, 98.5% achieved A*-E grades, up from 98% in 2015. Some 76% of grades were A*-C, down from 77% in 2015.

A total of 34 schools and colleges (state and independent) in Suffolk are expected to provide A-level results in 2017.

A-level reforms

Much like GCSEs, A-levels were also reformed by the government. They started in September 2015, meaning summer 2017 will provide the first results of the revamped qualifications. The main changes were to make them ‘linear’ – testing students with exams at the end of sixth form, rather than modular assessment – and taking AS results out of the equation.

In the new, all A-level exams will take place at the end of Year 13, with no marks from AS-levels (if you take these) contributing to the overall final grade. Before, they made up 50% of the overall A-level qualification.

Across the board, there will also be less coursework and fewer practical assessments under the new system.

It is part of the government’s overall educational drive to improve standards.

Reformed AS and A-level exams. Picture: OFQUAL Reformed AS and A-level exams. Picture: OFQUAL

• See here for our complete GCSE Results Day guide 2017.

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