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A Level Results Day 2023 – How Can Parents Help?

Tornike Asatiani - Co-founder & COO of Edumentors

When is A Level Results Day?

A-level Results Day 2024

The A-level results for 2023 will be released on August 17th. Whether your child has a high or low predicted grade, the anticipation of results day can be stressful and emotionally taxing. As parents, it’s important to help ease their anxiety and offer mental support. Additionally, assisting your child in planning ahead can be beneficial.”

How Can You Help Before the A Level Results Day

✔️ Plan Relaxing Activities for Your Child Before The A Level Results Day

Consider organising a spa day, movie night, or other favorite activities for your child. For some, the outside world might amplify stress and anxiety. Spending time at home without the constant buzz of social media and reminders of exams can be a therapeutic escape. However, always check if they’d prefer to do these activities with you or solo.

✔️ Listen to Them

Always be available for them. Even if they’re aware that worrying won’t change their grades, they might want to vent – lamenting missed answers or second-guessing their choices. They might also express concerns about starting university. Instead of offering solutions immediately, sometimes just lending an ear is all they need. Remember, they’re tired and stressed, so showing patience is crucial. Additionally, be mindful of potential stress triggers in your conversations.

✔️ Stay Calm Before and After!

Be emotionally prepared for any outcome. If they don’t achieve their desired grades, stay calm. They’ll likely be their harshest critic. Reacting negatively will only add to their burden. Explore techniques to maintain your own calm, like mindful breathing. Remember, university isn’t the only pathway to success. If they’re set on attending one, explore alternatives and be ready to offer mental support.

✔️ Give Them Space

Teenagers sometimes feel parental pressure, intentional or not. They might oblige to your suggestions when they’d rather spend time elsewhere. Recognise when they might need space. However, always remain approachable for conversations. Balancing parental responsibilities with offering support is challenging, but it’s crucial during this period.

✔️ Help them Plan the A Level Results Day from Start to Finish

Offer assistance in planning out the day – from waking up, deciding breakfast choices, to selecting an outfit. Prepare a soothing evening tea the night before and maybe share a few reassuring words. Ensure they have their UCAS login details and clearing shortlist on hand. Consider researching thoughtful congratulatory gifts and possibly organising a surprise celebration. However, keep the latter under wraps to avoid adding any undue pressure.

✔️ Encourage Them to Go Outside

Planning for Your Childs A Level Results Day - Going Out For a Picnic
Planning for Your Childs A Level Results Day – Going Out For a Picnic

Encourage them to embrace the outdoors, whether it’s a simple walk, dining at a pleasant restaurant, or exploring short trips within the UK (though ensure you’re back for results day). Walking can enhance mood by boosting dopamine and serotonin, and shared meals offer quality bonding time. If they lean towards spending time with friends, maybe suggest meet-ups or help organise a group picnic. Such activities can provide a much-needed reprieve from the stress.

Understand the UCAS Tariff Points System

The UCAS tariff points system translates grades into points, which can be used in university applications. Different qualifications, like A-levels or BTECs, contribute varying points. Sometimes, if a student doesn’t meet the exact grade requirements of a university, their combined UCAS tariff points from all their qualifications might still allow them entry. It’s vital to understand how many points your child has and how they equate to university course requirements.

The UCAS tariff system assigns a numerical value to the various grades achieved in A-level exams to standardize entry requirements across universities in the UK. Here’s how A-level grades typically translate into UCAS points:

  • A*: 56 points
  • A: 48 points
  • B: 40 points
  • C: 32 points
  • D: 24 points
  • E: 16 points

Make Sure Your Child Has a Plan for Every Outcome

Even if your child has good predicted grades, be prepared for everything. Some universities are very rigid in their application process or your child may even change their mind on the results day about some of their university choices 

Firstly, Remind Them that Grades aren’t Everything

Remind your child that you’re proud of the effort and dedication they’ve shown throughout their A-level journey. Disappointments are natural learning experiences, and there could be a variety of reasons for not meeting expected grades, such as stress, nerves, or other personal challenges. Not securing offers from universities isn’t the end of the world.

Learn Together What Clearing is and Prepare Beforehand

Should your child consider taking a gap year, they have the opportunity to revisit their A-level studies with renewed vigour. However, this isn’t the only path forward. Many universities offer foundation courses as an alternative, allowing students to bridge academic gaps before taking on A-levels again.

It’s essential for your child to feel at ease when reaching out to universities, especially if they opt for the UCAS clearing process. Clearing is an avenue for students to secure spots in university courses that still have vacancies. While some myths suggest that courses available through clearing are inferior, in reality, they are simply alternative routes to higher education.

Interestingly, some students use clearing to their advantage when they outperform their predicted grades, seeking opportunities in higher-ranked universities. To be proactive, maintain a shortlist of universities participating in clearing. On results day, this preparation can provide a crucial head-start, ensuring your child isn’t left behind.

For a deeper dive into clearing – read UCAS clearing process explained.

Retaking A-levels?

Taking a gap year is normal and many students do it. You may wonder if universities care if your child resits A level exam. There is no exact answer to that. Almost all universities in the UK (including Cambridge and Oxford) accept resits. However, some universities take into account that you had to resit your exam. They may ask you to specify the circumstances of why you didn’t achieve acceptable grades the first time around and the reasons for your resit.

Other options are internships and apprenticeships, you can search for them on the UCAS career finder tool. If they change their mind about going to the university, help them find suitable internships and maybe they go to the university next year.

The main thing is to be there for your child. They may be independent enough to do good research about clearing, managing stress and all that on their own. Nevertheless, they still need your support. Tell them stories about your exam worries and how it turned out good and help them in a way you see fit. These are just tips that may or may not work for your teenager, you know your kid the best, so do what you think is necessary.

If your child decides to retake the exam next year and you don’t know what to do, Edumentors has great tutors for A-level exams in every subject. They hire only the greatest tutors who can help your teenager with anything around A levels. This help not only includes assisting with studying for A levels but also emotional support. You can find tutors from Cambridge, Oxford, Warwick and other top UK universities here. Rest assured, every single tutor has gone through a robust quality check and verification process and was individually interviewed by an educational expert.

Find a tutor from your child’s dream university and book a free trial to see how they could help in this difficult journey.


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