Helping students prepare for results day

Results day can be a worrying, and sometimes even a stressful event for students, so no matter how confident your son or daughter may appear, it is important to help them research their options and prepare for different eventualities.

We have put together some recommendations on how you could support your son or daughter ahead of their results day.

Be prepared

Results day can be unpredictable at times, but there are a couple of things you can do in advance to prepare. For example, it is a good idea to jot down contact details for different universities, and to have these to hand on results day, just in case your child needs to call a university to discuss clearing and adjustment options. It is also wise to check the clearing call centre opening hours so that your son or daughter can act fast. Often, clearing works on a first-come-first-served based.

Another preparation tip is for your child to ask their school or college how results day will work so they know what to expect, i.e. where do they need to go to collect their results, and what support is available on the day. This takes away some of the unknown and will help your child feel more comfortable with the process. 

Research clearing

Researching and understanding the clearing process will help you to support your child. Clearing is a useful option for students who want to go to university but may not have received the grades required for their firm or insurance choices. Clearing allows students to view the current course vacancies starting in September at universities across the UK. See our guide on the clearing process.

Research universities

Once you have a good understanding of how the clearing process works then it is important to start researching universities. You can do this through looking at the UCAS vacancies page and then by looking at the university’s website. Prepare a list of universities and courses that the student would be happy to attend should they find themselves in clearing. They will need to consider the entry requirements (some universities will publish their clearing grade requirements before results day to give students more time to consider their options), as well as consider the course content.

Under the current circumstances, it may be useful to look at how different universities have approached the guidance on COVID-19, and what measures will be in place to protect your child at the start of term. All universities are striving to adhere to Government guidelines, but it is important to make sure you are satisfied with their procedures. If you have questions on this, or any other aspect of the university, don’t be afraid to get in touch and ask these questions directly.

Choosing a course and university

Consider all options

Going into results day with an open mind will be really helpful to you all. Whatever the outcome, keep in mind all of options and alternative opportunities that are available. Remember, there is no need to rush or pressure to attend this year – sometimes, if your child is not happy with the grades they received, it is best to take a step back, reflect and consider retaking the exams to achieve a higher score.

It could also be a chance for them to take some time out and gain valuable life experiences for example, with a part-time job or internship. These additional skills and qualifications could benefit them in their degree.

The most important thing is that your son or daughter feels comfortable with their choices as this will impact on their performance – and happiness, at university.

On the day

Results day is Tuesday 10 August 2021. All of the research you have done together will ensure that your child is prepared for all of the eventualities. On the day, it is a good idea for the student to have all of their confirmed grades and qualifications to hand, including GCSEs that may contribute to receiving an offer from some universities. Students should also have their UCAS login details within reach, as these are integral to students being able to check their application status on UCAS track and will be required if they need to speak with universities regarding clearing or adjustment. It is also useful to have a note pad and pen nearby, as well as the student’s personal statement.

It is important to note that only the parent named on the students’ application will be allowed to speak on their behalf, so make sure your son or daughter checks and confirms who this person is to avoid delays.

We understand that results day can be an overwhelming experience for many students and their families. Try and remain a calming influence on your child so they don’t panic – not achieving the grades they have worked so hard for can be an extremely upsetting occurrence, therefore reassurance and encouragement will be key.

Results day is a memorable occasion and going to university is an exciting time for young students. Universities know this and will be providing as much support and information as possible to help the process run smoothly, and to make the overall experience more positive for you, and your son or daughter.