Friday, 26 August 2016

Goodbye and Good Luck!

After another year of helping thousands of students who have got their exam results, the Exam Results Helpline closes on Wednesday 31 August at 15:00.

Our fantastic careers advisers have supported both GCSE and A Level students who got their results and were unsure of what to do next. They have talked through all of their options with them including Clearing, gap years, employment, apprenticeships, A Levels, college courses and more.

The feedback from the people who we have received helped has been excellent with young people (and their parents) thanking our service for providing guidance and advice that is otherwise unavailable to them.

We hope to be back next year ready to support the 2017 students but in the meantime good luck to you on whatever path you choose.

In our absence you might find these services helpful:

National Careers Service
The Student Room
Information on Apprenticeships

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Not sure what options are available to you after GCSEs?

Talk about A level results has dominated the news over the last week, but all 16 year olds and their families who are making their final plans for September and beyond need to know this: they might have been around since the 1950s, and everyone has heard of them, but A levels are not the only option!

For those students who feel ready for the world of work, there is a huge range of apprenticeships and traineeships available. By choosing this option, you get qualifications, a stack of work experience and the chance to progress in your chosen career too.

Or what about college courses? There are thousands of options available, courses awarded by long established and well recognised bodies: BTEC, NCFE, ASDAN, QCF, VRQ, an alphabet soup of qualifications, recognised by universities and employers, all with a practical focus to give you a head start if you do already have a sense of career direction.

And finally: the A level is not the only more academic advanced level course. The Pre-U Diploma, for example, and the International Baccalaureate are both well regarded qualifications which attract credit on the UCAS tariff system.

There are so many options available to you and the most suitable one for you will depend partly on your grades, and partly on any career goals you already have.

Speak to a careers adviser before making a definite choice. The Exam Results Helpline is staffed by professional, well qualified advisers and is open every day until 31st August on 0808 100 8000.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Parents! Has your teen got their results? Need some help in order to help?

  1. Exam Results Helpline – 0808 100 8000 – save the number now! A room of highly skilled careers advisers are just a call away for both students and parents and can advise on anything from sixth form options, apprenticeships, colleges etc. You can also chat to careers advisers on the Facebook page.
  2. Is there a Careers or Connexions service near where you live?  They are staffed by skilled and impartial advisers, they are able to offer help to any new school leaver who is not yet fixed up with a place for September, and they are free for you and your son/daughter to visit and use.
  3. Have you looked at the UCAS Progress and the National Careers Service sites yet? They contain stacks of good information on the rules about leaving school, how to make wise choices, applying for apprenticeships, the differences between studying in a college and a school sixth form, and a thousand other things besides.  For anyone who struggles with some of the language in the world of schools and colleges, these websites are wonderful jargon-busters, and can make you feel a lot more confident when discussing these things with your child.  
  4. Is there somebody in your child's prospective college or sixth form who can offer advice? Lots of places are open mid-August onwards for exam results and enrolment.  They might not know your child ever so well, and of course you don't have to follow their suggestions, but it’s certainly worth hearing what is available, and how this could help your child to achieve their goals - especially if your child does do less well, or conversely ends up doing rather better than originally expected.
  5. Have you spoken with them?  You'd be surprised at how many of the parents I speak with haven’t!  I have worked with any number of students awaiting their exam results who have actually already made some pretty good choices for September, but have, erm, forgotten to mention this to their families.  Conversely, there are some students out there who could really benefit from their families supporting them via the suggestions I make above.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Got your exam results?

Are you disappointed with your exam results? Don’t know what to do next? Need help?

Don’t panic – there is help out there! In order to reach your goals you might just have to go down a slightly different route to get there.

 Here’s what to do if you haven’t got the grades you were expecting:

  • Take a deep breath – just take a minute to collect your thoughts and regain your composure. This really isn’t the end of the world (although it might feel like it right now) and there are things you can do to help yourself.
  • Consider Clearing – If you know that university is definitely the next step for you, use Clearing. We have a post on Clearing: Top Tips which should give you all of the information that you need. Clearing doesn’t open until 15:00 so you have time to think about all of your options.
  • Call the Exam Results Helpline – perhaps you have done better than expected or you just don’t know what to do next, or perhaps you have changed your mind; whatever your situation it really does help to talk. 

The Exam Results Helpline careers advisers have spoken to many people in the same position as you over the years and they are highly experienced at helping students in your position.

Just call 0808 100 8000 or have your questions answered on the Exam Results Helpline Facebook page.

Good luck!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

KISS FM presenter Pandora Christie supports Exam Results Helpline

We’re so happy that KISS FM presenter Pandora Christie is supporting the Exam Results Helpline this year.

Pandora wants to make sure that young people know about the service:

“Getting exam results is a nerve racking time. When I did my exams, there were subjects that I loved like English Language, Drama, History and Spanish so I enjoyed studying for them. But I really struggled with Maths and Science for some reason, I just couldn’t get my head around it even with extra tuition, I remember sitting in the exam room sweating and dreading it, looking at my physics paper thinking I don’t understand any of this can someone help?

When I got my results I found that I did well in most subjects... apart from maths and science which I got a D for. After my GCSEs I went straight into employment and signed up to a casting agency but I later went on to do an AS in Spanish.

I thought about going to university to do a drama degree but I started to get a lot of acting jobs so I never got round to applying. It’s funny the way that things work out and that’s why you shouldn’t despair or panic when you get your exam results!

When it’s time to get your exam results first of all don’t panic! The advisers at the Exam Results Helpline will be ready and waiting to give you the advice you need.”

Thursday, 4 August 2016

GCSE results – Three scenarios you could find yourself in on results day

Are you waiting for your GCSE results? Make sure you’re prepared. Here are three situations that you could find yourself in:

1. You got all the grades you hoped for, you already have a definite plan, and it's all systems go

Congratulations!  Before you sign on the dotted line though, do check that those A levels/that particular apprenticeship/the college course you're intending to do is pointing you in the right direction, and leaves open the right employment/university choices at the age of 18.

2. You got most of the grades you were hoping for, but just slipped up on 1 or 2?

Act quickly!  This actually might not be a problem, but you must speak to your chosen college or sixth form as soon as possible.  They might, depending on your grades, still let you do your original course choice, but ask you to do a retake in your maths or English as well for example. Alternatively, they might ask you to do an extra year, and get more grades at foundation or intermediate level before moving onto your first choice.

3. You are really disappointed with your grades and can't do what you wanted?

It is not the end of the world!  Just now it might feel like it, but it is not.  Again, you need to act pretty quickly: get in touch with the employer/college/sixth form you were hoping to progress on to, and check what they have to say.  If after speaking to them you need more help and advice, call us at the Exam Results Helpline – 0808 100 8000

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Clearing: Top Tips

Take your time: There is no rush to make any quick decisions. Clearing doesn’t open until the afternoon on A Level results day and so this gives you time to reassess and have a good think about what you want to do before you start the process.

Searching for courses: The first place to start is with the UCAS search tool. When you select where you normally live along with ‘Clearing 2016’, you’ll be shown all the available courses. The Telegraph will also publish all Clearing vacancies on Thursday 18th August and Saturday 20th August.

It’s good to talk: Calling the universities and colleges you’re interested in during the day to discuss the course is vital. If you are sufficiently well prepared and demonstrate your suitability and passion for the subject, you may receive a verbal offer which you can confirm later.

Confirmation of Clearing place: If the university confirm that they’ll accept you, you can then add the choice in Track in the ‘Your Choices’ section. Don’t forget that you can speak to as many universities and colleges as you like in Clearing, but you can only add one Clearing choice at a time – the one you want to accept.

Visit the uni: If it is at all possible during this process try to have a look around the university offering a clearing place before committing to it.

Acceptance: If the uni has offered you a place, they will update your status in Track to show you’ve been accepted. Congratulations you can now get ready to go to uni!

Need some advice? If you need any help at all during this process don’t forget to call the Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000. The careers advisers at the end of the phone are highly experienced and will be able to guide and support you through the process. No question is too small!