A-level results not as expected? A gap year may benefit you

Students facing clearing see benefits of a post A-level gap year

Today is A-level results day and hundreds of thousands of students have already received their results.

From all of us here a gapyear.com, we want to say congratulations to all of you who have passed your exams! Whoop whoop! We've all been there and we know that today's a day to celebrate. However, some of you may be pulling your hair out wondering what to do. First things first - don't worry!

The top line is that students obtaining grades for A* or A have fallen for the first time in 20 years. When you throw in the fact that this is the first year that students will have to face fees of up to £9,000-a-year, a gap year is not only a serious option, it might be your only option!

Admissions service UCAS says that 357,915 students have now been accepted for university courses this year, down 7% on last year, which can only mean one thing - more of you are thinking about a gap year.

Around 79,000 students are still awaiting decisions, while 10,000 have applied for places through clearing.

Mary Curnock Cook, the UCAS chief executive, said: "Despite the fall in applications this year, entry to higher education remains competitive and we expect to see an active clearing period. Over 25,000 courses are showing vacancies for UK applicants. More than 50,000 people found a course in clearing last year."

If you haven't got your grades, don't panic. Speak to a careers advisor at school and talk about your options. Look at some of the courses through clearing and make an informed decision. If you've got your heart set on a gap year, welcome aboard.  And for those of you that are deferring entry, this is the only place you need to be!

Want to chat about your grades and your gap year? Jump onto the message boards and get talking!

And if you're new to gapyear.com then check out our articles on 'What is gapyear.com?' and 'What is a Gap Year?' - that should cover the first couple of bases...