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A-Level results day: don’t panic!

It’s undoubtedly a tense time – the waiting and wondering, the what-ifs and then the gut-wrenching-getting-your-results moment…Here is Trinity’s guide to surviving results day.

1. Take a deep breath before the big moment! This is an important step in your educational journey but it is only one stage. Whatever happens, life does carry on!

Terri-Leigh Riley
Terri-Leigh Riley

Trinity Schools Liaison Officer, Terri-Leigh Riley, says:

‘When I first received my GCSE results and didn’t get an A*, I thought that my chances of going to a top university were over. But a couple of years later, my A-Levels results secured me a place at Cambridge. Although your results are important, they don’t define you as a person and there’s always time to turn things around.’



Ellie Wood

2. If you have met or exceeded your offer from Cambridge, congratulations! It still might be a shock – as Ellie Wood, who studied at Newnham and is now at Schools Liaison Officer at Trinity, found out.

‘I was incredibly nervous on results day. When I looked at (UCAS) Track and realised I’d been accepted, I froze from the shock, and it certainly took a few hours to sink in! After I went and got my grades and saw with my own eyes that I had what I needed, I was able to really relax and celebrate.’


Stacey Smith

In this happy instance you don’t need to do anything – your place is automatically confirmed. Stacey Smith, Trinity Admissions Administrator, says: ‘The College will contact you and UCAS Track will update so it is not necessary to call the College.’

The University of Cambridge has helpful information for new undergraduates  and you’ll receive information about coming into residence from Trinity’s Tutorial Office in due course.



3. If you have just missed your offer, don’t panic! There might be a few places at one or another College – this all depends on the number of students who meet their offer. If a decision does not appear on UCAS Track, feel free to contact the Trinity Admissions Office (01223 338422) to check the status of your application.

Dr Glen Rangwala

4. If your results are substantially below your offer, there are options. Hopefully you’ve made the grades for your second choice university. If not, you might find a similar course through Clearing. See UCAS’ guide to Clearing.

And as Trinity’s Admissions Tutor, Dr Glen Rangwala, pointed out, you never know what might happen in future.

‘We’ve seen students who applied to us as prospective undergraduates who didn’t make it in for one reason or another, who thrive at another university, and then come back to us as graduate students a few years later. And even in some cases, as Fellows,’ he said.


5. You might decide on a different path – taking a gap year and applying to university again, getting a job and some experience before returning to study, studying part time, or training on the job.

Professor Adrian Poole

Fellow for Widening Participation Projects, Professor Adrian Poole, said:

‘We owe the telephone to Alexander Graham Bell, great Scottish inventor, but he also left us with this helpful advice: “When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”’



For more information see the University of Cambridge’s Exam results: What next?

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