Didn’t Get the Grades you Hoped for? What Next?

Didn’t Get the Grades you Hoped for? What Next?

If you’re reading this article, the chances are you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped in your exams. But that’s okay - if might have been a rough day at the office or maybe exams aren’t your thing.

Regardless of why your exams didn’t go to plan, you might want to start thinking about what options you have in front of you. If you didn’t get the grades to get into your first choice uni, there are still several other routes you can take - it isn’t the end of the world, even though it might feel like it.

Read on to find out what you can still do to provide yourself with a secure career and future prospects.

Enquiring at your First Choice University First

Before you do anything, first make sure that you contact your first choice university (provided you still definitely want to go) and see how your grades have affected your offer.

It’s certainly possible, and actually pretty common, for universities to accept students who narrowly missed their entry requirements.

It may be that your had a very strong interview, gave a great personal statement, provided an excellent example of your work, or were well liked by the tutors. They still might - but that is a big might - let you in.

There’d be nothing worse than assuming that you’d lost your place having not achieved the required grades, accepting your second choice option...and then finding out that you could still have gained entry at your first choice.

Going Into ‘University Clearing’ 

Unfortunately, it is more likely that your university will reject you if you fail to achieve your entry requirements.

If that’s the case, then this option could be a lifesaver. If you aren’t too concerned about which university you go to, but just want to get there at all cost, then this might well be your next best option.

University clearing pairs up students in need of a university with universities in need of students.

That is, if you didn’t receive an offer from any of your five chosen universities, or find on results day that you didn’t get the grades you need, you might still have a second chance at getting in through this system - but it’s no guarantee.

Taking a Gap Year

Gap years can be very valuable things to anybody, regardless of whether or not you have a place in university.

However, one thing you might want if you don’t get into university is time: time to re-evaluate your options, time to re-apply for next year, time to study and improve your grades, or time to travel, mature and grow as a person. A gap year will help you with all of these things.

Whether you go travelling, working, saving money, or learning, gap years provide you with the time and space needed to really think about what you want to do in your life.

You might come to the end of it and still not know what it is you want to do, but at least you’ll be a mature, dependable person, more capable of surviving in the adult world.

Finding a Job

It’s perfectly natural to feel impatient with education by now - after 13 years or so of schooling, you might, like many others, want to call it a day after A Levels.

It might be that you were only going to university reluctantly, either to please your parents, or because that’s what everybody else was doing, or maybe you simply didn’t know what else to do.

If that’s the case, then not getting the entry requirements might give you the reason you needed to change your mind about uni and delve straight into the world of employment.

Becoming employed will give you a strong sense of maturity, and it’s very refreshing not having to depend on your parents for money. It also teaches you how to properly look after money - when it’s your own you might be more reluctant to spend so much of it!


Apprenticeships can be a great way to start you off on a successful career.

They offer a wide range of qualifications, from intermediate apprenticeships (level 2) to diploma apprenticeships (level 6-7), and cover a wide range of subjects, from law to engineering, military to hair and beauty, trades to accounting.

Apprenticeships involve practical learning, which means you’re learning on the job with hands-on skills. You also receive a salary while you’re doing this, and so it’s a great way of introduction into the world of employment and teaches you valuable skills about how to handle your money.

Apprenticeships often end with employment opportunities and offer a promising, secure career.

Private Colleges

Private colleges are the cream of the crop for finding a new career and employment opportunities.

Although they cost money, the investment is always worthwhile. The quality of learning and teaching is simply unparalleled, and take all the best features of other learning centres to create the ultimate learning machine.

Access Training is a private college which offers an unparalleled quality of trades training, and taking all the best features of the hands-on nature of apprenticeship-style learning, and the theoretical study aspect of university-style learning, offers the best of both worlds, and more. 

Whereas apprenticeships and university courses take a matter of years to complete and demand strict entry requirements, courses at Access Training are fast-track courses, which take far less time to complete, meaning you can become an employed plumber, electrician or gas engineer and start earning much sooner than should you attend university or enrol on an apprenticeship scheme.

Read more about the advantages of fast-track courses here

A tradesperson’s career is secure, rewarding, and in extremely high demand, particularly in recent times - a growing population and rapidly expanding cities and towns, thousands of houses, hospitals, schools and buildings of all kinds need building and maintenance.

If you didn’t get the grades you were after to go to university, then fear not. Your future is secure at Access Training. If you think a career in trades would be suitable for you, please do not hesitate to call us on 0800 345 7492 and speak to our course advisors. They will provide you with any information you will require.

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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