A-LEVEL results day will be an extremely different experience for the leavers class of 2020 thanks to the ongoing Covid19 outbreak.
Today (Thursday), thousands of Tyrone students will receive their A-level results after their final year in secondary school was thrown into turmoil after school doors closed in March.
With the removal of exams and the decision to give students predicted grades, it has been a stressful and emotive time for those awaiting exam results.
It will be far from the typical results day as majority of schools throughout the county have advised pupils to receive their results online unless they have results to collect that are not issued online.
Acknowledging the special circumstances surrounding this year’s exams, a group of career teachers from nine different schools have come together to form Omagh Learning Community Heads of Careers and are advising students not to panic about their results.
Applied for University?
You can access your CCEA results at 8am using your PIN Number your UCAS Track will also update at that time.
Have your CCEA PIN handy to check results online and your UCAS personal ID number (UCAS and universities won’t talk to you without it).
Try not to panic if your decision is pending on UCAS, it may be because they are waiting on a result or you have missed your offer by a grade, so they have not made a decision yet.
If you are interested in a course in clearing, you can check on university websites and contact the university directly.
Unconditional offers can be exciting to receive, but try not to get carried away.
Do not rush into accepting unconditional offers already given prior to results. Consider that if you do not have the grades usually required for the course, you may have difficulty meeting the challenges of the course.
Before you decline any unconditional offer from a university, please seek advice from your careers teacher before you press the button! QUB and UU have enquiry forms online for you to ask about transferring your offer. They have also planned to increase their online and telephony capacity. They will not be holding their usual information events in campus but they will be available online.
Clearing is the process by which universities make available their unfilled courses.
If you are not holding any offers in UCAS, you can enter clearing. Use the clearing search tool on UCAS to see what courses are available.
Talk to the universities offering courses in which you are interested and when they give you permission, add the choice to your UCAS application. There will still be entry requirements to meet for these courses, so make sure you read those carefully. Now is also the time to carefully consider the clearing courses and to ask yourself if this is a genuine choice, as you will be paying back the fees.
Applied for SWC?
If you have already made an application, you can upload your results to the SWC application portal.
If you need assistance, call into the college where they will help you to upload them. Check first before going in person to the college, they may have procedures in place that you will need to follow. Check your emails, they may have emailed you already with arrangements and what to do on results day.
Have a look at the courses available and make a list of the courses that you would be interested in. Get in touch with the college by telephone/email and have your GCSE and A Level results to hand.
Get in touch with your employer and confirm your start date and arrangements to begin your apprenticeship.
Given the current situation, there may be fewer apprenticeships available in some areas, however, it could be worth exploring areas such as health and social care, technology and telecommunications, business, research and administration professionals.
The first round of offers for CAO applicants will be released on 11th September 2020.
This is because the Irish Leaving Cert results have been delayed to 7th September. This is not ideal, especially if you are considering an institute in the Republic of Ireland, as your first choice of university. UCAS and CAO are two separate systems and you can hold offers on both systems. Please seek advice from your careers teacher if you are in this situation.
There are implications for your student finance arrangements if you go ahead and register with a University through UCAS, but then change your mind and want to accept your offer through CAO. Be careful making your decision, as you may be liable for fees if you have registered with a university and then later withdraw from the course.
It is important that you don’t despair if the results are not what you expected.
This is a year which may be unlike any other, in the fact that you did not get to sit your examinations, but you have worked hard and earned your results. Very little has changed in terms of the processes of application and registration.
Discuss your options and investigate alternative pathways, you might surprise yourself!
Don’t make any decisions without thinking it through. You have 5 days to reply to unconditional offers and this will give you time to weigh up the pros and cons.
Be prepared to wait. If you place a query with a university, it is unlikely they will reply immediately. You will need to be patient, but also you will need to be ready to keep seeking updates and getting in regular contact.
USEFUL CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND WEBSITES
UCAS HELPLINE SERVICE www.ucas.com 0371 468 0 468
UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER www.ulster.ac.uk 028 7028 7028
QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY, BELFAST www.qub.ac.uk 028 9097 3838
STRANMILLIS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE www.stran.ac.uk 028 9038 4263
ST MARY’S UNIVERSITY COLLEGE www.smucb.ac.uk 028 90268320
CAFRE www.cafre.ac.uk 0800 0284291
SOUTH WEST COLLEGE www.swc.ac.uk 0845 603 188
CAREERS SERVICE NI www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/careers
HIGHER LEVEL APPRENTICESHIPS www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/higher-level-apprenticeships
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