On 15 August 2013, many A levels students received their results. They are now accepting their offers of university places, or joining the mad scramble that is Clearing.
For my 17 year old daughter it was the day we received her AS results, and with it the predicted grades that a future offer of a university place will be based on. During this past year there have been a few exam slip ups, notably the time when a modular exam went so badly wrong that it resulted in a U grade! But thankfully she was offered the opportunity of a retake. In the run up to Results Day, and since the end of her exams, she has been pre-warning us not to expect too much. At one point we were even warned to prepare for the possibility that she might not even achieve sufficient grades to enroll into the second year!
When the fateful day arrived, after a nervous struggle logging into the college email system, I left her on her own to get that first glance at her future! Called in a few moments later, there it was, B, D, E. (She’s only studying three ‘proper’ A levels, the fourth subject was a one year BTEC in music.) Thankfully the higher graded subject, Maths, is her chosen university subject.
So, not the results to set the academic world on fire, but the first thing to say is that she should, with any luck, be able to enroll into the second year of college. And on that basis, the results aren’t as bad as they could have been. Having visited two potential universities a few weeks ago (see past blog post), it is useful to gauge her realistic expectations about possible offers for this time next year. If universities use the AS grades as an indicator of predicted grades, then it’s highly unlikely that an offer of a place at Oxford Brookes is on the cards. Portsmouth may be achievable but she will need to work hard to improve her grades, and probably convince her college tutors that she can do it. So perhaps we are setting our sights far too high for her, even with these modest universities (with no disrespect to their status in the university rankings).
The dilemma for us now as parents is do we continue to invest our time in the round of university visits in the possible knowledge that she won’t even get a sniff? And, to be honest, my daughter doesn’t seem to be the slightest bit concerned about the modest grades or what university she would like to study at, she is a teenage after all! But at least she does know that she wants to go to university, or is it that she desperately wants to move away from home!
There will be a few searching questions and phone calls to the college and universities over the next few days. Over to Dad…….