'What if...' FAQ

Studying for your A-levels can feel like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle – you need certain grades to fit into one uni, but another university wants something different! Our FAQs can help answer some common conundrums. 

What if I find my A-level subjects too hard?

Ask for extra tuition and more help from your teachers in preparing for your A-level exams. You could also ask students currently studying your subjects for any advice on tackling them. Perhaps doing some work experience or voluntary work based on your subject would give you a different approach to studying it? If you’re really struggling, find out if changing your subjects would affect the degree you want to do at uni before making any decisions.

What if I fail my A-levels?

There is always something that can be done. First, check your university offer – if it is unconditional, you may not need certain grades in your subjects. If you only just missed out on getting the grades, it’s worth contacting your uni to see if they will still accept you. You can also go through clearing, the UCAS system that matches up pupils who have not met the terms of their offer with a different university or course. Don’t forget that A-levels may not be your only option to get into university. Some courses accept qualifications such as IBs or BTECs, or a combination of several different achievements. So think about which route is best for you.

What if I want to defer my place at uni?

This may be an option if you want to resit your A-levels to get better grades, but check that your course doesn’t require a set of A-levels gained at one sitting.

You may want to delay starting at university and take a gap year instead. A gap year can give you the time to go travelling, earn some money, gain work experience or find something you really want to do instead of going to university. Talk to your admissions tutor to see if deferring your place is a possibility.

What if I want to change my subject once I’m at uni?

If this happens, you need to talk to your personal tutor as soon as possible. They will be able to offer support if you do want to switch, or help you work out why you’re unhappy with your current course. You may be able to swap courses, but find out what exactly what your course requires before talking to your admissions or personal tutor – a maths degree will require a maths A-level, for example.

What if I can no longer afford to go to uni?

There is help available for students to cover the cost of university. You may be able to apply for a scholarship or bursary, and you don’t need to pay back your tuition fees or maintenance loan until you are earning over £21,000 a year. Many students also work while at university, but remember to split your time evenly between studying and working.

Got more questions? Our junior prospects is packed with lots of useful uni information.