A-level Results Day 2022 was a highly anticipated one, not least as it was the first set of exams for these students after missing out on sitting GCSEs during the first wave of Covid.
WONKHE reported on Monday 22nd, that 5.67% of 18 years old applicants have been placed via Clearing – the highest proportion since 2019 and the highest at this point in the cycle ever. There are still 67,950 18 year olds looking for a place in Clearing.
Over the weekend we also saw Pearson apologise for the delay on BTEC results, with some student still waiting for their results (including the administrative errors we had seen on site last week). Overall it seems like BTEC (and some OCR vocational) students have had a confusing and anxious few days.
A positive outlook from students
The Student Room has seen a mix of celebration and disappointment since Thursday. (Catch up on our insights from Results Week).
“I’m so happy i got into my first choice and I’ve wanted to go there since y11!!! so happy, I cant stop smiling”
“I got into my firm!! I can’t believe that I’ve actually done it!!”
“I didn’t get into my first choice. I never get lower than an A in mocks for AQA biology and apparently I got a B. I got a B in everything. I was predicted A*A*A so ****ed. Gonna appeal”
Our poll which launched on Results Day, asked students how they were feeling about their results. Out of those members of The Student Room who have voted to date, 41% of students received better results than they were expecting, 33% received lower results than they hoped for, and 26% received exactly what they thought they’d get. A split of how this looked from responses we could attribute regionally is below:
Compared to 2021, activity in the community seems calmer, however students who are in Clearing, thinking of deferring or hoping to transfer, continue to ask for support in the community forums. We have also seen threads pick up around preparing for university.
What’s needed: support and a fostering a sense of belonging
We must remember that the majority of students starting university in the coming months spent large parts of their A level studies in isolation due to lockdown and even when back in the class room, it wasn’t back to normal for a long time. Our summer poll cited ‘Social worries (loneliness and making friends)’ as the main factor affecting their mental health right now.
Conversations over the weekend in the Applications, Clearing and UCAS forum continue to show how much support students are still requiring with many needing to readjust their expectations and learn about the alternate options available to them.
“I am taking Business and unfortunately missed the grades for my firm choice. Although, I have been given an offer by my current insurance and another through clearing calls. I am not sure which one is better since the league tables show they are pretty similar. Anybody have any opinions on which uni is better overall for business as well as student life and accommodation?”
“I applied to clearing on 18th August… still no response. I’ve sent the uni emails and it’s just automated stuff. I’m an international student with no accommodation set in stone so idk whether to wait for them to respond or move onto another uni that’s sent me a provisional offer. I want to just get accepted asap so i can get my visa sorted out quickly.”
“My A level results were much higher than I thought they would be – I got A* A A. Also, my school is recommending a remark in one as I was one mark below an A* so might end up with a higher grade for that. I have a confirmed place in 2023 and had always planned to take a gap year. I am now wondering whether I should reapply to other universities I had not even considered before, as my school had said they were out of my reach…… I don’t want to limit my options and ‘settle’ for what I had already planned, as I now have more confidence in what I can achieve.”
“Hi , so I have made a application for accommodation at my chosen uni and filled an application on Saturday , i still haven’t received an accommodation offer contract , so I’m wondering if accoms are full will the application show me or be updated saying no spaces are left because at what point do I know that I need to look for private accom or private halls ? Time is sorta kicking and I’m so clueless :/ any help or advice will be appreciated .”
Talking to peers and current university students brings reassurance and support during this stressful time and this was evident with the site having more than 1.2 million page views and 307,000+ words written on site on Results Day 2022. Our volunteer clearing and applications advisors, university Official Reps and the TSR team have done an amazing job supporting both on site and on our social channels, talking through the options available to students and providing personalised advice as they made decisions on their next steps.
“I wish I used The Student Room a lot more during these years considering the level of support on here is outstanding. I really appreciate your kind words as well as everyone else kind words here 😊”
“I haven’t tried that, thank you!! I will phone them now ❤️ how did you find that, you guys are legends!
“Hey! I did manage to, thank you for your help! And all your support yesterday! Feels great to look forward now and completely forget about A Levels, thank god 😂”
A Level subjects on site analysis
On The Student Room forums, Medicine continues to be our most popular subject from the past 30 days, with the Medicine UCAS Clearing for 2022 entry receiving 890 posts on Results Day.
We have also seen growth in page views across a number of subjects against comparative dates in 2021 (see image below). Interestingly, the Apprenticeships and alternative to university forum has also seen a rise of 57% on pageviews compared to the same period up to, and including Results Day last year (19/7/22-18/8/22 vs 11/7/21-10/8/21), as many students explore other potential pathways. This has been an ongoing trend over the summer, with the cost of living crisis prompting exploration into alternative pathways in addition to Results Day outcomes.
So what next?
Conversations are moving towards students preparing for university with pages such as What to take to uni checklist proving popular. As students get set to head off to university and Clearing hotlines continue to ring, top of the agenda for universities should be supporting students’ mental health and how their student wellbeing services can be brought to the fore for new starters. For those students placed through Clearing, who may be in the midst of readjusting their perception of their next few years at university, support to help them feel a sense of belonging in their new university community could prove especially powerful.
Learning from the present, preparing for the future:
- Join our sense of belonging webinar, where our panel will discuss what universities can do to help create this connection for not only your new first-year students but your potential 2023 applicants too.
- Check out our sentiment decks– they are a great way to stay up-to-date with the issues that matter most to students and are available monthly with all the latest polls and feelings from students.
- Adopt an always-on strategy to build early engagement – read our recent blog on Year 12 and find out more about UPP Unlimited enabling you to attract, engage, convert and understand applicants at every stage of the education cycle.
- Build awareness of your autumn open days for 2023 applicants and catch up on some of our recent insight on what students want from open days .