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Four out of 10 UK students are being rejected by elite universities in favour of overseas candidates

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Students are eagerly awaiting their A-level results this week as they take exams for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s everything you need to know for the day of the results:

When are the exam results this year?

A-level results will be available on Thursday, August 18, while GCSEs will follow a week later on August 25.

The results of T-levels – described by the government as new qualifications that help young people progress into a skilled job, university or apprenticeship – will also be published for the first time on August 18.

What is expected?

It is widely accepted that the numbers will take a hit this year, after an exceptional two years for schools and colleges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has said the numbers are still expected to be higher than in 2019 – the last year GCSE, AS and A level students had summer exams before the pandemic hit.

Education Secretary Will Quince said the numbers are likely to fall this summer compared to last year, and then again in 2023, as part of a transition back to pre-pandemic arrangements.

Has anything been done to help students taking exams for the first time since the pandemic?

The Ministry of Education said exams would be assessed more generously this year “to provide students with a safety net”.

Students were given some information beforehand to “focus their revision” and examination boards provided advance information for exams in most subjects.

Students were given a choice of topics or content in a number of other GCSE subjects.

Boards of Examiners provided a formula sheet and an updated comparison sheet for students taking their GCSE Math, Physics and Combined Science exams.

So will students, with lower grades, struggle to get to the university of their choice?

Some courses and providers will “no doubt” be more competitive this year, the chief executive of Ucas said earlier this summer.

Clare Marchant said in a blog published in June that 49% of teachers had told the admissions office that they were less confident that their students would get their first college choice compared to previous years, while about two in five teachers expected their students would use the clearing process.

Professor Alan Smithers, director of the Center for Education and Employment Research at the University of Buckingham, has predicted that 80,000 fewer top grades – A* or A – will be awarded than in 2021, potentially causing about 40,000 students to miss out on their chosen course or university. .

Commenting on Professor Smithers’ report, Ucas said it predicted a “record or near record number of 18-year-olds getting their first choice this year,” but that “as in every year, some students will be disappointed when they get their grades.” .

What can students do if their results are not what they hoped for and they are not admitted to their first elective course or university?

Students can use the clearing process to see which courses or universities are available to them if they need a Plan B.

Ucas said the numbers for available courses are “dynamic” as universities and colleges move their courses in and out of the clearing in the period leading up to results day on Thursday.

The admissions office has created a series of podcasts to help students prepare for exam results day and said more than 250 people will be supporting students on the various channels on Thursday. Students can visit www.ucas.com/contactus to find out more.

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