2001 A-Level results come out on Thursday 16th. For Americans who don't know about the English education system, allow me to explain some background on University entrance procedures over here, and you'll appreciate how important these results are to to 17 & 18 year olds like me.
In October 2000, I applied for 6 universities. The universities either reject you, give you an offer of a place dependent upon your A-Level results, or (very rarely) give you an unconditional place, on the basis of:
- My previous exam results
- My written statement of achievements, academic and otherwise
- Academic references, and A-Level predictions from my teachers
- For some universities, interviews
You accept one of these offers as your primary place, and one as insurance. I accepted the hardest two offers (Cambridge and IC), which was a mistake. If you fail to make both of these offers, you are in severe trouble. You then work very hard in an attempt to get good enough results in your A-levels, which are done over most of June. Therefore, at the moment, 99% of those planning to going to university in October are reliant on getting good results on Thursday. These results determine which university I go to, and as such have a huge influence on the rest of my life. If I make my Cambridge offer (AA, STEP 1,2) I go to one of the best universities in the world, and get a degree that will demonstrate to all potential employers that I am very bright. If I make my IC offer (AAB) I will go to one of the best universities in the UK, and the university with the highest graduate pay. If I miss both these offers I'm in deep shit. It is this which is meaning I'm barely sleeping at the moment and am terrified of Thursday morning. Oh, and it's my 18th birthday the next day.
Way late update. I fucked up. I got AABC, STEP 2,3. Cambridge, unsurprisingly, did not let me in. I was then left for a week without a reply from Imperial College. As I had got a C in Further Maths where I needed an A, I was convinced I would not get in, and spent most of the week wondering what to do for a year whilst I reapplied. When they finally did contact me, I did get in, so will be studying Maths there from October.