Got an unconditional offer – how do I stay focused?

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An unconditional offer means a uni place is yours for the taking no matter what grades you get – but here’s why it’s still important to care about your A-levels

If you decide to accept an unconditional offer, it might be tempting to let yourself lose focus and stop caring about your exam results or even drop out of college altogether.

It’s so much better not to do this, though. You’re incredibly close to the finish line and you’ll definitely benefit in the long term if you manage to keep focus now.

Here are a few things to consider to help you stay focused even though you have an unconditional offer, with advice coming from students who have been through the application process.

Think of your future beyond your degree

Sure, you might have received an unconditional offer for uni meaning that you’re sorted for the next three years or so – but what happens after that?

As TSR member Good bloke says, “Many employers look at both A-level results and degree results when evaluating candidates.”

So if you slack off now, you could risk damaging your chances of bagging your dream job after uni.

group of friends working around a table

It’s better for your sense of wellbeing

You’ll feel so much better about yourself if you know you’ve tried your best. It doesn’t mean you have to get the best grades, but you don’t want to cheat yourself out of doing as well as you possibly can.

And if you dropped out altogether, you’d miss out on all the fun extracurricular stuff.

“You might regret it if you drop out, since you’ll miss sixth form and your friends and miss out on all the leaver’s events,” says feathergirl.

You don’t want to create more work for yourself in your first year at uni

Losing focus now means you might be making life much harder for yourself in your first year of university, whereas starting uni with a strong base knowledge of your subject means you won’t have to waste time getting up to scratch.

“Parts of the A-level will be covered in the first year of university,” says Bulletzone, and “your course mates will have completed [it] so you’d have to catch up on the content as well as learning the new things at university (not fun for first year).”

You’ll need to have good study habits at university

You’ll need to work hard when you get to uni, so you may as well keep practicing that skill now.

“University will be just as intense, if not more intense, than how school is for you right now so better to get ready for it by keeping up the habit of hard work,” comments TSR member Moonzyx.

“Although you don't need to worry about grades, your first year of your degree could be difficult if you’re not used to working anymore or don't have that knowledge because you didn't try with your A-levels,” adds claireestelle.

group of students working

What if things don’t go to plan?

There’s a chance you might decide you don’t like your university after you’ve started it. If you drop out of your course and either reapply to other universities or try to find a job, it could feel really frustrating to be essentially starting over with grades that you know don’t reflect your true abilities.

And if you dropped out of college or sixth form altogether, that kind of gap in your education can be tricky to explain.

“You may find this is not the university for you and if you don't have qualifications, you'd have to re-do A-levels – a waste of time and money when you can do that now,” comments Bulletzone.

Use the unconditional offer to help you focus

Get into the right mindset and having an unconditional offer could actually improve your focus.

TSR member annamarshall2727 remembers “I was worried my unconditional would stop me working hard, but I achieved A*A*B – higher than my predicted grades of AAB.

“If anything, my unconditional relieved stress and allowed me to perform better in my exams.”

Similarly, IzzyReeves says, “I got an unconditional offer and got the best grades in my school. I know having an unconditional took the pressure off me which allowed me to properly focus on my exams.”

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