The anxious wait is over for year 13 pupils as they receive their A-level results today (Thursday).
Education chiefs say the end of a modular system may impact on results.
Department of Education and Children co-ordinating adviser 11-19 education Paul Craine said: ‘Students should follow advice from schools and attend school to collect results at the time given.
‘They should go prepared – take their UCAS letters, UCAS numbers, conditional offers details, exam results so far, course choices, UCAS personal statements and a list of important phone numbers.
‘In case they have just missed out on required grades they should be ready to put their case forward, quoting any mitigating circumstances.
‘They will be supported by the school.’
Almost 400 students from the DEC’s five secondary schools will find out whether they have secured the grades to go to their first choice university.
For the class of 2014, it has been the first time since the 1990s that candidates have not been able to sit modular exams over the two-year course.
Mr Craine said: ‘Ofqual is saying without the modularity it makes A levels more demanding so the expectation is grades might fall slightly.’
Some students will have an indication of how they have fared from about 8am using the UCAS Track website.
This may indicate whether they have been accepted by their chosen university.
But Mr Craine urged students to go into school to collect their results, saying: ‘Students and parents should recognise that there is a risk with checking results on Track – if the news is disappointing, there will be no-one on hand to help you with the decisions that need to be made.’
He said some students will have done worse, or better, than expected: ‘These are the students who need to be ready to seek advice from schools or the careers service.’
For students using ‘clearing’ because they haven’t met the requirements of their firm and insurance offers there is a free app showing available university places produced by the Telegraph newspaper for iPhone and Android.
There is also a short ‘adjustment period’ when students who have done better than expected can look for a course or university that carries higher entry requirements.
This cohort of students had a difficult year in 2012 when their GCSE English results were affected by an increase in the grade boundaries by exams regulator Ofqual.
It led to the Welsh Government ordering the WJEC board to re-grade papers.
Did you or your child receive excellent A level results? Contact reporter Jackie Turley on 695658 or email firstname.lastname@example.org