A-Level Results Day can be a pretty intense day if your university offers are conditional on your grades. The time has come for you to find out whether your exam results are high enough to be accepted to the university or college. Depending on how things go, the day will involve a range of mixed emotions, and you may have a few things to organise and a few important decisions to make along the way.

Any student can find it daunting, and that’s understandable. 

It pays to be prepared, as they say. We’ve compiled this handy guide to help you understand what to expect before and after receiving your results.

Student Getting Results

Before you get your Results

If you’re getting your results online, make sure you have your UCAS Track sign-in details ready so there’s no panic when you need to login. Results are available from 8am. You will need your UCAS number, your Track username and your password.

Make sure you are available to contact UCAS if necessary as they can not speak to anyone else (eg a parent) on your behalf.

You should also have your UCAS letter with your UCAS number and offer on it, alongside your conditional offer grades. You will need contact details for both your firm and insurance offers just in case.

If you think you may have to go through Clearing, nip to the shop and pick up a copy of the Telegraph newspaper as it publishes the full list of Clearing places and is easier to read than the UCAS website.

What to do if you get your firm offer?

If you get the grades for your firm offer, the only thing you need to do is celebrate! Don’t call your university – leave the lines free for students who need to get in touch.

UCAS will then send you your AS12 letter in the post and you should receive it a few days later. This letter confirms your place at university and it’s important that you read through this letter thoroughly and keep it in a safe place as you may need it to open a student bank account and for registration during Freshers’ Week. There may be a slip at the bottom of the form that you have to complete and send back to your university.

If you’ve got the grades you need and your status has not been updated on UCAS Track, just be patient as this can sometimes take a while. However, if there is no change after a few days, contact your university to check that everything is ok.

What to do it your grades are higher than required by your firm offer?

If your grades are better than expected and higher than required for your firm offer, you have the chance to enter what UCAS calls ‘Adjustment’.

This gives you the opportunity to browse places on courses at other universities with higher entry requirements. If you wish to do this, you need to register for Adjustment through UCAS Track.

You have five days from when your Conditional Firm becomes an Unconditional Firm to negotiate another offer through Adjustment. Regardless of when this happens, this time period can not be extended past 31st August.

UCAS does not publish a list of all the places available through adjustment – you will have to contact universities directly and explain that you are interested in Adjustment places, not clearing.

If you don’t find anything in Adjustment, your original firm offer will still be held for you.

What to do if you miss your firm offer?

If you miss out on your firm choice, don’t panic as there’s still a chance that the university may accept you. Before doing anything, check your UCAS Track. If your offer says ‘unconditional’ then go and celebrate! If your offer is pending, then contact the university to find out if they have accepted you.

If your offer has been rejected then unfortunately there is nothing you can do. Don’t call your university to beg them to let you in – you’ll be wasting your time.

The only time you should do this is if you have missed your offer by just a couple of marks, or if there are special circumstances that you think the university should consider.

If you miss out on your firm offer, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world and you’ll likely still get a place at university one way or another.

What to do if you get your insurance offer?

Again, like if you meet your firm offer, you don’t need to do anything but wait for your AS12 letter to arrive in the post.

Once you have your AS12 letter, you will need to change your details with Student Finance and sort out accommodation at your new university.

What to do if you miss your Insurance offer?

If you miss your insurance offer, again don’t panic – check your UCAS Track as the university may still accept you with lower grades. If your status is pending, then call the university to find out their decision.

If your offer is rejected then don’t be too hard on yourself. It can be extremely difficult to accept that things aren’t going to plan – especially when it seems like everyone else is celebrating. But remember, there are other options.

You can either; go through Clearing to find another course, retake your A Levels and apply again next year, or forget about the university and take another path entirely.

It’s not the end of the world, despite how much it seems that way.

What if you’ve missed your firm and insurance offers, but the university offers you a place on another course?

If this happens, it will show up as UCC or unconditional changed course, on your UCAS Track, alongside your new course code. You will have five days to decide whether or not you want to accept this offer. You’ll then be sent an AS12C letter explaining your options.

If you choose to decline, you can either choose your insurance offer (if applicable) or go through Clearing.

What to do if you want to defer your offer?

If you would like to defer your offer you need to contact your university to let them know. You will usually be able to do this right up until your course start date.

Most universities will be fine with this. If not, you have to withdraw from UCAS and reapply next year.

What to do if you’ve decided not to go to University?

Similarly, if you do not wish to attend university at all, you will need to contact your university and let them know or fill in the appropriate section of your AS12 form and send it to your university, if applicable.

What to do if you don’t have an offer?

If you miss out on both your firm and insurance choices and do not have an offer, you will be automatically entered into Clearing and can browse the available course places there.

You do not have to apply for any offers through Clearing if you do not want to.

You also have the option to withdraw from UCAS entirely. Take some time to think about this as once you have withdrawn, you’re only other option is to reapply next year. You can withdraw by using the Withdraw button in Track, or by contacting UCAS directly.

What to do if you want your grades remarked?

If you think there is a problem with your grades and would like them remarked, firstly consult your teacher as they will be able to give the best advice.

Be aware that there is a charge for remarking your exam and your grades could go either up or down. If your grade does change, however, you will be refunded the money.

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