A Level Results Day 2018: What happens with your UCAS Application?
Share article posted on July 23, 2018
This year A level results day takes place on Thursday, 16 August 2018. Results day can often be a really anxious time for students, so it is important to know what to expect. Whether you get the A level grades you need, miss out or do better than expected, make sure you have a plan in place. Read our step-by-step guide below on everything you need to know about your UCAS application, from getting prepared for results day to accepting offers and dealing with Clearing or Adjustment.
If you have a conditional offer from a university, you will need to make sure you are prepared for all outcomes on results day. Firstly, check that all your contact details are correct and up-to-date on UCAS Track.
If you are worried that you might miss your required grades and end up in Clearing, you can do some early research on the UCAS website and you might want to sign up for the UCAS Direct Contact service. If you sign up for Direct Contact it means universities who would like to offer you a place on the basis of the grades you have achieved can get in touch with you. This certainly takes the legwork out of searching and we know of several students who have been very pleasantly surprised by their offers!
It is also really essential that you are at home and/ or near the college on results day in order to access support and make easy contact by phone and online. It is definitely not recommended to be abroad, but if you are, make absolutely sure you have a good internet connection and a reliable/ affordable way of phoning the UK. Universities and UCAS can only talk to the applicants themselves, or to the person who you gave ‘nominated access’ on your UCAS application.
UCAS Track will open from 8am and you will be able to check the outcome of your university application. Your results will not be shown on the UCAS website, so you will still need to obtain these from the college.
If you achieve the required A level grades for your firm choice university and this is confirmed on UCAS Track (UF = unconditional firm choice): Congratulations you automatically have a confirmed place!!!!
You will be informed if you need to send an acceptance letter back to your university, but you definitely have a place at your dream choice university and you no longer need to worry. Last year 87% of our students went to their first choice university, and we are hopeful that many of you will too!
If you narrowly miss the A level grades for your firm university choice but UCAS Track does not show a decision (CF = your firm offer is still conditional):
If your firm choice does not state confirmed or unsuccessful, you should telephone the university immediately to find out what is happening/ see if you can persuade the university to accept you. You should make this call yourself, but after that, your school UCAS advisers should be able to help if they need to appeal to the university and make a case for your admission.
However, there may be a possibility that the university has not yet received a certain A level result and has therefore not been able to make a decision. Results should be transferred electronically direct from the exam board to the universities but sometimes this does not happen, in which case you need to contact your school’s exams officer and ask him/her to send confirmation of your results.
If Track states your firm choice university is unsuccessful (REJ = rejected/ unsuccessful): Unfortunately, the university has already made a decision not to accept you. Although this can be horribly disappointing, sadly the decision cannot be reversed.
The only exception to this is if you very narrowly miss your required A level grade and request a priority re-mark which leads to an improvement to your A level grade so you meet your required offer. If you are just a few marks away from a higher A level grade it is certainly worth asking your school to request a re-mark. It is essential that this is done as quickly as possible because any change of grade needs to happen before 31 August for the university to accept you. If you do request a priority re-mark, also ensure that your university is aware of this.
Track will automatically show your insurance place is confirmed and you can relax as your place is guaranteed, although you may need to send your university back an acceptance form.
If you miss the A level grades for your insurance choice and no decision is stated on Track:
There may still be an opportunity for your school advisers to appeal on your behalf for the university to accept you; or the university may still be awaiting information about your grades, in which case you must ask your school to send it.
If you do not want to accept your university place and want to enter Clearing instead:
Technically this is not possible!!! Students are obliged to accept their confirmed place, and they are unable to use Clearing. However, if you have a major change of heart, the university cannot force you to go there and it may be possible to get them to release you into Clearing. If this is something you wish to do, you should consider your options very carefully and ensure you completely understand the risks.
If you do decide you want to be released from your confirmed university, you will need to contact them in person to see if they can release, ie reject, you. If they agree, you will still not receive a Clearing number instantaneously, as it can take 24 hours or more for the UCAS system to update. Many universities will not discuss offering places to applicants who are not already in Clearing, so there is a risk that the place you liked in Clearing might have already gone by the time you receive your Clearing number.
From 7am on results day there will be a live list of all Clearing places on the UCAS website. The Telegraph newspaper will also print a full listing of Clearing places, and universities will list their own Clearing vacancies on their websites.
If your university choice is unsuccessful, you will automatically receive a Clearing Number, which will be shown on UCAS Track. You should immediately telephone universities which have a degree course you want to apply for. Make sure you have your UCAS ID and Clearing Number to hand, and be prepared for a wait on the phone! You will need to be persistent but press ahead, keep your spirits up and be ready for a possible phone interview.
Clearing moves very quickly so it is vital to strike while the iron is hot. It is only possible to accept one Clearing offer by replying through Track, and you cannot choose any Clearing offer before 3pm on results day. However, you can call as many universities as you like in order to try and obtain a good range of offers, so you need to stay positive and get going as soon as possible on the morning of results day.
Before you make your Clearing choice you must be really sure you want to study that particular degree course at that specific university. Don’t just panic and accept anything as you need to be happy to keep doing the same thing for three whole years!
If you have worked hard and made several phone calls in the morning, you should have a few hours to settle down, do some further research and carefully assess your options. Don’t forget to get guidance from your school advisers, discuss your options with your family and get as much info as you can from friends who may be familiar with the degree or course or university.
It is possible to find a good university place in Clearing so keep your spirits up and get going!
UCAS offers a service which enables universities to make direct contact with applicants who find themselves without a university place and are eligible for Clearing. This is an optional service and if you sign up, you will still be able to go through Clearing as normal, but this service helps to bring your attention to places you might not otherwise have considered.
If you have signed up for the direct contact service, universities will be sent key information from your UCAS application and will contact you if they have a course that may be suitable. If a university makes you an offer, you should follow the same procedure as outlined in the Clearing section above.
Universities will only make contact by telephone, unless you have only provided an email address and permitted email contact. You are only able to provide one telephone number, so it is essential you are near that telephone, it is fully charged and ready to receive calls.
If you achieve grades above those required for your firm choice offer you will have the opportunity to use Adjustment, which will allow you to look at finding a place at a better university. If universities have places in Adjustment, these will be listed on their own websites. Adjustment opens at 9am on results day and runs until 31 August.
Adjustment is only available for students who have met and exceeded their conditional firm offer, so if you were made an unconditional offer from the outset, you would not be eligible for Adjustment.
We’re hoping that everyone gets the results they want, but if not, don’t panic. Westminster Tutors has a superb track record helping A level retake students improve on their grades. Our A level resit students not only achieve exceptional results, they also go on to the best universities in the country.
In fact many of our students end up gaining places at far better universities than they had initially dared consider, and they all tell us that spending the extra year with us has been totally worthwhile.
Our maximum capacity is 45 students and we take enrolments on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, so hurry now if you would like to register with us.
Contact us today on 020 7584 1288 to arrange a tour and receive personal advice on what we can do for you.