A Level Results Day 2019: What happens with your UCAS Application?
Share article posted on July 29, 2019
This year’s A level results day will take place on Thursday, 15 August 2019. Results day can often be a very anxious time for students, so it is important to know what to expect. Make sure you have a plan in place, whether you get the A level grades you need, miss out or even do better than expected. We have provided a step-by-step guide below on everything you need to know about your UCAS application, from getting prepared for results day to accepting university offers and dealing with Clearing or Adjustment.
If you have a conditional offer from a university, you should make sure you are prepared for any outcome on results day. Firstly, check that all your contact details are up-to-date and correct on UCAS Track.
If you are concerned that you might miss your required grades and find yourself in Clearing, you can do some early research on the UCAS website and you could also sign up for the UCAS Direct Contact service. Signing up for Direct Contact means that universities who would like to offer you a place based on the grades you have achieved can get in touch with you. This definitely takes the legwork out of searching and we know of many students who have been very pleasantly surprised by their offers!
It is also absolutely essential that you are at home and/ or near the college on results day so that you can access support and easily make contact by phone and online. We definitely do not recommend you to be abroad, but if you cannot avoid this, make absolutely sure you have access to a good internet connection and a reliable/ affordable way of phoning the UK. Universities and UCAS are only allowed to talk to the applicants themselves, or to the person who has been given ‘nominated access’ on your UCAS application.
UCAS Track is open from 8am, when you will be able to check the outcome of your university application. The UCAS website does not display your results, 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 your place is automatically confirmed!!!!
You will be informed if you are required 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. 82% of our students went to their first choice university last year, and we hope that many of you will as well!
If you narrowly miss the A level grades for your firm university choice but no decision is shown on UCAS Track (CF = your firm offer is still conditional):
If your firm choice does not state confirmed or unsuccessful, you need to phone the university immediately to find out what is happening/ try to persuade the university to accept you. You should make this call yourself, but after that, your UCAS advisers at the college can help if they need to appeal to the university and make a case for your admission.
However, it might be possible that the university has not yet received a certain A level result and therefore has been unable to make a decision. Results are transferred electronically direct from the exam board to the universities but on some occasions this does not happen, in which case you should contact your school’s exams officer and ask him/her to send confirmation of your A level results.
If Track states your firm choice university is unsuccessful (REJ = rejected/ unsuccessful): Unfortunately, the university has already decided not to accept you. Although this can be extremely 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 grade that meets your required offer. If you are only a few marks away from a higher A level grade it is definitely worth asking your exams officer to request a re-mark. It is crucial that this is done as quickly as possible because any grade changes need to take place before 31 August if the university is to accept you. If you do request a priority re-mark, you should 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 back an acceptance form to your university.
If you miss the A level grades for your insurance choice and Track does not show a decision:
There may still be a chance for your school advisers to appeal on your behalf for the university to accept you; or the university may still be waiting for information about your grades, in which case you need to ask your school to send it immediately.
If you do not want to accept your university place and want to enter Clearing instead:
Technically this is not possible!!! Students are obligated to accept their confirmed place, and they are not able to use Clearing. However, if you have a major change of heart, the university cannot force you to go there and it might be possible to get them to release you into Clearing. If you wish to do this, you should consider your options very carefully and make sure you fully understand the risks.
If you decide you do want to be released from your confirmed university, you will need to contact them in person to find out if they can release, ie reject, you. If they agree to this, you will not receive a Clearing number instantaneously, as it can take 24 hours or more for the UCAS system to update. It is important to note that 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 already have gone by the time you receive your Clearing number.
From 7am on results day the UCAS website will display a live list of all Clearing places. There will also be a full listing of Clearing places published in the Telegraph newspaper, and universities will list their own Clearing vacancies on their websites.
If your university choice is unsuccessful, a Clearing Number will automatically be assigned to you and shown on UCAS Track. You should immediately phone universities which have a degree course you wish to apply for. Make sure you have your Clearing Number and UCAS ID to hand, and be prepared for a wait on the phone! You will need to remain persistent but press ahead, keep your spirits up and be ready for a possible telephone interview.
Clearing moves very quickly so it is essential to strike while the iron is hot. You are only able to accept one Clearing offer by replying through Track, and it is not possible to choose any Clearing offer before 3pm on results day. However, you can phone as many universities as you like to try and obtain a good range of offers, so you should stay positive and get going as soon as possible on the morning of results day.
Before you make your Clearing decision you must be absolutely sure you want to study that particular degree course at that specific university. Don’t panic and simply accept anything as you will need to be happy to keep doing the same thing for three whole years!
If you have worked hard and made several calls in the morning, you should now have a few hours to settle down, do some further research and assess your options carefully. Don’t forget to also get guidance from your school advisers, discuss all your options with your family and get as much info as you can from friends who might be familiar with the course or degree or university.
It is possible to find a good university place in Clearing so keep your spirits up and get going!
UCAS offers an additional service which allows universities to make direct contact with applicants who do not manage to obtain a university place and are eligible for Clearing. This service is optional and if you sign up, you can still go through Clearing as normal, but this service will help to bring your attention to places you might not have considered otherwise.
Signing up for the direct contact service means that universities will be sent key information from your UCAS application and will get into contact with you if they have a suitable course. If a university makes you an offer through this service, you should follow the same procedure as outlined in the Clearing section above.
Universities will only contact you by telephone, unless you have just provided an email address and permitted email communication. You can only provide one telephone number, so it is crucial you are near that telephone, it is fully charged and ready to receive calls.
If you end up achieving grades higher than those required for your firm choice offer you will have the opportunity to use Adjustment, which will enable you to look at finding a place at a better university. If universities have places in Adjustment, they will list these on their own websites. Adjustment is open from 9am on results day and runs until 31 August.
Only students who have met and exceeded their conditional firm offer are eligible for Adjustment, so if you had an unconditional offer from the outset, you would not be able to use Adjustment.
We’re hopeful that everyone achieves the results they want, but if this does not happen, don’t panic. Westminster Tutors has a superb track record of helping A level retake students improve their grades. Our A level resit students not only achieve exceptional results, but they also go on to some of the best universities in the country.
In fact several of our students end up gaining places at far better universities than they had originally dared consider, and they have all told 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.