A-Level Results Day

It is a day that will strike fear into students up and down the country. Two years of attending class, submitting coursework and taking exams now seemingly comes down to one day. Receiving your A-Level results is a momentous occasion, so here is a little guide for every eventuality.


Before you even make the journey to your school or college make sure you have the following things handy:

  • Phone
  • Pen and paper
  • Calculator
  • AS results
  • UCAS letter (with UCAS number and conditional offer grades)
  • UCAS Track details
  • Firm and insurance offers’ contact details
  • Personal statement and reference copy
  • Referee contact details
  • The Daily Telegraph (The only newspaper with a full list of Clearing places available)
  • Clearing number
  • A list of possibly alternatives in priority order

While this may seem like a long and unnecessary list, you will be fully prepared for any situation.

If you’ve achieved your predicted grades

Well done! You have met the requirements of your first choice university and are now one step closer to finally leaving home and living the student life of staying in bed until 12. By all means call friends and family to inform them of the news, but there is no need to contact your university unless they have asked you.

If you rush on to UCAS Track to make sure it is definite, do not panic if it hasn’t been updated yet as it may take a couple of days. If after this time there is no change, contact your university. UCAS will then post your AS12 letter, which you need to read carefully, keep in a safe place and possibly sign if needs be.

Adjustment Period

If you’ve achieved better results than your firm offer, you have the option to apply for another university with higher entry requirements. After registering for Adjustment through UCAS track you will have five days after results day to find an alternative place.

The best part is that your original firm choice will still be held even if you don’t find another university you like. More information can be found on the UCAS website – http://www.ucas.com/students/nextsteps/adjustment/

Missing your Firm and/or Insurance offer

Commiserations. However don’t be too disappointed as your university may still accept you. Log on to UCAS Track and see whether you application is unconditional in which case, congratulations!

If it hasn’t changed, phone the university to find out the situation. However, if it shows you have been unsuccessful then you can’t do much more. Only pursue your choices if you can prove mitigating circumstances, otherwise concentrate on talking to universities in Clearing.

You may still be able to defer, as most universities will accept this choice as long as you have valid reasons as to why.


Try to overcome your sorrow and act quickly. Check the national press listings, log on to UCAS where you will see an ‘Add Clearing choice’ icon and visit the websites of individual universities. Contact institutions as early as possible on results day. If they have a vacancy they will take your details and give you a decision immediately or very shortly afterwards.

Universities may hold or reserve a place for a short period of time, so you may even be able to fit in a quick visit. This will at least show you’re willing and eager! Some universities will even run clearing open days, so try and contact as many different places as possible to gain a better idea of your options.

You also have the option of taking a gap year, resetting some exams and reapplying next year.