A-level results day: Handy guide to clearing and university offers

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 August 2017

Dr Paul Phillips with A-level students at Weston College in 2016.

Dr Paul Phillips with A-level students at Weston College in 2016.


Young people from Weston-super-Mare will be picking up their A-level results today (Thursday) with many hoping to start a university course. For those who are worried about what happens next, we have put together this handy guide.

Churchill students collecting their A-Levels last year.Churchill students collecting their A-Levels last year.

This morning…

Waiting for your results is a nerve-wracking process and it can be tempting to keep refreshing UCAS. But it is unlikely to be updated until 8am this morning, and the individual results will not be displayed on ‘track’ – just the university offer status.

Weston College A-level results in 2015.Weston College A-level results in 2015.

What happens if I get the results I want?

Give yourself a pat on the back, because everything went as you hoped. Your university offer will become unconditional, and you will receive a confirmation email from UCAS in the next few days. This will tell you what to do next.

Don’t call the university to confirm your place, unless they have told you to advance.

What happens if I don’t get the results I hoped for?

Even if you did not get the grades for your firm choice they may still accept you if they have places available.

If you meet the conditions for your insurance choice (if you entered one) then this offer will become unconditional.

If neither of your universities accepted you, you may be entered into Clearing or offered an alternative course.

What is Clearing?

After years of increasing the number of applications from prospective students, this year universities are facing a marked decline, meaning Clearing is not as daunting as you may fear.

UCAS will show which courses still have places remaining and you can start to call universities to see if they would be willing to consider your application.

You can get more than one informal offer over the phone for clearing if you want to, though where possible you should ring the universities in the order you would like to go to them to make sure you get the place you want.

You can only add one choice in clearing. If they accept you then this will be your university place.

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