A level results day 2015: how to deal with results you weren't expecting

A level results day 2015: how to deal with results you weren’t expecting The last thing you want to think about when you’re enjoying your summer and have forgotten all about those pesky exams is the possibility that you may not get the A level results that you want. However, even if you revised hard and are confident that you couldn’t have possibly done any better on your exams, you might still be left in the situation whereby your results aren’t what you were anticipating. This doesn’t always turn out to be a bad thing – for example, you may end up with even better A level grades than you were originally expecting. And even if you do end up with worse exam results than you were expecting, that doesn’t always mean it’s game over either. There are ways and means of still getting to where you want to be. Below, we’ve listed the different scenarios that you might face, and what to do in each one.

A level results day 2015

First things first – results day is Thursday 13th August 2015, so you’ll need to pick them up then.

Your university choices: you’ve met your firm offer

If you’ve got the A level exam results that you needed to get into your first choice university, then you can relax – or celebrate. Or both. You don’t need to phone up the university unless they’ve asked you to do so. The lines are going to be very busy anyway! One thing that you will need to do is keep an eye on UCAS Track to make sure it updates with your results. This won’t happen straight away, but should happen fairly soon after you’ve got your A level exam results. If it goes a day or two without updating, that’s when you should call the university to see what’s going on. Once UCAS Track has updated to show that your place is confirmed, an AS12 letter will be posted and emailed to you.

What’s the AS12 UCAS confirmation letter?

This letter is designed to assure you that your university place and course are both confirmed. This means that, unless you change your mind, you’re off to university. It’s very important to check what the letter says and that the university and course details are correct. It’s also worth checking what kind of AS12 letter you’ve got. There are three types, which have different purposes: AS12: this assumes that you have accepted the offer and therefore don’t have to take any action – unless you want to defer your entry (see below for more information). If you do you must contact them straight away. AS12B: this type means the university needs you to confirm if you’re going to take the place. The AS12B letter will outline how you can make contact and how long you have to respond – make sure you do so or you might lose your place. AS12N: this letter asks you to reply only if you aren’t intending to take the place you’ve been offered.

Keep your AS12 letter safe

You may need this letter to prove that you have a place at university, like when you apply for a student bank account for example.

Have you heard about adjustment?

As mentioned earlier, getting A level results other than those you were expecting isn’t always a bad thing. You may have got even better grades than you anticipated. If you have, you have the option of looking for places at other universities that ask for higher grades than the ones you’ve already applied to. As you already have the safety net of a guaranteed place, this isn’t the same as clearing. Clearing is for when you haven’t secured any of your university offers. The good thing about adjustment is that you don’t have to forfeit any offer you’ve already received or accept any new ones that are made.

Applying for adjustment after getting your A level results

You can apply for adjustment through UCAS Track. When your conditional offer changes to an unconditional offer, you’ll have five days to find an alternative university if you so wish. Bear in mind also that the adjustment period doesn’t extend beyond 31st August. Unlike clearing details, which are published, adjustment requires you to contact universities in person – so remember to explain that you’re not calling about clearing.

Your university choices: you’ve missed your firm offer

If you don’t get the A level grades you needed, you might miss out on your first choice university. However, all’s not lost yet. It’s worth doing the following as soon as you can:
  • Check your UCAS Track status: if it says you’ve been accepted, congratulations.
  • If it shows your offer as conditional, call the university and check with them whether or not you’ll be accepted.
  • Be prepared for the fact that you may well get turned down for a place at the university and that there may not be room for negotiation.
  • Similarly, be prepared for the fact that you may need to promote yourself to the university, showing them why you’d be a good fit, what your AS grades were like and any extenuating circumstances you may have.
  • Even after this your first choice university might not accept you, but don’t worry because there are still other alternatives out there.

Your university choices: you’ve met your insurance offer

If you’ve got the A level exam grades required to earn a place at your insurance choice university, this process is similar to the steps above. Keep an eye on your UCAS Track to see when it updates, and if it takes a while, call the university to check your confirmation status.

Your university choices: you’ve missed your insurance offer

Again, like the steps mentioned above under firm offer, keep an eye on UCAS Track to see what happens. You may also need to call the university to get their opinion. If you have missed your first and second choice universities, there are a couple of things that can happen now (if you still want to go to university).

Your university choices: you’ve been accepted onto another course

If you missed out on your first choice course, your preferred university may well switch you to a different degree. If this happens, you’ll see UCC (unconditional changed course) on UCAS Track, with a new course code. You’ll then have a few days in order to decide whether to accept this change.

Your university choices: clearing

You’ve probably heard clearing mentioned in passing, but don’t know much about it. All universities’ clearing places between August and September will be published by both UCAS and The Telegraph, so you’ll need to check there. Clearing is essentially when universities fill spaces that they have on their courses for whatever reason, so even if you missed out on your preferred choices, you should still have a good chance of making it to university.

How to make clearing work for you

Follow these steps to benefit from university clearing:
  • Check UCAS Track for your clearing number
  • Find the universities you’d like to apply to and contact them. You can contact as many as you like and may get several offers back.
  • You’ll get a course code and institution code from each university. Once you’ve settled on one, you can enter these details in UCAS Track.
  • Bear in mind however that you can only enter ONE choice. Make sure you’ve spoken with the university first about your application in order to confirm it.
This is only scratching the surface of the university clearing system. There’s a lot of information out there, and each university approaches it in a different way, so make sure you do your research before doing anything else. If you have any doubts over your options or decisions, speak to your parents, teachers and also official services like UCAS for advice.

Your university choices: deferring your place at university

Remember, after you’ve got your A level exam results, it’s also possible to defer your place at university. If you haven’t previously made the university aware that you want to do this, then you must contact them as soon as your place is officially confirmed to inform them. They may ask you why you want to, so be honest with them – for example, if you want to do a gap year, then let them know that’s why you’re deferring your place. Lots of people do after all! * Click here to register for your FREE RateMyApprenticeship profile. We have thousands of company reviews online. These have been written by students just like you. Check them out now to see who you fancy working for. Seen our student advice section yet? If not, you’re missing out on LOADS of great hints and tips. Click here to take a look today.]]>