For students who took their A-Levels this year, tomorrow’s the big day, as results will finally be announced.

Now, we know that most of you will be nervous, not only about your results, but also on what to do next.

But don’t worry – we’ve got your back. Here’s the Study International guide on what you should do on A Level results day if the grades are not what you expected…

Be prepared

Firstly, it pays to do your research before the day. The UCAS website has a useful search tool which you can use to look at courses that still have places available. Make a list of your top alternative universities and courses, making sure to jot down course codes and the universities’ phone numbers, just in case.

Before you head out the door, make sure you have all the things you’ll need on you so you’re prepared for the busy day ahead.

  • UCAS Track login details
  • GCSE results
  • UCAS personal ID
  • UCAS clearing number
  • Mobile phone (and maybe even a spare battery pack!)
  • Contact info of your top university choices
  • Pen and notebook
  • Camera (because your phone camera might not be enough for all the photos you’ll be taking)

Check UCAS Track

Next, log on to UCAS Track to see whether you’ve been accepted to your preferred university. It goes live at 8am, but the website has a tendency to lag and you won’t be able to access your grades on it. For any enquiries, the UCAS social media team will be on hand from 6am, while the contact centre will be open from 7.30am.

If you’ve been given an offer, then congratulations! All you’ll have to do now is wait for the university to contact your regarding the admissions process.

If you’ve gotten better grades than expected, then perhaps you might want to consider having a look at Adjustment to switch to another university or course with higher entry requirements. If that’s something you want to do, you can give the university a ring and discuss your options.

However, you should only confirm your new university in UCAS Track if you’re 100 percent certain, because once you do, you won’t be able to change your mind, as your original offer would have been cancelled.

If you don’t get an offer, then take a deep breath and don’t panic: this is what Clearing is for. As long as you approach it with an open mind, you’ll be able to make the most of the system. And don’t be embarrassed, either – many students have used it to get into a great course at top universities.

Once you’ve gotten an offer from a university that you’re happy with, you should put your Clearing choice into UCAS Track as soon as possible. This option is available from 3pm on Results Day, and it’s a good idea to have it in the system sooner rather than later, as popular courses will quickly fill up.

And if you just barely missed your grades, then it may be a good idea to reach out to the university, as they may still accept you, or you may be offered an alternative course.

Pick up your results

Before heading off to your school or college to get your grades, be sure to check what time they open, so you won’t be stuck waiting outside. Many schools will have this information listed on their websites.

If you can’t collect your results in person, you may be able to nominate a family member to get them on your behalf. If you know ahead of time, you should be able to arrange with your school the easiest way to get your results, be it via online, phone, or post.

Don’t want to take the offer you received? 

You will have to call the university that made you the offer and ask to be ‘released’. The process can take up to 10 days and once it’s done, there’s no turning back, so be absolutely sure before making the call.

Planning to defer your offer?

Get in contact with the university as soon as you can and check if it’s possible to defer, as some universities will say ‘yes’, while others won’t. You’re much more likely to get a deferment if you have a good reason behind it, be it a gap year or internship. Either way, it’s worth it to call the admissions office to discuss.

And don’t forget: 

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