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Results day! Now what?

In this video, students from the University of York describe what happened to them on the day they got their exam results.

Results day can be stressful but by making sure you understand exactly how it works you can help prepare yourself for anything that comes your way, making the process as smooth as possible for you.

Before you receive your results you should:

  • Make sure you have your UCAS track details on hand (UCAS Track is the online system that allows you to see how your application is progressing, you will receive your login details in your UCAS welcome email).
  • Be available on results day. You are the only person that universities and UCAS can speak to about your application unless you have given nominated access for someone else to speak on your behalf.
  • Have some key contact details to hand. Your firm and insurance choice university and any contact details that might have been provided to you by your school or college.

What happens if I don’t get the grades I was expecting?

In an ideal scenario, you will get the grades you need for your firm or insurance choice university, your place will be confirmed on UCAS track and you can look forward to starting university in September! However, there are some alternative scenarios you might want to be aware of if your results aren’t as high as predicted:

  • You might be made a ‘change of course offer’ by your firm or insurance university, if this is the case it is likely that you will receive an email (to the email address you put on your UCAS application form) explaining the offer and providing you with details of how to accept or decline.
  • You might not get a place at your firm or insurance choice but will be released into Clearing so you can see which universities and courses still have vacancies. You can find plenty of advice on the UCAS website about how Clearing works.
  • The decision on your application might be pending, if this is the case then check your emails as there may be an email explaining why your application is pending but if not, give your universities a call to find out more.

What happens if my grades are higher than predicted?

  • If your grades are higher than you were expecting, you may still want to stick with your original firm choice university which is absolutely fine.
  • However, you may wish to find out whether any courses with higher entry requirements are available through Adjustment but you must have met and exceeded the terms of your offer.

Where can I go for help?

It is really important to remember that, whatever the situation you find yourself in on results day, you are not alone, there are plenty of people on hand to support you including:

  • Your school or college – even if you do not collect your results in person your school or college will be open for you to call or talk to in person and help you navigate your next steps, or celebrate with you! Make sure you check in advance what time your school/college will be open.
  • Your family – whilst it is important that you contact prospective universities yourself, your family can help you do some research if you provide them with a few guidelines.
  • University websites – you will always find the most up to date vacancy information here so make sure you consult this prior to making any calls.
  • UCAS – there is a lot of information and guidance on the UCAS website for general enquiries and they will also have a helpline for more complex or technical queries.

Tips for navigating Clearing

  • You’ll know you’re in Clearing if your Track status says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’
  • Always have your UCAS login details to hand and your UCAS I.D.
  • Make sure you know what your results are because you will not be able to discuss appropriate vacancies without this information and universities will not be able to let you know what your results are.
  • Do your research – look at what courses are available and where; ensure you are looking at vacancies for which your grades match the entry requirements.
  • Be open to courses you might not have previously considered but which match your interests and experience.
  • Try not to rush into a decision, whilst the process is time-pressured and you will be given deadlines by which to accept any offers that may be made to you, it is still important to research the course to ensure you understand what it will involve. Make sure you can see yourself studying (and potentially living) there.
  • Make the most of the opportunity to visit universities if available, many universities will hold visit days for students who are made offers through clearing to help you get to know the university and department.
  • There’s no need to panic, you are not alone in the situation and there is plenty of information, guidance and support available to you.

To hear about some of our current students’ experiences of results day take a look at our video above, you’ll see they all had different experiences of the day and survived!

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