Step-by-step guide to A-level results day and clearing

PUBLISHED: 19:07 12 August 2015 | UPDATED: 19:07 12 August 2015

Students in an exam

Students in an exam


A-level students all over the country will no doubt be facing a sleepless night as they await results day tomorrow (Thursday).

The Recorder will be covering the big day live, visiting schools and compiling overall results, as well as telling the inspirational stories of our young people as they prepare to take the next step – whether it is off to university, into employment or vocational training.

So you can be extra-prepared, we’ve compiled some advice from Ucas (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) on what to do if you do – or don’t – get the results expected.

Have everything ready

Results day can be stressful, so make sure you know how it works and what to expect.

Have your Ucas online Track service login details handy and update your contact details if you need to.

Make sure you’re available on results day, because Ucas cannot speak to anyone else about your application details unless you give them nominated access to speak on your behalf.

Check how your exam results get to your universities/colleges – most come directly to Ucas from the awarding organisations, and we send them on to your choices. But if not, you just send your exam results to your universities or colleges yourself.

What happens

Hopefully you’ll get the exam grades you need, but if you just miss out, the university or college might accept you anyway.

You might get a place on either your firm or insurance choice, depending how well your exams go.

You might be offered an alternative by the university/college – a “changed course offer” which you’ll need to accept or decline.

You might not get a place, but you can search through the Ucas clearing service to see what courses still have vacancies.

If no decisions are showing, give your universities or colleges a call to find out more.

If you do better than expected...

If you had a conditional firm offer you exceeded, you might be curious about courses with higher entry requirements. You can see what’s available through the Ucas adjustment service.

If things don’t go to plan...

Find info about exam re-marks – you’ll need to arrange the re-mark as quickly as possible, and keep in touch with your university or college to keep them up-to-date.

Look for course vacancies in clearing, or look into other options, like a gap year, work or an apprenticeship – either instead of higher education, or while you reapply for next year.

If you’ve got a place...

Your confirmation letter should appear in Track five to seven days after your place is confirmed. Your letter is not emailed or posted to you.

Make sure you check your confirmation letter carefully – it will say if there’s anything else you need to do.

For more advice, visit

Don’t forget to tweet your results and pictures to @romfordrecorder to be included in our liveblog and picture gallery.

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