A-Level results day: everything you need to know

Exam results day and clearing

It’s results day! What should I expect?

Well, I imagine you’re exhausted. Sleep doesn’t come easy to those waiting for their results. Your results should be available from about 8am on results day morning (don’t freak out if the site’s slow, it’s a busy day).

You’re going to make some big decisions today, so be prepared - make sure you take a pen and paper, a fully charged phone, your results, UCAS number and login details, contact details for both your firm and insurance offers as well as chocolate, tissues, your childhood teddy-bear… whatever calms you.

It’s a good idea to bring someone with you. If it all goes a bit wrong, you may really appreciate someone sensible to be able to talk to about your options.

You’ve got your place! Nice one.

If your results match up to your university offer - YES! It’s nearly time to plan which bars you’re going to tonight - you’re off to uni! But you can’t relax quite yet, there are a few things to do.

Keep an eye on UCAS Track, as your university should change from ‘Conditional’ to ‘Unconditional’. This isn’t instant, so don’t panic if it doesn’t happen for a few hours. If by the next day it still hasn’t changed, give your university a call (your uni - sounds good right?!).

You’re then going to get your AS12 letter, which is an official confirmation letter sent from UCAS. Once you have this - it’s on, expect this on Friday or Saturday, by post and email. Read the instructions as you might need to ring up and confirm at some universities, while others won't need you to.

Make sure you keep your letter safe, it’s what you’re going to need to get your student bank account, railcard etc.

You didn’t get the grades you needed.

Don’t panic. Breathe. And remember that going through clearing is not the end of the world.

You may even still be able to go to your first choice university. Check UCAS Track to see what your status is, if it says ‘Unconditional’, you’re in. If you’ve missed out by a few marks, have extenuating circumstances, or intend to appeal your grade you can call your first choice university to explain, but it’s a long shot.

If the university won’t accept you, you have a few options. You can accept your insurance offer, retake your A Levels and reapply next year (some universities will wait for you) or go through Clearing.

Clearing is an opportunity for you apply to a different university that has spaces on their courses. According to UCAS, 9% of students (61,000) found a university place from Clearing in 2014.

Applications through Clearing close on September 21 2015, but it really kicks off on results day. Don’t hang about, as the best courses/universities will be filled by the end of the first week after results. Check the UCAS Track site and if you’re eligible for Clearing, you’ll get a Clearing number which you should write down somewhere.

You’ll then ring up universities through their special Clearing phone lines and speak to an adviser about the course you’re interested in. They will ask you about your grades and will make a decision about you on the spot after a mini-interview.

Try not to stress out, think about the universities you might consider going to and prepare all the documents and phone numbers you need. Quickly practise your mini-interview and write down answers to questions you might be asked.

THINK - I know you can’t wait to get to uni, and the thought of resitting sounds horrific, but don’t accept anything because you are panicking. This might decide where you’re going to spend the next three/four years, and possibly what career route you’ll go down. Be prepared to say no to an offer if you’re not 100% sure.

If you end up at a university that wasn’t your first choice, sort out your accommodation as soon as possible. Your second choice uni might not have reserved a halls place for you, and you won’t have applied for halls at a Clearing uni, so check right away.

Good luck!