What to do on A level results day
Waiting anxiously for 16th August 2012? The following information should help you support your daughter on results day, and help her act quickly if she should need to do so. A word of warning though – it is vital that your daughter takes charge of this situation and that she makes any calls to potential universities herself. For that reason we address the following advice directly to your daughter…
Your results will be available from your school, either by collecting them in person or by phone. Each individual school agree their release time. It is worthwhile going into school as there will be teachers available to give you support and advice if things do not work out as you had hoped. Some exam boards (Edexcel) make arrangements for you to receive your results electronically, so you may receive these from very early in the morning. The most important thing is to act swiftly, university admissions are more of an unknown quantity this year and you cannot allow yourself to waste any time, hours not days will count.
What to do if your results meet the grades you need:
You will receive online confirmation via the UCAS Track facility and potentially a confirmation letter later via post. Your Track status may be updated overnight, so although you may know early if you have got your university place, you will still not know your results. Different universities have different requirements at this point so check Track carefully. Some will say only to reply (usually by e mail) if you are not taking the place others will say you must send the reply slip on the letter to accept the place. This reply goes to the university not to UCAS.
Wait, and the university will contact you about accommodation, Freshers’ Week etc.
What to do if your results do not meet the required grades for your firm offer:
‘Firm’ Choice : If your results are only a little short of requirements e.g. one grade below or correct points but a different distribution of grades, ie ABC rather than BBB, the university may still take you. They don’t have to, even if the points are the same, but they may if they have not filled all of their places – unlikely this year. Phone the university immediately, make sure you tell them how keen you are to do the course and attend that university. You must phone, not your parents or your school. If they decide to take you on the course you applied for, you must accept that offer.
They may offer you a place on another course and you are free to accept or reject this; check the prospectus details and consider carefully, you do not have to accept a different course but your ‘insurance’ cannot act until your ‘firm’ rejects you so decide within hours not days.
‘Insurance’ Choice : If your ‘firm’ rejects you phone your ‘insurance’ immediately. Again they may accept you, even if you have not achieved their grades. If your ‘insurance’ offers you the course for which you applied you must accept.
If either your ‘firm’ or ‘insurance’ accepts you for the course you chose, you cannot simply decline that place. If however you have decided on a complete change and want to be released from your offer you CAN ask the University with which you are holding that offer to withdraw it to enable you to go into Clearing.
This is a risky move which has to be carefully planned to ensure the offer for a Clearing place is established – click here for further details
What to do if your results are much better than expected:
You can either accept the firm offer or go to “Adjustment”. It is recommended you only do this if your results are AAB or above. Go to the UCAS website for more information.
Clearing & other options
If both your ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ reject you and you have applied for deferred entry, i.e. entry for 2013, you must make a new application. You are not eligible for clearing.
If you have applied to start university this year you have several options.
- You are eligible for Clearing. All Clearing is now electronic: your page on UCAS Track will automatically show that you are eligible for clearing (bottom left hand side of the screen below your choices). On this page there is your unique Clearing Number. Begin contacting universities as soon as possible early on results day. Use the UCAS website to see what places are available, it is updated regularly. Check for courses you think you would enjoy, then check details in the prospectus or use the link to the university website from the UCAS website to check details of the course. Phone the university and give them your Clearing number. If you have not visited the university check it on unofficial-guides.com and visit if possible but you need to act quickly. If you find a place that you are sure you want and the university say they will offer it to you then click the ‘Add Clearing Choice’ button then enter the relevant details of the university and the course. You can only enter one choice at a time, then you must wait for the university to enter their decision (by which time all the best places will have gone) so consider carefully and act only if they have definitely said they will take you. When you get a confirmed offer from your firm or insurance or clearing choice you will receive an AS12 confirmation letter. Follow the instructions on the letter (see above). If you need to take any action you must do so quickly or you will lose the offer. For more information check the UCAS website.
- Reapply next year : Your school will help you apply for next year and you will need to complete a new UCAS form. Since you will already have your grades, any offers will be unconditional and when you have heard from all 5 choices you must decide on one. The decision is final, there is no firm or insurance for unconditional offers. It is better to get this all completed sooner rather than later so it is all fresh in your mind and you can go off to spend your GAP year usefully knowing what plans you have for September 2013. The competition for places next year may not be as intense.
- Resit : This must be considered carefully, apart from the commitment in time and money, you will have to apply before you resit and the universities are likely to ask for a higher grade for a resit. However, it may also be the only way to get the course you really want and the universities may insist that you resit as a condition of any offer. If you are going to resit you do not need to decline your grades but will be able to resit individual units in a subject for which you already have a final grade and certificate. If your grade changes a new grade and certificate will be issued.
There is a system for requesting a remark of an A-level result. This is expensive, the cost is paid by the candidate; it is occasionally successful but marks and grades can go down as well as up. Usually they are not changed. Remarks must be requested by the school, candidates cannot request these directly, and the remark must have the support of the relevant Head of Department. Schools will generally only support a remark if it is considerably out of line with your performance during the course. Requests for a remark must be made before 20th September. If you want to request a photocopy of your script this must be done by 4th October.
If in doubt go to the UCAS website or contact someone at your school.
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