1. ITV Report

A-level Results Day: A guide to what to do if your results are less or more than you expected

Students across the country are finding out their results. Credit: PA

Unsurprisingly, A-level Results Day can be quite daunting for many students as years of studying culminates in finding out if they have achieved the grades needed to go to university or college.

Here is a guide to what to do if your results are less or better than what you expect or need to secure your place.

Missed out on the grades you need?

Don't despair, 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.
  • The university/college could also offer you an alternative -'changed course offer'.

But if you find you are not offered a place, you have the option of using the UCAS Clearing Service to see what courses still have vacancies.

How Clearing works

You can use Clearing find a course at university or college if:

  • You missed both your firm and insurance offers.
  • You didn't receive any offers (or any you wanted to accept).
  • You applied to UCAS after 30 June.
  • If you haven't applied yet, you need to register and make an application.
  • You will know you're in clearing if your Track status says 'You are in clearing' or 'clearing has started'. It may take a few hours to update with your exam results.
  • If you originally only applied for one course (for the reduced fee of £12) you will have to pay an additional £11 to enable you to apply for multiple courses.

Searching for courses

If possible speak to an adviser at your school, college or careers office who can guide through alternative courses/subjects.

It is a good idea to pick up a copy of The Telegraph, as it is the only newspaper that will publish the full list of clearing places available on 13 and 15 August.

Key dates for Clearing

  • 13 August: A-level results day.
  • 15 August: Adjustment ends.
  • 21 September: Final deadline for applications to 2015 courses. Applications must arrive at UCAS by 18:00.
  • 30th September: Clearing vacancy search closes.
  • 21st October: Last date to add Clearing choices and for universities to make decisions.

Start calling universities to discuss available courses and whether your application can be considered. Make sure you have your results and Clearing number to hand.

If you’re offered a place consider all your options first before making a final decision. Once you've accepted, celebrate and wait for your confirmation.

What to do if your results are better than expected

Students celebrate their A-Level results in Brighton College in 2014. Credit: PA

If you had a conditional firm offer that you have met and exceeded, you may want to consider courses with higher entry requirements.

  • The Adjustment service can help you find available alternative courses.
  • You will have to register, research vacancies, then contact the relevant admissions office. You can only have have one adjustment offer.
  • The service is available between 15 and 31 August.

Other options if you don't manage to get a place

  • Increasingly many students are opting for apprenticeships to help gain necessary skills and experience for many careers. The National Apprenticeship Service has over 22,000 vacancies online.
  • Could a gap year be good for you? This could provide the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences while you consider what to do next
  • Study for other qualifications to meet entry requirements for your desired course.

Useful links:

Join our Facebook Q&A after the ITV News at 1.30pm. Credit: ITV News

If you have a question about clearing or your results, join on our Facebook page from 2pm, where careers adviser Annie Dobson, from the Ucas Exam Results Helpline, will be there to help.

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