What if I Just Miss my Grades?
Imagine you were offered BBB (300 points) at A level and got BBC (280 points) – will you still be accepted? This will depend on two main factors.
- First, did you drop a grade in a critical subject? If you were asked for a B in, say, chemistry and that was the subject where you got a C, this will reduce the chances of your being accepted.
- Second, what did everyone else with an offer for the course get? If the university has 50 places and 40 get the grades, they will look first for the extra 10 among those who just missed the offer and you will probably be accepted. However, if 60 get the grades, they will probably reject anyone who didn't meet the offer precisely, and you may well not be accepted. There is nothing you can do about this. Universities may be financially penalised for admitting the wrong number of students, so they will always want to admit as near as possible to their target number.
Remember to check UCAS Track to see if you have been accepted anyway, as you may still be offered a place even if you have not obtained the required grades.
- It is worth telephoning the university even if you have missed your grades.
- Often universities operate special Clearing hotlines during this period. They are keen to recruit good-quality students to fill places on their courses.
- Speak to them and they may be in a position to assist.
Changed Course Offers
If you missed the grades some universities may offer you an alternative course to the one you originally applied for, e.g. you may have applied for psychology and be offered psychology and sociology as a joint honours course.
- This might be worth considering especially if it was the university itself that you liked most and you can retain your accommodation first year guarantee.
- These are called 'changed course offers' and universities are allowed to do this if you have not met the conditions of their offer.
- Take time to consider any alternative offers and visit or speak to university staff and careers advisers in school/college if possible.
If all this seems rather complicated, take a look at the chart Firm & insurance choices on results day for clarification.
Next page: Do I Apply This Year?