Results Day

The lead up to results day can be a stressful time for even the most calm of us, don't get yourself in a tizz – use our guide to prepare yourself for all eventualities:



Before Results Day

Taking Scottish Highers, International Baccalaurate, BTEC or an Access Diploma?

Most of you will be waiting for examination results before you find out whether you have been accepted by the university of your choice.

  • If you are taking any of the above then your results will usually be published earlier than A levels.
  • This can be helpful if you don't get accepted, as you will then have a chance to try and find a place somewhere else before the surge for places when A level results are published.

Unconditional offers

If you accepted an unconditional offer as around 5% of applicants have done, all you have to do now is wait for the start of your course and roll up in September to register.

Sure it'll be good to get some nice grades to boast about, but no point stressing – enjoy your summer!

Results as expected?

If you find that your results mean you have met all the conditions of your firm choice or even insurance choice – congratulations! You have a place at your chosen university and you can relax (if you hadn't already), at least for now.

  • If you are sure you have met all the conditions, you don't have to do anything except to check UCAS Track to be absolutely certain that your place has been confirmed.
  • You will receive confirmation of your place from UCAS, with an online form to sign to confirm that you still want it.  
  • Details of when and where to register from your chosen university will follow a little while later.
  • If you are unsure, or just need reassurance, you can telephone or email the university to check facts.  
  • Bear in mind that several thousand others may be doing the same thing, so it may take a little while to get through.
  • If you do call, make sure you have your UCAS number handy and make the call yourself.
  • Due to the Data Protection Act universities should normally only speak to the actual applicant about such matters.

Results better than expected? Use Adjustment

If you have done much better than you expected, you can continue with your existing choice, apply next year with your grades already in place to show to universities, or you can register for the UCAS system called Adjustment.

  • This allows students who have achieved better grades than those of their Conditional Firm (CF) acceptance to hold their place open on their original CF choice whilst looking at other courses with higher grade requirements and reconsider what and where to study.
  • Adjustment can only be used if you are eligible and have met and exceeded your original Condition Firm (CF) offer. If this is the case, the option to register for Adjustment will be displayed in UCAS Track.
  • The Adjustment process is available from results day until early September, and eligible students will have a maximum of five calendar days in which to register and secure an alternative course.
  • We strongly recommend that students do not make hasty decisions to adjust or upgrade at what is a stressful and busy time.
  • Students who change their mind late on in the process will normally lose any accommodation guarantees and there may be delays in securing student finance.

Results worse than expected? Use Clearing

Even if you have not met all the conditions, you may still find your place is confirmed. UCAS Track is the quickest and easiest way to check. 

  • The university may be short of applicants in that academic year or the other offer-holders had worse results than you (What if I just miss my grades?)
  • If you are just one grade down, your chances may be good; more than that and your chances will be reduced.

If UCAS Track says both of your choices have been rejected, you've still got options:

  • It may not sound ideal but you may consider retaking and reapplying next year. The last thing you want to do is rush into a course you're not going to be happy studying, or a university you're not going to be happy at. Take a breather and reassess – worse things have happened.
  • Go through UCAS Clearing, the process by which UCAS matches students without places to courses without students. Clearing can feel fairly frantic, get yourself prepared and read our full guide – complete with FAQs, real-life stories and more.
  • Trying to find a place in Clearing is not much fun for anyone. The best way to avoid is to be sensible and realistic early on in the process.

It is more likely that highly popular courses at competitive institutions are not in Clearing/Adjustment, and it might be risky to ask for release this way. Always consider your options carefully.