Results Day

Waiting for Results Day can be stressful, and you may want to think about it as little as possible. However, you should put some time aside to plan for the day. Read through our guide so you are ready for every eventuality. 

Click to skip to:
Before Results Day • What if I get my expected results?
What if my results are better than expected? • What if I miss my grades?

What To Do On Results Day FINAL VERSION

Before Results Day

Most of you will be waiting for exam results before finding out if you’ve been accepted by your university choices. Relax and enjoy your summer, but ensure to plan ahead for Results Day.

Be prepared for not getting the results you’re hoping for and having to go through Clearing. Make a list of potential alternative courses and universities with numbers you may need to ring.

If you are an International Baccalaureate or Scottish Higher student, you will receive your exam results before A Level students. This gives you less time to prepare but a head start if you miss your grades and go into Clearing.

Unconditional offer holders

If this is you, Results Day is a formality. However, still double check all terms and conditions of your offer and be sure that you want to study the course.

Top tips from James Seymour, Director of Admissions at the University of Buckingham:

"If you are awaiting results in August, don't panic about others catching Clearing places before you. The cap on numbers has been lifted for most courses and universities, and universities plan their student numbers so you won't miss out.

"But do plan ahead. Have a list of possible Clearing or Adjustment options. You can even contact universities in advance of Results Day, and pre-register for vacancies on their websites."

What if get my expected results?

Well done! If you have met the conditions of either your firm or insurance choice this means you have a place at university. Before you start to celebrate, you should take the following steps:

  • Still check UCAS Track. This is especially important if you have fallen short of your Conditional Firm (CF) but met the conditions of your Conditional Insurance (CI). Your CF might still accept you with lower grades.
  • You will receive confirmation of your place from UCAS, with an online form to sign to confirm that you still want it. 
  • Details from your chosen university of when and how to register will follow.
  • If you have any additional questions, or just want some reassurance, you can phone or email the university. Have your UCAS number ready when you call, and be sure to make the call yourself.
  • This is the busiest time of year for universities so you may have to wait on the phone. If your question isn’t urgent, it’s probably worth waiting a few days before phoning.

What if my grades are better than expected?

Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off and there are several options available to you. You can:

  • Stick to your original Conditional Firm (CF) university choice.
  • Take a year out and reapply to a university with higher entry requirements next year.
  • Go through Adjustment.


This allows students who have achieved better grades than the conditions of their CF to hold their place open whilst looking at other courses with higher grade requirements.

It is only for students who have met and exceed their original CF offer. If you are eligible, the option to register for Adjustment will appear on UCAS Track. It is available from Results Day until early September. If you are eligible, you will have a maximum of five calendar days to register and secure an alternative course.

We strongly recommend that you don’t make hasty decisions to adjust. It is a stressful time already and you will normally lose any accommodation guarantees and have delays in receiving student finance.

What if I miss my grades?

If you just miss your grades, you may find that your Conditional Firm or Conditional Insurance still offers you a place.

For example, you were offered BBB (120 points) at A Level but got BBC (112 points), and are still given a place. This may be because the university is short of applicants, or other offer holders got worse results than you.

Check UCAS Track to see if you have been accepted. If you haven’t, it’s worth calling the university and asking directly if they will accept you.

If the university does not offer you a place on the course you applied for, they may offer you a similar course. For instance, if you applied for Psychology, they may offer Psychology and Sociology as a joint honours course – this is called a ‘changed course offer’.

If both of your choices have been rejected you can:

  • Go through Clearing. This is where UCAS matches students without places to courses without students. Clearing can feel frantic, so get prepared and read our full guide – complete with FAQs, real-life stories and more.
  • Retake your exams and reapply next year. The last thing you want is to rush into a course or university you’re unhappy with.
  • Take a gap year. Use this time to travel, work, or combine the two. This will enrich your personal statement. It may also give you better headspace to think about what you want to do in the future.

Read more tips on how to make Results Day go as smooth as possible.