Not sure what to expect on results day? Here’s an idea of how it will pan out, plus Clearing tips, by former student Sophie Foster
Make sure you have the following ready:
Your UCAS Track login details
Your mobile phone (with camera for selfies)
The contact details for your university choices
The web address of both Clearing and Adjustment UCAS pages
If you won’t be available on results day, give someone nominated access so they can speak to UCAS on your behalf. Check UCAS for details
Details of any conditional offers and Clearing phone numbers for universities of interest
If you suspect you’ll need Clearing, a contingency list of courses you’ve researched beforehand (Clearing technically opened 6 July, so you can already see courses available)
Your personal statement
Your GCSE results
The UCAS social-media team will be online to answer any questions.
If you have questions, try contacting them on Twitter at @ucas_online or Facebook at facebook.com/ucasonline.
The UCAS Customer Experience Centre opens for applicants.
Track goes live
You’ll be able to see your university confirmation, but not your grades. You will have to pick these up from your school or college. Check your emails before 8am, though, as sometimes your university will have emailed you directly before Track opens. (If they haven’t, this doesn’t mean you haven’t got in, but I got my confirmation email at 6.30am, so it’s worth checking.)
Collect your grades
This year some schools may be emailing results while some may be open for students to collect their grades and talk to teachers.
Met your grades?
Track will update to tell you if you have got into your firm or insurance university choice, and you can view your confirmation letter in Track. Read the letter to check if it has any information on how to proceed and double-check your contact details are correct, so your university can contact you. If your finances are sorted, you can relax and celebrate!
Narrowly missed your grades?
Don’t panic! If you have missed your required grades by a narrow margin, your university may still accept you on your course – make sure you speak to them first. You can also look into exam reviews and appeals, although you’ll need to do this ASAP.
Alternatively, your chosen university may offer you a slightly different course, which you’ll need to accept through Track. If this doesn’t happen, proceed to Clearing, where you can apply for other courses, either at the same university or at a different one.
Completely missed your grades?
This is your cue to start ringing courses in Clearing that are on your contingency list or that catch your eye. Keep a notepad to write down names of people you talk to.
If your grades are far better than you were predicted, you may wish to change your university options. Consider applying through Adjustment, which allows you to trade up to a better university or course without losing your current offer.
Adjustment opens at 8am and runs until August 31.
Got an offer but changed your mind?
You can use UCAS Track to decline your place and enter Clearing. Ask teachers, parents and universities for help and advice to make a fully informed decision. Make sure it is 100 per cent what you want to do.
New for 2020 is Clearing Plus, aimed at anyone who is unplaced or who is applying for the first time for a place in Clearing. If you’re in Clearing, look for a button in Track marked ‘View Matches’ to see courses which UCAS considers would be good for you, given both your original choices combined with your qualifications and grades. If you see a course you like, you can hit ‘Interested’ so that university or college can contact you. But remember, courses in Clearing fill up quickly, and you may not always receive a call so also look for courses in Clearing using the search tool. Remember, saying you’re interested in a course through Clearing Plus doesn’t guarantee an offer.
Want to defer your choice for a year?
Call your university. You won’t lose your place just for enquiring, but it’s a good idea to have a reason why you want to defer. Some places will allow you to defer, but others will not.
Enter your Clearing choice into Track
Don’t rush your decision – Clearing only opens at 3pm, giving everyone time to speak to universities and find a place. Only add a Clearing choice once you have permission from the university or college; you can only add one choice at a time, but if it is not confirmed (you will see in Track and get an email), you can then add another choice and repeat the process if necessary – or decide to reapply next year or pursue other options.
Enter your future and celebrate surviving results day!
Please note that UCAS Customer Experience Centre and social media support closes at 7pm.