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A Level Results Day 2016 - FAQ

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    This is a very stressful day – for all concerned! – and it is important and in your best interests to keep as cool a head as you can.

    Our Guide to A Level Results Day is worth a read. I've covered the frequently asked questions below, but there are many resources on TSR that we've put together to help you understand what's going on and why, so do check them out here.

    I don't understand what it says on my Track/my Track hasn't updated
    See this Wiki article. Remember that if you are awaiting GCSE results that form any part of your offer, your Track will not normally update at this stage, even if you have met the A level components of your offer. However, if you have missed your A level grades, it may be that the uni will send through an 'unsuccessful' decision without waiting for your GCSE result/s to come through to them. Remember that unis don't get sent your GCSE results via UCAS - you will have to send them yourself direct to the uni/s as soon as you have them.

    You do NOT need to do anything about 'cancelling' your insurance if you have got in to your firm - the uni will know this automatically.

    My results don't make sense
    For information about how to get your paper/s re-marked, see here. It is important to discuss this with your teachers, as you need to get the request for a priority re-mark in very quickly indeed.

    If I'm going to ring a university, what number do I use?
    Many universities will have sent out emails to their offer holders providing contact details for Results Day in the event that you need to contact them. These are usually different numbers from the Clearing hot-lines that each uni sets up for Results Day. Uni websites will usually contain this information as well. If all else fails, try the ain switchboard of the uni and make it clear whether you want to talk about Confirmation (i.e. you are an existing offer holder) or Clearing (i.e. you are a new applicant).

    General Advice for contacting universities
    If you do find yourself having to contact your unis and/or go through Clearing, you do have to make those phone calls yourself; it doesn’t help your cause one bit if parents or teachers do the talking for you. Keep a note of all telephone conversations you have, including
    • who you spoke to (full name, and direct contact number if possible)
    • when you spoke to them
    • what they told you or asked you to do and by when
    Check carefully any email addresses and phone numbers you are given, and ask them to read back to you any email addresses or telephone numbers you have given them. If you're in Clearing then check out our Top 10 tips for Clearing.

    I missed my offer:
    I’ve missed my offer, is it worth going to the uni myself/ringing up to beg?

    (Original post by originally posted by PQ)
    If Track has changed to Unsuccessful then unless someone has something NEW to add to their application (like wanting to do a different course, or waiting on a priority remark) then it's not likely to make any difference at all phoning up...other than getting a nice clear "you are rejected" in person over the phone to knock your confidence. UCAS make it very difficult to undo a rejection once it's gone through to Track. Universities don't send through rejections unless it's a non-negotiable decision. The only time to phone up is if Track is still saying Conditional. If it says Unsuccessful then it's time to move on and start focusing elsewhere
    The reality is that your chances of reversing an ‘unsuccessful’ decision, even if it was a ‘near miss’, are pretty slim. Some universities even advise applicants in advance that decisions posted on Track are final, and that there is no point in contacting them to discuss it. So, if you are in this situation, your time is likely to be far better spent getting to grips with Clearing and/or deciding to go for the resits/re-application options. Information and advice about A level resits can be found here.

    The exception is where you're getting a priority re-mark in which case you need to let the university know and make sure that they are prepared to keep a space for you.

    See this post by MagicNMedicine explaining the process that the universities will have gone through from an admission tutor's perspective and why t’s unlikely you will be able to change their minds if there is an unsuccessful' decision already showing on your Track. Although the comments about quotas no longer apply, unis do still have practical limits on the numbers they can take.

    I’ve missed my Firm offer but it’s still showing ‘conditional’ on Track
    As soon as you have all your results and other essential paperwork to hand, contact the university to ask for an update. Be prepared for the possibility that you will just get a ‘no, sorry’ answer, in which case ask them when Track will be updated. If your Insurance choice is showing as ‘unconditional’, then this will become your new unconditional confirmed place automatically, once the 'unsuccessful' ecision from your Firm reaches Track. If you are in the position where your Insurance is showing as ‘unsuccessful’ but your Firm is still on ‘conditional’ the same process applies, except that if your Firm decides not to take you, you will be in Clearing and your Clearing number will then appear on Track.

    If they are willing to hear you out, make sure you can give a concise summary of: the marks you got in the ‘missed’ subject/s, how you did in subjects or modules particularly relevant for the course you’ve applied for, and why you want to go to that particular uni. Tell them f you would like to be considered for an alternative course. Ask them how long it will take them to make a decision, and when you should call back for an update (or if/when they will call you). It's probably a good idea to ring in at least once a day to ask for an update. This shows interest and commitment and could mean that if a place suddenly becomes available, you are best placed to get it.

    If you would rather go to your Insurance, or into Clearing, rather than wait for a decision from your firm ring the uni/s concerned and ask them to reject you immediately. If the rejection hasn't shown up onTrack within 24 hours, it is worth ringing them again, and if the uni still hasn't done this by Tuesday 23rd August, get on to UCAS. They will contact the uni for you and give them 24 hours to respond, and if the uni doesn't send the decision then UCAS will reject you on their behalf. This then turns an unconditional Insurance into an unconditional Firm, or (if you have no Insurance/your other decision was also ‘unsuccessful’ ) releases you into Clearing.

    I missed my offers: my Firm is showing as ‘unsuccessful’ and my Insurance as ‘conditional’
    Same process as above – if your Insurance also decides not to take you, you will become automatically eligible for Clearing.

    Will the university keep my place for me while I get a priority re-mark?
    If you decide to go down the priority re-mark route, you must tell your uni/s that you are doing this. If the result of the re-mark is that you have met your offer after all, and this result comes through onor before 31 August, though universities are not obliged to keep your place, it is considered good practice for them to do so. If you are told that they won't wait for the result of the re-mark, it is worth being assertive, and at the very least a university should offer you a deferred place for your course if it turns out that you have met your offer after all.

    I am asking for a priority re-mark, but am eligible for Clearing. Should I look for a place?
    If you are eligible for Clearing, and want to go to uni this year, you should certainly identify Clearing options that interest you and investigate them. It is not a good idea to assume the re-mark will come back in your favour.

    If you secure a place through Clearing, and then your re-mark results show you have met your original offer, you will be able (with help from UCAS) to switch back to your original choice provided the re-mark result is with the uni by 31 August, assuming that your original choice university has agreed to keep your place. If the result comes in later, the uni is not obliged to take you this year but they may offer you a deferred place.

    I am asking for a priority re-mark for my Firm, but my Insurance place is confirmed
    In this case you sit tight and see what happens, though you must let both universities know that you are seeking a priority re-mark. If by 31 August your re-mark results show you have met your firm offer after all, UCAS will help you and the unis to switch you back to your Firm choice, provided that your first choice university has agreed to keep your place. If a positive result is delayed beyond 31 August, you will still have your Insurance place, but will need to discuss your options with your Firm, as above.

    I missed my offer but Track said my place was confirmed – now the Uni says this was a mistake
    This does happen from time to time. Because unis have discretion to take people even if they didn’t meet their offers, UCAS has no way of knowing that a mistake has been made, and the 'unconditional' decision sent through by the uni automatically gets uploaded to your Track.

    If the uni has not realised pretty quickly that they've sent through the wrong decision (so that your Track gets updated with the correct decision for Results Day) it is worth trying to insist that the university honours the original decision they sent through. You might, n the circumstances, be willing to negotiate a deferred place instead. On the other hand, if you are one of those people who wanted to go to their Insurance anyway, you might be quite pleased if the uni withdraws its unconditional offer. If you can’t get any sense from the front-line team, insist on going up the line to more senior staff. All the rules about making notes about what conversations you have with people, when, and what they say apply here - big time! This is also why keeping screen shots of your Track as it updates can be useful.

    My Track says 'unsuccessful' for Uni x but I've there's an AS12 letter on Track saying my place there has been confirmed
    Unfortunately once the 'unconditional' decision reaches UCAS it activates an automatic process by which the AS12 confirmation letter is generated. If the uni doesn't realise its mistake quickly enough, it can happen that the confirmation letter is already in the system and can't be stopped, even though your Track gets amended before Results Day. If the uni has realised its mistake before Results Day and has actively tried to put it right, it can be difficult to argue that you should still have the place, and most universities will resist any attempts to persuade them. The university concerned should email you to let you know what's happened and apologise.

    I missed my Firm offer, but met my Insurance offer – now my Insurance uni says they have too many people and can’t take me this year even though I didn’t apply for a deferred place
    In this situation you are absolutely entitled to take up your place in the year for which you applied. If it suits you to defer when they ask you to, fine, but you do not have to accept this. If the uni won't budge, contact UCAS immediately.

    I met my offer:
    I have exceeded my FIRM offer
    You need to decide quickly whether you want to go through Adjustment and to register on Track if you do. Unis can’t talk to you about an Adjustment place until you’ve registered, in particular because they won’t be able to see your application.

    I want to go to my Insurance instead of my Firm
    Your only hope now is to persuade your Firm to release you, and if they do it will be into Clearing. Therefore, you will need to check with your Insurance FIRST that they can offer you a Clearing place, and if so how long they will keep it open for you.

    I have a confirmed place, but I want to go through Clearing now
    Contact the uni holding your unconditional firm and ask them to release you ASAP. Bear in mind that this can take a few days, as unis don't prioritise releasing people in this situation, and this could mean that you end up with nothing if a uni in Clearing won't keep its place open for you.

    I’ve got my confirmed place for 2016, but now I would like to take a Gap Year after all
    Contact the uni concerned and see what they are prepared to agree to.

    I’ve got a confirmed place for 2017, but I really want to go this year
    There's nothing to stop you asking, but it will depend on the uni and the course whether you will succeed.
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