Surprised student

The chances are you've been worrying about if you'll meet your uni offer on results day.

You're not alone; it's a tense time. You're about to find out if all your hard work has paid off and whether you'll have a place at the uni you haven't stopped thinking about since that open day.

But even if you miss a grade - or even two - you may well be OK. Fresh data from UCAS may leave you feeling just a little bit more relaxed.

When number-crunching the 2015 UCAS applicant data it was discovered that:
  • 1 in 6 applicants met their grade predictions
  • 1 in 5 missed by it by one grade
  • 1 in 5 missed it by 2 grades
  • 1 in 6 missed by 3+ grades
  • Nearly 3/5 (58.9% to be exact) missed their predicted grades
  • Only 1/4 of applicants exceeded their predictions

For applicants holding firm offers with academic conditions to meet their conditional firm, the observed probability of missing predicted attainment [grades] by two or more points [grades] has increased steadily, from 38.4 per cent in 2010 to 51.3 per cent in 2015. UCAS 2016

UCAS Track on laptop

However despite this the number of applicants being placed with their firm (conditional to unconditional on results day) increased by 3.2% to 384,100, the highest number of acceptances recorded through this route to date.

There was also an increase in acceptances through the insurance route, 39,500 acceptances which was an increase of 7.5%.

Interestingly, the data also shows that those with a unconditional offer are increasingly unlikely to meet their predicted grades.

In 2015, applicants holding unconditional firm offers were 23 per cent more likely to miss their predicted attainment by two or more grades, compared to applicants holding conditional firm offers.UCAS, 2016

In total 532,300 people entered higher education in 2015.

Since 2014 we've been asking members of TSR to share their stories of missing their offers in UCAS, but their universities accepting them anyway.

TSR member Dinasauras told members in the "I missed my grades but I got in" discussion "one of my friends got into Bristol in 2015 with BBB, his offer was A*AA for chemistry and maths". Firefly13 said "I'm doing biology at Imperial, I missed my offer of AAA two years ago and got AAB (A in Biology and Maths, B by two marks in Psychology)". atomickitten added "I needed A*AA for Nottingham to read law, I got A*AB and they still excepted me"

You can read more about students missing their offers and still getting into their uni here.

What does this mean for me and my results?

It's impossible to say what will happen on results day and how universities will respond to results. Some universities may be lenient and still accept you even if you haven't met your offer.
Predicting what will happen
Remember, if you're applying for Oxbridge or vocational course like medicine, dentistry or vet med universities are very unlikely to accept you unless you have met the exact requirements of the offer.

Since the cap on uni places ended other universities certainly do have more flexibility and the option to be more lenient. It's likely that all universities (except Oxbridge) will be in Clearing this year. However that doesn’t mean they’re going to let everyone in.

The best thing to do is plan for a 'rainy day', if you think there is a chance that you will have missed your offers then do look into courses that are in Clearing. There is no embargo on places this year so the UCAS course finder will be continually updated between now and results day.

Universities will get your exam results during the weekend and will start processing them at the beginning of next week. As they do this vacancies will be updated on the Clearing lists so keep an eye out on what is becoming available so you're all prepped come results day..... just in case!

Results day help on The Student Room:

Is it possible to predict what unis will do on results day?

Changing your mind about your firm and insurance

UCAS Track on results day

Speak to one of our results day and clearing advisers