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    Here's my standard advice for Results day (perhaps it should go in an FAQ at some point). You need to understand that you'll be nervous and under stress on that day no matter how confident you think you are. The time to prepare is now - when you're still interested and in a vaguely work frame of mind. This will save you a lot of stress on the day.

    What you need to do is to write an action plan of what you'll do on results day based upon the possible outcomes. There are four categories:

    a) You've done much better than expected.
    Think about whether you might defer for a year and re-apply to a 'better' uni next year. Note: this will upset the uni you have an offer for, so don't expect they'll make you another offer. You might be able to negotiate your way into a better uni by making a few phone calls, so identify those universities now and get the phone numbers of the admissions section. then you might be able to get in early and nick a place, if there are any. Decent universities will not advertise any of those places so you need to call quickly. It is not guaranteed that your first choice uni will release you to the new one, but they're unlikely to foce you to go to them - especially as you might as well drop out & take a gap year anyway. If you do get another place be courteous and ask permission to change - it is not a right and strictly speaking, you're breaking a contract. How happy would you be if they could decide to break their contract with you?
    b) You've hit your grades.
    Well done. Contact the accommodation office if you need to (you probably don't, unless you're intending to go into private accommodation). Otherwise, go and celebrate.
    c) You've missed your offer, but hit your insurance offer.
    Call the admissions office at first choice and try to negotiate your way in. If not, call the insurance uni admissions office. Then call their accomodation department immediately. You will not get accommodation by right, so you've got to beat everyone else to it.

    d) You've missed your insurance offer and they won't take you.
    See if any of the other unis you considered would have you - call them in order of decreasing preference. Don't wait for clearing, but call the admissions office direct. They may not advertise a place via clearing because they know they'll get a few people calling anyway.
    On the action plan, look up all the phone numbers (from web sites etc) you'll need and put them on the sheet. Make sure you have the admissions office's (and accommodation office's) direct line, not a switchboard.

    That's it. Now put that sheet in a safe place and forget about it until August.

    On results day, if you've got any case but b) you'll have thinking to do. It's not a good idea to be having to find things out when you're in a panic, which is why you do it now. Your internet might be down on that day, or PC broken etc. The hour you save on results day could be the difference between getting in to somewhere you like, or not.


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