As A Level Results Day is coming up this Thursday, we’ve put together an FAQ below to help answer some of the most common questions at this time of year. TSR also has a very helpful guide
on results day.
We know how stressful and emotional it can all be. We all get quite invested too, particularly in cases where we have applicants who we've seen in school, have come to our events/open days then the offer-holders open day or applicants who we know have had to overcome some seriously tough times. We genuinely view all our applicants as individuals and after getting to know you via email across the past year, we’re rooting for all of you come results time!
If your question is along the lines of 'I think I missed my offer, what are my chances' then I'm afraid that nobody on TSR can help as all decisions on missed offers are made individually on case-by-case basis and there's really no point in engaging in long hypotheticals or trying to learn from previous cases
. All our offer-holders are individuals and we treat them as such.FAQWhen do you get the results and make decisions?
We have all the results now and will aim to make and enter decisions for the majority of applicants ready for them to go live A level results day. However, there will be cases where a decision cannot be made yet (usually because we have placed you in the Summer Pool because you were very close to meeting the offer you were set). This is especially the case for applicants whose offers were conditional on the result of STEP examinations.
The UCAS Embargo for exam results is currently in place, so Universities will not be able to discuss your application with them until this is lifted at 8:00 on Thursday 17th August.What could happen?
- Accepted if you meet the offer conditions
- Accepted even though you missed
- Still under consideration by you preference College or the Summer Pool
- Rejected and released to your insurance choice or clearing if you miss the offer and are not thought to be of interest in the Summer Pool (the University has clear guidelines for this)
You won't be accepted by another College on 17th
If you miss your offer and are still pending on the 18th
, the Summer Pool takes place and you may:
- Be accepted by your preference College
- Be accepted by another College
- Be rejected and released to your insurance choice or clearingHow will I know if I’m in?
You will know via UCAS Hub, from the results you have achieved (if you meet or exceed your offer, your place is certain) and you should also hear from the College by email (hopefully on results day but possibly the next day). If Hub updates to show you as ‘unconditional’ at Cambridge then you’re in
, regardless of whether the results you get meet the offer or not. Celebrate! Do not
phone, email or turn up to check – if it says you’re in, then you’re in!When will UCAS Hub update?
Track updates around 8 am UK time on the 17th
. Don't read too much into things if your Track doesn't update
- go and get your results before contacting us. There may just be a delay in the news getting from Cambridge to UCAS (we don’t update Hub, UCAS do).
If Hub hasn’t updated then collect your results before getting in touch with your College. Emailing your College is better than phoning (we’re busy and answering phones slows us down but we’ll respond to emails as and when we can). Do not turn up at the College
as you will not be allowed in to see the Admissions Team and there’s nothing you can’t do via email.I’ve missed my offer – what now?
If you have missed your offer conditions then you could still end up at Cambridge if Hub is showing ‘conditional.’ Your preference College may decide to relax your conditions if you have just fallen short of your offer. All decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis taking all available information into account. This includes all parts of your application; personal context, such as any extenuating circumstances we have been informed of; how close the missing grade was; how many other people missed their offer in your subject and potentially other things too.
If your preference College isn’t willing to relax your conditions then you may be either rejected or put into the Summer Pool (see below).If your Hub shows as rejected then I’m afraid your application to Cambridge has been unsuccessful
and you have been passed to your insurance choice or into clearing. This won’t be what you hoped for so take some time to let things sink in. If this has happened there is no way to revisit your application
unless you get a priority remark in any subjects where you have unexpectedly low results and
you then meet the original conditions of your offer by 31st
August. A re-mark where you grades improve but don’t meet the offer conditions will not allow us to take you. If you have missed your offer, please don’t call round Colleges, asking if they will take you – they won’t.Should I reapply?
Successful reapplicants typically exceed the typical offer for their course so if you haven’t met the offer and don’t have compelling extenuating circumstances then a reapplication for the same or a different course is unlikely to be successful.
We appreciate that you have been thinking about starting in Cambridge and it will be a shock if you’re not accepted but remember that there are many excellent universities and that students who don’t come to Cambridge go on to do fantastically well, and be fantastically happy, elsewhere. Don’t make any rash decisions (e.g. rejecting your insurance because you feel angry) without talking to your supporters and advisers first. This also doesn’t rule out Cambridge forever – you can still apply for postgraduate study here, if that interests you.I was rejected in January but have great results! Can I come to Cambridge?The only way to start at Cambridge in October is to hold an offer already or be eligible for the August Reconsideration Pool (formerly Adjustment). You will have been informed in January if you meet our widening participation criteria. If you were not told at this time, you are not eligible.Please do not call us ‘on the off chance’ – there is no chance of you being given a place this way, no matter your results.
Reapplying is a difficult decision to make. Many reapplicants are successful, but many are not. Think about what you might want to do in a gap year – is there something productive/useful/fun you can do? Will you be happy at your insurance choice? How would you react if you were to be unsuccessful next year? No one else can answer these questions but you and it’s worth taking time to think them through if this is a route you’re considering.What should(n’t) I do on the day?DO:
Make a plan ahead of time for what you will do in case you miss your conditions. Are you happy with your insurance? Do you want to go into clearing?DO:
Take a charged smartphone if you have one, along with the relevant email addresses and phone numbers you might need.DO:
Stay calm! If you don’t get the results you were hoping for then it is probably best to get on top of sorting out remarks (once you’ve checked Hub) before getting in touch with us as they are time-sensitive.DON’T:
Inform us of extenuating circumstances on results day – we can’t take them into account unless we know about them in advance.DON’T:
Phone to check if you’re really in or that there’s not a mistake on Hub or you’ve not been sent the wrong letter – if you’re in then you’re in – congratulations!DON’T:
Phone around Colleges hoping to be accepted – that isn’t how the Summer Pool works. If you weren’t made an offer in January and you're not eligible for the August Reconsideration Pool then I’m afraid there’s no way to be accepted now.DON’T:
Get your teacher/parent/carer/supporter/friend to call up for you. We can only discuss the details with the candidate themselves.What is the Summer Pool?
It is much smaller than the Winter Pool and about 25% of this is Maths. There isn't a set number of places - this depends on how many Colleges are looking, how short of students they are (in all subjects) and who is in the Pool. Colleges and the University can vary the number of students taken overall and taken in most subjects in response to the strength of candidates. Colleges would rather end up with a smaller year group than take a weak candidate* but success rates are generally higher than in the Winter Pool as colleges only Pool candidates who are realistic prospects for a place.
*So if you are fished you are meant to be at Cambridge - students from the Summer Pool or with waived conditions get the same results (no significant difference statistically) as those who met their offers.How do I get put in the Summer Pool?
The College you hold an offer at decides whether they want to relax your offer or not and whether they think you're of interest in the Summer Pool (but there are strong guidelines as to what counts as a realistic Summer Pool candidate and there are some compulsory pooling criteria, just like at the Winter Pool). Only a minority of those candidates who miss their offer are put in the Pool. You cannot ask to be put in the Summer Pool.How will I know if I am being put in the Pool?
Your preference College should tell you on 18th
that you are being put in the Pool and check that you’re happy with this. If you’d rather be released to your insurance or into clearing then let them know at this point.When is it?
The Pool happens on the day after results day, so this year it’s on Friday 18th
.When will I find out if I’ve been taken?
You should hear by Friday evening but there is a chance that a small number of people won’t hear until Saturday or even Monday morning. You’ll hear whether you are successful or not but please be reactive and don’t chase us – the more time we spend answering phones or emails then the less time we have to do what needs doing.What is the August Reconsideration Pool?
The August Reconsideration Pool (known previously as Adjustment, but renamed because UCAS Adjustment no longer exists) is a scheme for students who have met or exceeded the typical offer for their course at Cambridge and have either been in Local Authority care, have been eligible for Free School Meals in the past six years or meet three of the following widening participation criteria:- Live in an area in the bottom 40% of Index of Multiple Deprivation postcodes (you can check your home postcode here
)- Live in underrepresented Output Area Classification areas (the data for this has unfortunately now been taken down so it’s no longer publicly available)- Live in an area in the bottom 40% of the country for progression to Higher Education (you can check your postcode here
)- Attend a state maintained school- Attend a school/college where fewer than five students have progressed to Oxford and Cambridge combined in the past five years.
If you qualify for the August Reconsideration Pool, you will have been informed in January. If you do not meet the widening participation criteria, did not apply to Cambridge last autumn, do not hold a firm offer, or are an international student, you will not be eligible for the August Reconsideration Pool.
The University website will be updated on Thursday to show which courses have places available via the August Reconsideration Pool. We don’t know any more than this at this stage!Freshers’ information
We will be running a pre-arrival thread in September like we did last year to advise on all your queries. However, your first port of call should always be your College.How do I get my university email address?
You don't have to wait until you get here but you do have to wait for an email from Student Registry. This will have instructions on what to do. There's a leaflet from the University with information which is sent to all our incoming students but it can also be found here
.Is there any preliminary reading?
Glad to hear you’re keen! You should have been sent a reading list on Leganto by now (with the exception of English). Whether there’s any additional reading now will depend on your course and College. If there is anything your Director of Studies would like you to do then they will be in touch but please don’t chase us - there might not be any and make sure you’re taking a break!
Depending on your course you might also be registered for Moodle before you arrive so you can access reading lists and preliminary work. This can be done using the email address you gave on your application (which I hope you all kept up to date and isn't an expired school email!).
Engineers and Natural Scientists will receive an email in the week or so after Results Day about some transitional work they will need to do, but this is unlikely to come on Results Day.When should I arrive?Your College will be in touch with dates
. Lectures etc. will start on 3rd
October so most students will arrive over the weekend before (29th
). Your College may specify arrival times to help with the unloading of hundreds of cars into old buildings.
Overseas and EU students may be allowed to arrive a week earlier to attend some of the optional settling in events in international freshers week. You may also have to arrive early for course-specific summer schools etc. but your College will be in touch.How do I sort accommodation?
Your College will be in touch with details of your accommodation. Cambridge is not like other universities - we work on the assumption that everyone will live in so you don't need to register for accommodation in the same way as at other universities. Your College will let you know when you can move in.
I know this is long, but I hope it helps!