Your guide to A Level Results Day 2017
We doubt that any A Level students need to be told this, but results day is upon us! No matter what your situation, we're here to help.A Level results day marks the long-awaited end of school and the start of a major new chapter. Whatever you're moving onto next, the 17th August 2017 is a day to celebrate or commiserate – depending on your feelings, of course!
The anticipation of finding out whether you have made it into your university of choice can be tough to deal with over the summer months. We know exactly how you feel, and rest assured you're not going it alone.
We've spoken to both current freshers and A Level students to find out exactly what you feel you need to know about results day and preparing for uni… and this delightful guide was the outcome!
What’s on this page?
Before A-Level Results Day
This year results are released on the 18th of August – no doubt a day that's been locked into your diary for a long time already!
The vast majority of students will have to travel to school or college to pick up their results envelope, so make sure you've made travel arrangements in advance. Trust us, being stranded in the middle of nowhere while everyone else opens their results is not a good situation to be in.
It may be the last thing on your mind but you need to make sure you're prepared for any eventuality. Make sure you take a few vital things along with you such as a pen and notepad, your UCAS letter, contact details for your firm and insurance offer universities and a copy of your personal statement. Prosecco is optional!
Even if you're confident you've made the grade, do take some time to do a bit of research on other universities that might be taking additional students on through clearing.
That way, even if the worst does happen, you'll have some contact numbers ready and waiting and be much more clued up on what other unis have to offer.
The night before results day can be stressful, so make sure you do something relaxing to take your mind off things. Whether you watch a film, have a bath or hang out with friends, don't think or talk too much about the next day or you will just increase your anxiety levels!
Whether you nabbed yourself a handful of A*s or just missed out on your predicted grades – we're here to make sure you get the best out of your particular situation.
To help you decide what to do with your grades, make sure to read our handy tips below!
I met my firm offer
If you got the results you needed for your firm offer then congratulations, it's time to pop the champers!
The university must honour their offer and cannot turn you down if you achieved the necessary grades. If you log into your UCAS account you should see the offer as accepted and the confirmation letter will be on its way (this will be handy when you get round to opening a student bank account).
If the uni hasn't updated your status on UCAS track don't to worry too much as sometimes it can take a little time.
If this is your situation, the only way you won't be headed to university this year is if you decide that uni is no longer the right choice for you. In this case, you'll need to ring the uni up and let them know you won't be accepting their offer so the can give it to someone else.
If you can't contain your excitement about starting your uni adventure, start preparing what to take with you now!
Everything went better than expected
If you managed to snag even better A Level grades than expected then it might be worth taking a look at something called 'Adjustment' – a new UCAS scheme for people just like you!
You can apply for Adjustment here – essentially, it allows you to hold your firm offer while you look for another university or a higher entry course if that's something you'd like to do.
If you got better results than you expected, it's likely a few more doors will be open to you, and UCAS are giving students the opportunity to scope these out before making a final decision.
Note that Adjustment is on a pretty limited timescale: You have a total of 5 days from the day you get your unconditional offer to find an alternative place and make a verbal agreement with the uni (they will then change your status on UCAS directly, so make sure you're confident with your choice!).
There's no listings for Adjustment vacancies, so you'll just have to ring universities directly and let them know that you are looking for places through adjustment.
I missed my firm offer
If you missed out on the required grades for your firm university choice then don't worry – all is not lost! You can still apply for a space through Clearing – here's our complete guide to getting started.
You can also try calling the university and ask if they're still willing to offer you a place, especially if you're only a few marks off.
They may simply say yes or no, but they could also offer you another course or a foundation year. It's also not unheard of to be offered a place for the next academic year if you resit some exams and bump up your grades a bit.
Give yourself the best chance by selling yourself using good AS Level grades, relevant extracurricular activities and telling the uni why the course is the most relevant to you and your future.
If you do have genuine extenuating circumstances or your tutors are supporting a re-mark of your papers, it may be worth mentioning this as well. We say this with caution though – they will ask for evidence of your circumstances, so don't make things up, as tempting as it may be!
It's up to you whether you accept any offers they put to you – if it doesn't feel right, remember you can always take some time out to explore other options.
I met my insurance offer
If you've not been accepted for your firm offer, or you've decided to turn something down (like a foundation year, for example) then you can look to your insurance option on your UCAS form.
If you've made the grades for this option, you will be accepted by the university… congratulations! The acceptance letter will be on its way and you can start getting prepped!
I didn't make the grades for my firm or insurance offer
If you didn't get the grades you expected for either your firm or insurance offer but you still want to go to university, there are still options available so don't panic.
There is still a reasonable chance you'll be accepted into uni doing the course that you want at a slightly later date, so always double check your UCAS account first to see if you have been offered a place at your insurance uni on another course (it will show as UCC or 'unconditional changed course').
However, if this isn't the case, you can apply for university through clearing. Find out everything you need to know about university clearing right here.
Don't discount other options either: Staying at college to re-sit some exams or take a new course is free in most cases and can boost your chances.
You might also decide to take a year out to get some relevant work experience or even do a gap year abroad and apply again with the grades you already have, as extra experience can make all the difference.
I've decided that university isn't for me
You might not find any places that you're interested in through clearing, or you could even end up deciding that uni isn't for you after all (or for now, at least).
In this case, you'll need to turn down any offer you've received or simply call UCAS and tell them that you want to withdraw.
Going on a gap year, partaking in a bit more study or even going straight into employment might actually turn out to be a better option – don't feel like uni is the be all and end all if you feel it's not the right option for you.
Preparing for University
When you've finally sorted everything out and managed to grab your uni place, you'll no doubt be thinking ahead to your new life as a student and, of course – freshers week!
We have loads of exclusive offers and deals throughout the year just for students, as well as top tips on how to save money and make the most out of your time at university.
Here is a quick snapshot of what we have to offer to get you started:
Join the Community
Find out about the latest deals first via our popular Facebook page and join our cash-savvy community. We're the go-to resource for national student news, the best student deals and freebies, as well as advice on how to save money as a student and make more cash!
You can also find us on Twitter of course: @savethestudent.
Download your free student money eBook
As a student, you're about to enter a world where you almost never have to pay full price for anything, so take advantage of this whatever you do!
Your uni card or NUS card is like a magic ticket to money-saving, but where can you use it? We have the UK's only up-to-date student discount directory showing you where you can use your magic card, so make sure you do!
As well as discounts, there are extra special deals for students like our beloved freebies!
Not only do we have a student deals section on the site but we also have a weekly student deals newsletter which includes a roundup of the best deals we've found for the week, sent directly to your inbox. Make sure you sign up!
Expert advice for new students
Every day we add new money-saving advice to the site, as well as ensure we always have updated information on our massively popular guides like student finance, student bank accounts, study advice and more (plus a little bit of fun stuff, of course).
To get you started on your prep for starting uni, here's a few of our most popular guides for new students:
Useful Guides for 1st Years
You can also check out our entire Freshers' guides section…
If you have any questions about the content of this guide, feel free to comment below – we'll around to try and help with any problems you might have.