How to survive A-level results day

We've put together a list of top-tips to help you navigate your way through Clearing and A-level results day

The first-hand account of our third-year student Chloe Homewood gives you a good idea of what to expect from Clearing. Everyone’s experience may be slightly different, so follow our top tips below to make the process as smooth as possible.

Start early

One of the best pieces of advice we can give is start looking early. Just because A-level results day is on August 16, that doesn’t mean you have to wait until then to start looking – especially if you studied a BTEC or if you already have your results from last year.

The courses we have available during Clearing will start to go live on our website from July 5th, check regularly as the course list will be updated all the time.

If you are looking to get your course sorted on results day, why not register your interest with us ahead of time? Simply fill out the form here and we’ll call you on results day and get your place sorted on the spot.

Be flexible

You may need to use clearing for many reasons; because you didn’t do as well as you expected, you haven’t already applied and now you want to go or because you did better than you thought.

Whatever the reason though, be prepared to be flexible and consider courses similar to your original choice. You may find that another course fits your needs much better than you previously thought. University advisers will be able to help you with this, but ultimately you need to make the right decision for your future.

Make notes

If you’re calling universities and discussing various courses, it’s best to make some note to be sure of what each course and university is offering you.

Keep a note of start dates, course titles, who you spoke to and a summary of what was said. It’s also worth trying to get hold of a direct telephone number if you need to call back quickly to confirm a place.

Visit an Open Day

Most universities will be holding an Open Day just after results day. This is a great way to find out more about the university you have chosen, especially if you haven’t been there before. Make sure you register ahead of time to secure your place; it will be busy!

But remember – you’re there to make sure that it’s the right place for you to study and live, so don’t be afraid to ask any questions. Check out our

Results day checklist:

Make sure you have the following to hand on results day:

1. Your UCAS Track log-in details
2. Your results – have these to hand before you start calling
3. Telephone number for your university
a. Why not save ours in your phone – 01902 51 85 85
4. Mobile phone – fully charged!
5. Pen and paper
a. Making notes will be important

A few things to remember ahead of results day…

8am – UCAS Track goes live. Log-in to see your university confirmation. You won’t be able to see your grade, but you will be able to see if you have been accepted. You’ll still need to visit your school or college to collect your actual results, but at least you can see whether you’ve got your place confirmed or not.

During the morning – Your school or college will tell you exactly what time they are available, but pick up your results as early as you can. If you got the results you needed – fist pump! If not, please don’t panic. There are plenty of options available to you.

Only just missed your grades? Firs thing to do is contact your university, as they may still accept you. Some universities may even offer you a slightly different course – which you will need to accept in UCAS Track.

Did better that you thought? If you did better than you expected you could ‘trade-up’ your course. Again, call your university and see what they say.

If you’re not sure about anything to do with your grades or your offer, always call your university. They’ll have special teams available on the day, and for the weeks after results day, to help you.