A re­sult! Howto get your univer­sity of choice

The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL - BY NATALIE LANCER

OW DID A-LEVEL re­sults day go for you yes­ter­day?

If you met the con­di­tions of your of f e r, your f i r s t choice will have ac­cepted you, of course. But it may be that you ex­ceeded your of­fer and you would like to con­sider do­ing a dif­fer­ent course. You have up to five days to swap on to another, with­out your orig­i­nal place be­ing jeop­ar­dised, us­ing the process of Ad­just­ment in UCAS. How­ever, many cour­ses re­quir­ing higher grades will be full.

If you didn’t meet the of­fer of your “firm” choice, your “in­sur­ance” choice will have ac­cepted you — if you met theirs. But do you want to take up your in­sur­ance place? Some stu­dents think about re-sit­ting ex­ams, but many uni­ver­si­ties ac­cept only re­sults that were gained over two years of study, not three, so do check to see if there is any point in this strat­egy.

If you feel that your exam re­sults don’t re­flect your ac­tual per­for­mance in the exam, it may be a good idea to get your pa­pers re-marked. Your school will ar­range this for you. It is im­por­tant to re­alise that your exam re­sults may go up or down as a re­sult of a re­mark and so you should only re­quest a re-mark if you are sure you feel you de­served more.

The re-mark can take up to 18 days de­pend­ing on the exam board. How­ever, even if the re-mark meets the univer­sity of­fer, that univer­sity may still not be able to give you a place. But it may of­fer you one on a sim­i­lar course or the one you want the fol­low­ing year. To max­imise your chances, let your univer­sity know that you are hav­ing the exam re-marked and no­tify it of any grade changes by Au­gust 31.

If your grades do change for the bet­ter and you have ac­cepted your in­sur­ance of­fer or another of­fer in Clear­ing, you will have to ask the univer­sity to re­lease you so that you can ac­cept your orig­i­nal of­fer.

Some uni­ver­si­ties will ac­cept you even if you missed a grade. When you log into Track on UCAS, you may see that your cho­sen univer­sity has con­firmed your place, de­spite your lower grades. If not, you may need to call to ne­go­ti­ate your place. It may be that the univer­sity can­not al­low you on to your pre­ferred course but that there are oth­ers on which it would be happy to of­fer you a place.

You can also shop around via Clear­ing, the process uni­ver­si­ties use to ad­ver­tise and fill their spare places. The list of un­filled places is on the UCAS web­site and pub­lished in The Tele­graph. Places avail­able change daily, so keep check­ing. Phone the uni­ver­si­ties in which you are in­ter­ested; tell them your grades and see if they will give you a place. You may be in­ter­viewed over the phone by an ad­mis­sions tu­tor.

Are you flex­i­ble about what course you study as long as you go to your cho­sen univer­sity, or would rather see if other uni­ver­si­ties can of­fer you a place on a sim­i­lar course? You are not lim­ited to the sub­ject for which you orig­i­nally ap­plied,as­lon­gasy­oumeet­theen­trance re­quire­ments­forthe­coursey­ouarenow ap­ply­ing for. Your nerves are bound to be on edge, so get some sup­port. UCAS of­fers free ad­vice and your teach­ers can help too.

In most cases, get­ting a good de­gree is what is im­por­tant. The sub­ject may be of less rel­e­vance, de­pend­ing on the field you want to go into. That said, to get a good de­gree (nor­mally a 2:1 or above), you need to be able to re­main in­ter­ested and mo­ti­vated for the whole of your course, so don’t take a place on a course if you are not re­ally in­spired by the sub­ject. Natalie Lancer is the founder of MyUniAp­pli­ca­tion

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