Preparing for Exam Results Day, a Guide for Students: Part 2 – Results Day!

Results Day

IB results are usually issued in the first week in July. Unless you plan to go to your school or college in person you will need to know how to get them on line. To do this you will need your PIN and personal code that your IB programme coordinator will have given you earlier in the year. Then, find out what time your results are released. This is done at different times in different time zones. Usually the UK gets them around 2pm.

SQA results will probably be released on Tuesday 7 August 2018. Clearing vacancies will be available on the UCAS website from the beginning of July. Your results will be sent to you to arrive in the post on results day. If you have signed up to MySQA and activated your account by 20 July you may request to have these sent via email or text.

A level results will be published on Thursday 16 August. Adjustment will start the same day. You should be able to find out from Track from the morning onwards whether your place has been confirmed. But you won’t see your results. You will have to contact your school or college for them – usually by going in at a time you have been given. If admissions tutors are still considering whether to give you a place Track won’t be updated yet. BUT remember that if you meet or exceed the exact terms of your offer your place is guaranteed. It is only people who have not done so who may need to wait.

UCAS receives most results from the exam boards and, after checking that they match the information on your application, sends them to the universities and colleges where you are holding any offers of a place. You can check at to see the full list of qualifications for which UCAS will do this.

If yours isn’t listed it means you will have to send your results to your universities or colleges yourself. If you have taken any other exams, such as Nationals 4 and 5, GCSE or international qualifications, you must send your results as soon as you receive them to those universities and colleges where you are holding offers. (IB results may or may not be received by UCAS as schools and colleges need to give permission for this.)

When your results are released and have been received by the admissions tutors, they will compare your results with the conditions they set and make a decision on whether to accept you.

What if you get the grades?

Congratulations! Your place will be confirmed; a university or college cannot reject you if you have met the conditions of your offer. Before the end of August, you’ll see in Track that your place is confirmed; check your online confirmation letter to see if you need to take any further action to confirm your place.


Adjustment might give you an opportunity to reconsider where and what to study.

If you met all the conditions of your firm choice and exceeded at least one you could change your place for another course you may now prefer. Adjustment begins on A level results day and lasts until 31 August. If you register but do not find an alternative course, you keep your place at your original firm-choice institution. Only a small number of applicants receive places through Adjustment. Last year, the total was 1,040. Ask your careers adviser for more information about Adjustment.

If you missed out …

Do not panic! You should contact admissions offices immediately to find out whether they will accept you anyway. This is because admissions tutors may decide to confirm your offer even if you failed to meet some of the conditions. It has been known for applicants to be accepted with much lower grades if there are places available, there is good school or college support and, perhaps, a good interview record, although this varies greatly from course to course. But don’t count on this! Alternatively, you may be offered a place on a different course.

UCAS will send you an official notification of the outcome of your application. If you have been offered a place on an alternative course, you will have a choice of actions. These will be listed on the notification letter.

If your place is not confirmed, you can find a place through Clearing or, alternatively, you can retake your exams and apply again the following year.


If you do not get the grades you had hoped for and your offer is not confirmed, don’t worry. If you’re flexible and you have reasonable exam results, there is still a good chance you could find another course through Clearing, which helps those without a place to find one. Last year, 66,865 students found places by using this service, an increase of 3.1% on the previous year (1,990 more acceptances). Ask your careers adviser for more information about Clearing.

By Beryl Dixon, experienced careers adviser and author of How to Complete Your UCAS Application (9781911067863).

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