The exam results are out! Guide to confirmation and clearing 2010

It’s A-level results day and you finally found out what grades you’ve achieved! You’ll probably be eager to find out if you’ve got into your chosen university course. If you have access to the internet, you’ll be able to check your applicant status from today (19th August) via UCAS Track. Alternatively, you can telephone the university directly.

If you’ve met the conditions of your offer – great! If not, don’t panic, as in some circumstances the admissions tutor may still decide to confirm your offer if you have only narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. If you haven’t met the conditions and find that you are no longer holding an offer, be prepared to contact universities to find out about vacancies through clearing.

What if you haven’t got the grades you were hoping for? Here we look at potential scenarios for applicants who may not have met the conditions of their offers and explore what action they could consider taking.

Contact the University

First of all, try not to stress. If you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer, the university may still be able to offer you a place if the Admissions Tutor agrees to this. The Tutor’s final decision may be dependent upon how many other applicants holding conditional offers have met their conditions and whether any vacancies remain on the course.

If you’ve missed the conditions of your offer by a larger margin, there may still be a possibility of being accepted onto your chosen course or you may be offered an alternative course by the university. This is very much at the discretion of the Admissions Tutor and you should understand that there’s no guarantee that if you’ve not met the conditions of your offer that the university will still be able to accept you.

In either instance, once you know your results you can contact the university to discuss them. The sooner you get in touch, the sooner you can find out what’s happening with your place.

Insurance Choices

Applicants who find that they’ve not secured the place on their first choice course may then have a back-up course they accepted as their insurance choice. Once you know that your first choice university haven’t accepted you then you should contact your insurance choice university to let them know. You are still required to have met any academic conditions of offer stipulated by the insurance choice university in order to be able to secure your back-up place with them. If your exam results mean that you also don’t meet the insurance choice university’s requirements, you need to find out from them whether they will accept you with the grades you received.


If you did not hold a back-up insurance offer, or your insurance choice university confirm that they cannot accept you with your exam results, you may consider using the UCAS Clearing process to search for other available courses at universities elsewhere. Applicants who are not holding an offer of a place after universities have confirmed their final decisions are contacted by UCAS to see if they wish to take advantage of the Clearing facility. Once you are in Clearing, you may contact universities to apply to them for courses on which they have remaining vacancies. National papers, such as the Times, Independent and Guardian, list universities which have course vacancies after GCE A-level results have been released, so you can check these publications to find out what’s available. You can also check university websites as there is often up-to-date information on their vacancy situation online.

Birmingham City University’s clearing hotline number is +44 (0)121 331 6777 or you can email us at You can also find out more about courses available at Birmingham City University in clearing at

Useful links for Clearing:

Time Out

Many applicants who didn’t secure their first or second choice places are often successful in gaining a place through the Clearing process. You may decide that Clearing is the right route for you, or you may decide that you want to undertake further study to try and improve your grades and reapply to universities at a later stage. Whatever you decide, don’t feel rushed into making a decision that you don’t feel completely comfortable with. You may want to consider taking a gap year to give you more time to consider your options. This could also give you the opportunity to go travelling, undertake further study towards meeting entry requirements for a particular degree or work for the year to help save up additional money to fund your expenses at university.


If you’re unsure about what to do next, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about your choices before you make a decision. Talking with your family or a college tutor allows options to be explored and different ideas to be aired. There are often specialist advice services you can talk to, with many universities having their own advice staff who can help. If you’d like to talk to a course adviser about Birmingham City University’s courses, you can contact Birmingham City University Choices on 0121 331 5595 or email us.

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