For most of you reading this blog, your UCAS journey will shortly be coming to an end, and whilst we love finding out all about you from your application, I'm sure you’re hoping that it will never rear its ugly head again. So now it gets really interesting, and in the words of Paddy McGuinness ‘the power is now in your hands’. This is the point that your whole educational life has been leading up to, so before you make that final decision and respond to your offers, here are some top tips to consider when searching for your perfect match!
Step 1: Playing the field!
Although it may be tempting to accept the first offer you receive whilst doing a little celebratory dance, most of you don’t actually have to respond to your offers until at least May 6th. This gives you plenty of time to find out all you need to about your shortlisted institutions and what they can offer you. Oh, how the tables have turned!
Remember that each course will be slightly different so even if you have two masquerading under the same title, the content will vary. Make sure you take a closer look at university websites which will often show a breakdown of the modules and topics you will study within the course.
Also remember that it’s not all about lectures, there’s so much more which makes the university experience complete, so try to visit each of your choices to see their facilities, talk to lecturer’s in person, and meet their current students.
Step 2: No likey… No lighty!
Once you have collected all the information you need to make your decision wisely, it’s time to let UCAS know your choices. To do this, you’ll need to log onto UCAS Track and enter your Personal ID, Username, and Password which are probably lurking on a crumpled piece of paper at the bottom of your bag. First select your number one choice as your Firm (F), and then your second choice (if you have one) as your Insurance (I). It’s important to remember that if you get the grades required by your first choice, you are committed to going there; you can’t just swap to your Insurance choice. This is only really a back-up in case you don’t get the grades you expect, so make sure your Insurance choice has a lower grade offer to ensure it serves its purpose – you don’t want to end up with a blackout! Once you have made your top two choices you need to Decline (D) your other offers which didn't make the cut… we’ll try not to take offence if that’s us! There's more advice and some handy step-by-step videos in the Your Offer section of our Applicant Space.
Step 3: Let the student… see the results!
Arghhhh… the day you have been waiting for has finally arrived… it’s results day! Hopefully this will be a joyous occasion involving lots of happy tears, hugs all round, and sloppy kisses from elderly relatives. If this is the case then there is no need to phone your university; just log on to UCAS Track where you should receive a big congratulatory message confirming your place. However if your results are not what you were hoping for try not to panic as your life may not be over just yet! It’s always worth giving your chosen institutions a ring to check if they can still offer you a place. It may be that they need to wait a while to see whether their courses fill up, but if places become available (which they often do) then they will try their best to squeeze you in. In the meantime, you can always have a browse through Clearing for courses still available, but if you have your heart set on the choices you originally made then it’s usually worth holding out in the first instance, just in case they can still offer you a place.
Step 4: You've bagged yourself a date!
If you followed all the steps above then you should now be sunning yourself on the Isle of Fernando’s, resting in the knowledge that you have made the right decision for you. Your journey towards academic success and a rewarding future career starts here, and we wish you all the best in your future student lives!
Good luck with it all!