Frequently Asked Questions

What If I change my mind about my course/my university after I have applied?

Don’t panic!

  • There is a scheme called EXTRA which comes into play after the 15th January deadline. You have to reject all your previous offers and then contact universities one by one until you find a place on a course and at a university that you prefer – we will help you with this!
  • You can keep your offers and wait until you get your results. You then reject your existing offers and go into a system called Clearing. This means that the universities put all their spare places back into a big pool and you hunt around for a course and a university that you would like to go to. You contact them by phone or email and if they have a place you can apply for it (they usually insist that you visit them before making decisions). All the paperwork for this system is available, together with staff support, on results day.

What if I don’t get my grades?

Again, don’t panic!

  • Tell staff immediately on results day. They will suggest that you phone the university in question immediately and ask if they will accept you even though you have slipped a grade; many do but some won’t. If they still refuse, you may chose to go into Clearing (see above).
  • You could take a year out and apply for the next year. This has the advantage that once you receive your grades you may get a lower offer – again, we will help you with this.

What if I don’t get any offers?

Not the end of the world!

  • Listen hard to all the advice on offer before you make your application. This should mean that your choices are within the grades you expect to get and you have made a realistic application. You may have applied to universities where there is simply too high a demand for your choice of course.
  • Always make sure that you have made a sensible ‘insurance choice’. This means choosing a course and a university that will make you an offer and that you want to go to, but that is at the lower end of your grade range.
  • If all else fails, go through the Clearing system (see above).
  • You could take a year out and apply for the next year. This has the advantage that once you receive your grades you may get a lower offer – again, we will help you with this.

What if I decide that I would like to defer for a year after I have been made offers?

Act quickly.

  • If you haven’t asked to defer when you first apply but later change your mind, then phone the university departments to which you’re applying as soon as you think this may be an option and ask them if they will let you defer.
  • If you leave it until very close to results day or even results day itself, the chances of being allowed to defer and keep your place are very small. The best route is to reject your offers and reapply for next year – again, we will help you do this.

When will I know if I have got an offer from a university?

This varies according to when you send your application.

  • The earlier you send your application, the earlier you will find out. If you apply by half term you will usually have answers before Christmas.

Will I have an interview and when will it be?

This information will be in the course details.

  • Interviews are compulsory for all Oxford and Cambridge courses, all medical school and nursing applications, all teacher training courses at any level and any other courses where you will deal face to face with people in a confidential setting
  • In addition, many universities or courses use interviews to select pupils where there is a very high number of applications
  • Many art and design courses ask you for an interview so that you can discuss your portfolio
  • Interviews are usually scheduled just before or just after Christmas in January or February
  • As soon as you know you have an interview let us know so that we can arrange some interview training and mock interviews for you

When do I have to decide what to accept?

After you get your Summary Letter in April/May.

  • This letter lists all your final offers and grades
  • You can accept at any time once you have received answers from all the places you have applied to using the Track system on the UCAS site
  • BUT, think about giving yourself the time to be really sure of your choices and talk them through with someone. The places belong to you until you reject or accept them
  • YOU DO NOT HAVE TO REPLY until you have received the letter telling you what all your offers are