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How to survive results day, according to students

Collecting those all-important results this summer? We spoke to students who've been through it before to ask them for their top tips...

What did students do in those last few weeks to prepare for the big day? Is there anything they would do differently if they went through it all over again?

Here’s what they said…

Surviving results day – student tips

Have a list of back-up courses and universities ready to go

I noted down which universities would accept me for Clearing if both my firm and insurance rejected me. I wrote down their numbers and the conditions, and bought it with me to results day.
Tyra-Faith, London | Student

Ucas Clearing: everything you need to know


Make sure you’re the first to know about Clearing places

I signed up for Clearing email alerts on different university websites.
Olivia, Manchester | Student


Don’t leave anything to chance. Knowing you have a Plan B and C can be comforting (even if you don’t need them in the end)

I made sure to know exactly what the process was on results day, how to find out if I had got my firm or fallback offer, and the Clearing process.
Hamza, Bradford | Student

The day will hopefully go your way, but if it doesn’t you don’t want to be stuck in the position of trying to come up with a battle plan in your sleep-deprived, stressed state.

I looked at which unis had places still available for my course and then made a table with my 10 preferred unis, in order of preference. I then printed out a Word document with the table and a plan for what I would do given each possible grade permutation. For example, my offer was A*AA, so I made an ordered list of which unis I would call if I got AAA and then for AAB and ABB and so on.
Honestly, I went overboard. But it really helped me be prepared for anything results day could throw at me and also gave me something to do the day before, so I wasn’t just sat there waiting for the next day.
Febi, Derby | Student

Check out our full guides to A-level results day and SQA results day so you can plan your day out

A little pessimism can be healthy

Prepare for the worst possible scenario. It might sound bad, but in the end you may be surprised.
Elvia, London | Student


Take it easy the day before

Don't turn up drunk – they don't appreciate that.
Jarod, Nuneaton | Student


On the day, don’t rock up late to collect results

If your sixth form/college opens before Track updates, definitely go in early. If you don’t get the grades, then you will have time to come to terms with it and it also means you can start calling universities in Clearing as soon as lines open.
Febi, Derby | Student


Spare a thought for friends who don’t get the results they want

Try to be conscious of your peers collecting their results alongside you, who may not have gotten what they desired and who may feel even worse if they see everybody else around them being jubilant.
Umar, London | Student


Searching for back-up courses but not sure where to start? 

I looked up Clearing courses at my first and second choices to see if I could do a similar course, and looked at other unis with lower grade requirements.

I researched universities offering similar courses in Clearing.
Amanda, Wokingham | Student

Looking for courses in Clearing? How to find a back-up quickly


Consider alternative options if Clearing doesn’t throw up any courses you’re entirely happy with

I looked at the possibility of resitting my A-levels, including how much it would cost and which institutions offered this option in my local area.
Zuzana | Student


Remember, you don’t have to juggle the decision on your own

I discussed with my parents the offers we were going to accept and had organised ahead of results day a rough plan for if the results did not go well. This made it easier as we had an idea of what we were going to do, whatever the situation.
James, London | Student

I discussed with my parents what I was going to do in each results day scenario. I formulated a plan of action for each situation.
Holly, Taunton | Student


Already have a uni place? Keep your eyes peeled anyway…

Had an unconditional from Westminster to study politics as my insurance so knew I'd be going to uni, but had a list of other unis that may accept me onto my preferred course (politics & economics).
Chloe, Northampton | Student

Get higher grades than expected? Find a new course through Ucas Adjustment

Don’t let the run-up to results day ruin your summer

Try to enjoy your summer. Getting results can be daunting but it shouldn’t affect your holidays.
Mashal, Bath | Student

I made sure I had a good night’s sleep and took self-care steps to keep myself relaxed.
Georgia, Cardiff | Student


Disappointed with your results? Perspective will come (just not right now necessarily)

In five years’ time, will this matter? 
Sallyanne, Folkestone | Student

There are different routes to your goal. I did horrifically in my A-levels due to health reasons completely out of my control. Universities weren't very understanding and my dream to study law seemed impossible. Through lots of persuasion and drive, I have just been accepted into one of the best universities to study law. Never give up. Universities respect passion and drive – your results do not have to define you.
Annabelle, London | Student

A-levels are hard. Be proud of yourself and know that everything will work out in the end!
Erika, Carlisle | Student


What now?

Explore our full results day and Clearing advice hub, including next steps once you know your results, how to make a Clearing phone call, and more.

Looking for back-up courses for Clearing? Use our course search tool to narrow down your options by entry grades.

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