If you’ve got better A level results than expected, and your grades exceed your firm choice, you can register for UCAS Adjustment, which allows you to switch to a better university or course. Your firm choice will remain in place until you decide to accept a better offer.

The great thing is, just like not quite meeting your predicted grades, you have options. But don’t feel like changing your course or university is a must.

If you’re happy to stick with the choice you made when picking your firm and insurance choices on UCAS, then it’s absolutely fine to do this.

If you think you will be eligible for UCAS Adjustment, then the first place to start is to check your UCAS Track account and see if you are given the option to register for Adjustment.

Once you are certain this is an option for you, the next point to look at is what, and where, you’d like to study.

As you can imagine, those courses or universities which are over-subscribed probably won’t have spare places available, but it’s always worth enquiring just in case, as other applicants may have swapped or withdrawn, freeing up a space (or two!). If these is a place, then you can pursue it through Adjustment.

UCAS Adjustment is the official term for changing your university plans for those who get better grades at A Level and gives you a short period after results day to change your firm choice university.

This year, Adjustment starts on 13th August (A level results day), and runs until 31st August, so you have around two weeks to swap. If nothing catches your eye, or you don’t want to change your choice, you can still keep your original firm choice. 

The first step is to contact those universities you are interested in, as there is no central list of places available through Adjustment, as these is with Clearing.

Let the university know your circumstances and grades, but take care to let them know you are only enquiring at this stage, as once you formally commit to an offer, your current firm offer choice on Track will be released.

Once you’ve completed your research, and only if you are happy with your new choice, you should formally commit to accepting your place. Once this is done, you’ll see your Track page update, and you’ll receive a new confirmation offer.

It’s also important to note that as part of looking for a place through Adjustment, you should also take care to look into accommodation options and if you are happy to live in the area the university is located in

After all, if you are looking for a university in an urban/city environment, then living entirely on campus, in a small town, probably won’t be for you (or indeed, make a productive place to study, if you are wishing you are elsewhere!)!

And that’s it!

Adjustment really gives you a second chance to improve your university or course choice and is a reward for the hard work you’ve put into getting good results. But it’s not the only option.

You might also consider postponing your studies and taking a gap year, if you think your new grades will massively affect the choice of university or course open to you, or you might choose not to change anything  at all.

Whatever choice you make – congratulations on all your hard work!

Further information

For more tips and advice on A level results, please see: