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UCAS Adjustment 2020

If you’ve just received your A Level exam results and found you’ve achieved better grades than expected, then many congratulations!

This means you are eligible to enter UCAS Adjustment, providing you have exceeded the conditions required for your firm offer and paid the full UCAS application fee of £24.

Although you can not change your insurance choice, you have the opportunity to try and secure an alternative course and/or university to your original firm choice.

For example, you may originally have had a firm offer at the University of Newcastle to study Geography, but your achieved grades mean you can try to obtain a place to study the same course at a more highly ranked university, such as Warwick.  

You can enter the Adjustment process from A level results day onwards, up until 31 August.

However, you will only be given 5 days (including weekends) to find an alternative course. So try to register before 27 August to make sure you get the full 5 days allowed!

How to use Adjustment

You can register for UCAS Adjustment in the Track system.

Once you have done this, you then have 5 days (including weekends) to use it, starting from when your conditional firm (CF) offer changes to unconditional firm (UF), or on A level results day – whichever comes latest.

If your offer goes to Unconditional Firm less than five days before 31 August, you'll only have whatever time is left between then and 31 August to use Adjustment and find another university place.

1. Talk to your school/college

Speak to your form tutor, head of sixth or careers advisor first to see if they think it's worth entering UCAS Adjustment.

2. Get registered

If you decide to go ahead, it's important you register for Adjustment on the UCAS Track system in order for universities and colleges to view your application.

Click 'Register for Adjustment' on the choices screen in Track – remember you need to have met and exceeded the conditions of your firm offer to do this.

3. Talk to universities you're interested in

Unfortunately, there's currently no vacancy list published for UCAS Adjustment, which means you will have to check course details using the UCAS search tool and then contact the admissions teams at universities to discuss any potential opportunities.

Tell them you're applying through Adjustment and give them your Personal ID. Please be aware that they won't be able to see your application unless you've registered.

They can then check you've met and exceeded your conditions. Remember if you contact them on results day there could be a short delay while your application is updated.

Talk to them about course vacancies, but make sure you tell them that you're just gathering information at this stage. Only agree an offer with a university or college if you're 100% sure you want to go there.

4. Decide if you want to accept any offers

If a university or college offers you a place over the phone, you just need to let them know if you'd like to accept it. Remember you can only have one Adjustment offer, and it's the university or college that will add themselves to your application.

Remeber that you can only verbally accept one offer, but make sure it's the right one for you.

If they're happy to accept you, your Track screen will be updated with the new choice and UCAS will send you a confirmation letter. 

If not, you can keep on looking, or once your Adjustment time limit is up, you can just keep your original choice.

5. Don't panic

Track will tell you when your Adjustment period closes so you know exactly how much time you have to find another course and/or university.

If you do not find a suitable alternative within your 5 day Adjustment period, don’t worry - you will still have a place at your original firm choice.

If you do happen to find an alternative course, again make sure it's what you really want to do before committing to it. 5 days isn't very long to research new places and decide whether any of them are better than your original firm choice.

Further information

For more tips and advice on getting into university, please see: