2 When will I hear?You’ll receive a letter in the post from UCAS a few days after submitting your application. This will contain information about the rest of the application process and will also give you your log in details so that you can access Track.This online service that allows you to keep up to date with your application after you’ve submitted it to UCAS.When each university or college makes a decision about your application, the details will be shown on Track.If you supplied a valid address on your application, UCAs will you when a decision has been made. To protect confidential information, the will not contain the actual decision – you'll still need to go into Track to check the details.
3 What do I do if there’s something I want to change on my application? You can change information such as your postal address, telephone number and address through Track.You can also add more choices to you application through Track if you haven’t yet used all five.Give UCAS customer contact centre a call, on , if you need to change other parts of your application
4 Will my chosen universities know what other courses I’ve applied to? No. After UCAS has done the initial processing, they send the application to all the universities and colleges you’ve applied to, but each college or university will only receive the details that are particular to them.
5 My friends are receiving offers but I haven’t. Should I be worried? There’s no need to worry. As each university and college has their own criteria and ways of working, they'll make their decisions and get back to you at different times.Sometimes they'll make and update their decisions on your application quickly, or it may take a few months. UCAS give the universities a deadline to make their decisions – if you applied before 15th January, the universities have until early May to give you their decisions.
6 OffersYou can hold onto any offer you receive until all your chosen universities have made their decisions and then you have to choose which ones you want to accept. When any decisions do arrive, they will be one of the following:Unconditional Offer (U): You have already met all the entry requirements for the course.Conditional Offer (C): The university will accept you if you meet certain additional requirements, usually specified grades in the examinations you will be taking.Rejection (R): You have not got, and are unlikely to get, some key requirement for the course or that you have lost out in the competition with other applicants.
7 If you receive an offer, you may be invited to visit the university concerned. This is a good chance to find out much more about the course and university than you can through reading prospectuses and looking at websites. Bear in mind that the occasion is designed to encourage you to accept the offer as well as to give you the opportunity to find out more.So, just like reading prospectuses and looking at the website, be critical of what you are told and look for evidence of any claims that are made.
8 Unconditional offers – what should UCAS applicants do? There has been an increase in the number of UCAS applicants receiving unconditional (U) offers before receiving their final A level results.At least ten UK universities have informed applicants that their offer is unconditional, not dependent on their A level grades.Some universities are making U offers without any conditions, others are linking unconditional offers to the student choosing that university as firm choice, after which the offer is made unconditional immediately, and before the student takes their summer exams.We estimate that around 5% of applicants are receiving these offers, usually with grade predictions and AS level performance of AAA or similar.This is a new phenomenon and may have unintended consequences on the preparedness and motivation of students to achieve their best in their A levels, something being commented on by teachers and careers advisers at conferences and in social media.Their argument is that students with an unconditional offer may not work as hard to achieve their best grades.
9 Unconditional offers – what should UCAS applicants do? These issues aside, what should applicants do and what should advisers recommend?1. Find out more – why is the university making these offers? Is it a genuine recognition of your excellent potential or a pure recruitment strategy to entice more high achieving students?2. If this offer was just conditional (i.e. with grades attached) would you choose that university anyway? If so, then great, go for it and work as hard in your A levels as possible, secure in the knowledge that you have your place. However, if your real ambitions lie elsewhere then choose the university you really want to go to. In reality, if you are an AAA projected A level candidate, most universities will still admit you as their firm choice if you miss your offer by one or two grades – if, for example, you achieve AAB or even ABB.
10 Unconditional offers – what should UCAS applicants do? Don't rush. Most offers have a May 2015 deadline (be sure to check yours) so you have time to consider your U offer, other offers, and the possible flexibility of conditional offers if you don't quite achieve the grades. It may be that by April 2015 you are more confident in achieving the conditional offer for your real first choice university and decide to decline an unconditional offer in favour of a more aspirational choice.Check scholarships and financial support. It may be that one of your conditional offers is linked to performance at A level (e.g. AAB or AAA). Merit Awards or Excellence Scholarships (sometimes worth £1–2,000 a year) can make a significant difference to your bank balance in first year and beyond.If a university is making you a straight Unconditional offer without the need to choose that university as firm choice, an option is to choose that university as your insurance choice – so you can go for your real first choice safe in the knowledge that you have a guaranteed backup.If you are in this position then congratulations – you have an additional hard decision to make but one which could work in your favour, if it is the right choice for you.
11 Interview TipsMany universities and colleges are calling potential students to interview before making a conditional or unconditional offer of a place. Policies vary greatly and some universities interview only selected or borderline applicants and some do not interview at all.Top tips:The when's and where's: Make sure you know where you need to be and when, and make any necessary travel and accommodation arrangements in advance. Visit the university or college website for maps and directions and make sure you know exactly where on campus you need to be. If you need more information get in touch with the university or college.Knowledge is power: Be sure to read the prospectus and look on the university's or college's website - the more you know about it and the course you have applied for, the keener you'll seem. Make a list of questions you'd like to ask, perhaps the kind of things the prospectus doesn't tell you.Know your application: Make sure you're familiar with what you put in your application - this is all your interviewer knows about you so far so he or she will probably ask you about some of the things you've mentioned.
12 Interview Tips Top tips: Be familiar with 'hot topics' in your subject area: You may well be asked about them, and don't forget to read the newspapers too. Interviewers commonly ask for your views on the issues of the day.Practice makes perfect: A mock interview might be a good idea. Why did you choose this course; what do you enjoy most on the course you are currently studying and why did you choose this university are typical things you might be asked. Ask a teacher or careers adviser to run through a mock interview with you.Get a good night's sleep: You won't perform your best without one!At interviewInterviews are always nerve-wracking as you don't know what you're going to be asked. Just be yourself, be enthusiastic and be sure to 'sell' what you have to offer as a student on your chosen course.Interviewers are looking for students who show an interest, who can think independently and consider new ideas.They are looking for students who will thrive well on their course and enjoy a varied academic life alongside their outside interests.
13 Interview Tips Continued… Dress appropriately: Although you probably won't need to wear a suit to interview, show your interviewer you are taking things seriously by dressing smartly (smart trousers and a shirt or blouse will do the trick).Arrive in good time: Take any contact numbers just in case the worst happens and you get delayed on the way to your interview.Body language: Be aware of your body language in the interview room - don't slouch or yawn; sit up and look alert. Make sure you are giving off all the right signals.Stumped?: If you don't understand a question ask for it to be repeated or rephrased. Make good guesses or relate your answer to something you do know something about.Expect the unexpected: While interviewers aren't trying to trick you, some will want to see how you react under pressure. A surprise test or exercise isn't unheard of so stay calm and think clearly.Ask questions: While your interviewer needs to find out about you by asking lots of questions, you'll come across as enthusiastic if you ask appropriate questions too. Use the interview as a chance to find out answers to your questions that weren't answered on the website or in the prospectus.
14 How and when to reply to your offers Ucas videos: Reply to OffersReplying to your offersYou reply to each offer in one of the following ways:firm acceptanceinsurance acceptancedecline.Firm acceptanceYour firm acceptance is your first choice - this is your preferred choice out of all the offers you have received. You can only have one firm acceptance.If you accept an unconditional offer, you are agreeing that you will attend the course at that university or college, so you must decline any other offers. UCAS will send you a letter which will explain whether there is anything else you need to do.If you accept a conditional offer, you are agreeing that you will attend the course at that university or college if you meet the conditions of the offer. You can accept another offer as an insurance choice.
15 How and when to reply to your offers Ucas videos: Reply to OffersInsurance acceptanceIf your firm choice is a conditional offer, you can accept another offer as an insurance choice. Your insurance choice can be conditional or unconditional and acts as a back-up, so if you don't meet the conditions for your firm choice but meet the conditions for your insurance, you will be committed to the insurance choice. You can only have one insurance choice.The conditions for your insurance choice can be higher than your firm choice, but be aware that if you're not accepted by your firm choice, it's unlikely that you will be accepted for an insurance choice that requests higher grades.You don't have to accept an insurance choice - if you're not sure about any of your other choices once you have accepted a firm choice, you're not obliged to accept one as an insurance option.DeclineOnce you have decided which offer to accept firmly, and which (if any) to accept as an insurance, you must decline all other offers. If you don't want to accept any of the offers, you can decline them all. You will then be eligible to use Extra or Clearing, depending upon your circumstances.
16 How and when to reply to your offers Try to attend open days or visits before you decide, but remember to reply by the deadline. If you are visiting a university or college after your reply date, please contact the university or college for advice.Think carefully before you decide which offers to accept because once you accept an offer, including an insurance offer, you are committed to that course (or courses).You can reply to offers without waiting to hear back from all your choices. You can cancel all outstanding decisions and reply to the offers that you have received using Track. But you must be certain about which offers you wish to accept, as once you have made your replies you will not be able to reverse any withdrawals.
17 What If I Haven’t Received Any Offers? All is not lost if you have not received any offers.If you have applied through UCAS, used all five choices on your application and aren't holding any offers, you might be able to apply through Extra for another course. In Extra, you can apply for any course with vacancies. Extra is open between the end of February and early July. In Extra, you apply for one course at a time using Track.Am I eligible?To use Extra you need to have:already made five choicesreceived decisions from all these choices, andeither had no offers or declined all the offers you have received.N.B. If you decline your offers and add an Extra choice, you will not be able to accept any of your original choices later.
18 UCAS EXTRA (video) How does it work? If you are eligible for Extra, a button will appear on your Track screen which you can use to apply for a course in Extra. Course Search will tell you which courses have vacancies - an 'x' will be displayed next to any available courses. Before you apply, try to contact the university or college to make sure that they can consider you.Check Course Search to see if there is an Entry Profile for the course because some will tell you what the university or college looks for in their students and might also have case studies from students who have taken the course.Choose a course and enter the details in Track. UCAS will then send your application to the university or college, one choice at a time.When you apply to a university or college in Extra, they can view details of choices you made when you originally applied.Choosing a courseResearch the courses before deciding which to apply for. If you applied for high-demand courses originally and were unsuccessful, you could consider related or alternative subjects. Ask for advice from your tutor, subject teachers, careers library.You can only apply for one choice through Extra at a time, so please make sure the place is still available before you add it. Once you add an Extra choice it cannot be changed until 21 days have passed.
19 UCAS EXTRA (video) What happens next? If you are offered a place, you can choose whether or not to accept it. If you accept an offer, you are committed to it, which means that you cannot apply anywhere else. You will need to reply to your offer by the date shown in Track.If you decline an offer, or the university or college turns you down, you can apply for a different choice through Extra (time permitting). Your Extra button in Track will be reactivated. You can also apply for a different choice if you haven't received a decision from your Extra choice within 21 days of applying to them.If you don't get an offer in Extra, don't worry! You can apply through the Clearing process, which gives you another opportunity to apply for vacancies.