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What to do if your A Level grades are higher than expected?

It’s a great ‘problem’ to have: What to do if your A level grades are higher than expected? You could now be eligible for a university or course you had not previously considered, or did not think you would be able to gain entry to. If you’d like to explore alternatives, the answer that that you use Adjustment, by registering through UCAS Track. It is open now and will close on Wednesday 18 August.

You’ll have up to five 24-hour slots (including the weekend) to use Adjustment. To start your search for potential alternative courses, use the UCAS search function, filtering by location, university or course. Click on possible alternative courses to check the entry requirements and course details, so you can see whether you qualify and if it would be a good match for you.

If you find a university and course which appeals, you should contact the university directly, give them your UCAS ID and tell them you are applying through Adjustment. The university will then decide whether to offer you a place. Be clear if you are exploring options at this stage or if you are looking for a firm offer.


  1. To be eligible for Adjustment, you will need to have exceeded your predicted grades.

  2. You can only make one Adjustment choice, so make sure it is the right one for you and discuss your options with someone whose opinion you trust.

  3. It’s the university that adds itself to your UCAS application, so don’t accept a verbal offer from an alternative university or course unless you are absolutely certain you want it.

  4. You do not have to give up your current conditional firm offer to apply through Adjustment, but if you are accepted onto a new course you will need to call your original university and explain the situation.

  5. Adjustment isn’t available if you accepted an unconditional offer earlier in the year.

Remember that any phone call to a university has the potential to become an impromptu interview so be prepared: have your questions listed ahead of calling. Take the time to research all the details about the course, accommodation and any other factors that are relevant and important to you. There is no need to make a panicked decision as you can receive multiple verbal offers over the phone and then decide. If you would like to discuss your options and seek our impartial and informed advice, we would love to help find the best outcome for you. Our team of experts looks forward to hearing from you.

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