Your results are here. Your school and college career is finally over. You are ecstatic, quietly satisfied, or wretched at the grades you have been awarded. If you have achieved the grades you wanted, or expected, or needed to win the university place you had set your hopes on, congratulations, the problem is behind you. Nothing more needs to be said. Go and start packing for your stay in the remote town you never imagined you would spend three years of your life in.

An interesting possibility is that your results are better than you expected. You might like to try Adjustment, which is a facility offered by UCAS to allow you to bid for a course with higher A-level grade requirements than the one you have already accepted. You can apply anywhere, even to a university that has already rejected you earlier, and you can change the course you want to do. What’s more, you don’t lose the place you have already accepted when you go for Adjustment. Ring the university you are interested in and explain your situation and ask if there are any vacancies. Check very carefully that the new course is what you really want to do. If you are offered a place and accept it, UCAS Track will be updated and your previously held place will then be void. But you must act fast. Adjustment only last for five days from the moment you register on Track, so it can be both exciting and scary.

But just suppose your grades are lower than you had hoped. (It does happen.) Lesson number one is Don’t Panic. Keep calm and turn your attention to the clearing process. There has been plenty in the newspapers this year about a drop in the number of university applications, so it is likely that there will be quite a few available places to try for. The important thing is to be methodical in your approach. Spend a couple of hours doing your research before you pick up the phone. Look at the university websites for the sort of courses you are interested in, think carefully about what you want to do and where you would like to live for three years. Make a list of possible courses, including their codes, and make sure you have your UCAS number ready to quote and your AS and GCSE results at hand. Then phone the first place on your list. Remember that the university wants to fill its student list, and the clearing helpline is designed to help people like you, but don’t waste time. If you don’t get anywhere with the first place, give it up and call the next.

And if it all comes to nothing, just remember that a good number of the billionaires in this country never went anywhere near a university.

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