You’ve all definitely heard of UCAS clearing; the tool that A Level students dread when it comes to results day. It’s unfortunately only used by people who didn’t quite get their entry requirements, but what about those of you who smashed your A Levels out the park and exceeded your entry requirements? Is there a UCAS ‘upgrade’ tool that you can use? Well, the short answer is yes. It’s called UCAS adjustment and is available to those who get better grades than their entry requirements.
What is UCAS Adjustment?
As mentioned about, UCAS Adjustment allows you to reconsider where and what you study. So if you applied for history, but really enjoyed your English literature toward the end of the year and think you’d prefer to study it at university, you can potentially swap your unconditional offer for another course. It’s worth noting that if you want to change course by stay at the same university, it’s easier to just call the university directly, rather than go through UCAS.
As you’d expect, Adjustment is entirely optional. Many competitive course will be full, so don’t expect to be able to stroll into Oxford or Cambridge if you got straight A’s. However, other students may have missed their entry requirements or swapped, so it could be worth seeing what's available.
Am I Eligible?
You need to have exceeded your entry requirements to be eligible for track. Therefore if your entry requirement is BBB and you get AAB, you will be eligible. Similarly, if you need 300 UCAS points and a C and you get 320 points and a B, you’ve exceeded your target.
Not exceeding your target would be like getting BBBB for an ABB entry requirement.
How to Use UCAS Adjustment
There is an option to use Adjustment in UCAS Track. Adjustment is available from results day (usually when your conditional offer changes into an unconditional offer) and then you have five days to use it before 31 August. UCAS has a countdown timer, so don’t worry about logging off at the end of one day and losing time.
Adjustment is unlike clearing in that there’s no vacancy list. You’ll need to check course details using the search tool on UCAS and then get on the phone to universities to talk about possible vacancies. As searching for courses can be lengthy in itself, you should consider Adjustment before your results are published (if you’re really confident) and make a list of contacts.
Once you find a course available you’d like to take up instead, the university will make sure you exceeded your entry requirements (so no cheating the system!) As there’s only room for one Adjustment offer, make sure you don’t say yes to loads of universities. If you’re happy to confirm a place, let the university know over the phone and then they’ll add themselves to your application.
If you don’t find anywhere, then your original choice will not be affected. This means there’s very few down sides to Adjustment, but just be aware if you change course you will be at the bottom of the pile for accommodation and you’ll have to reorganise student finance arrangements.
To ensure you get the most out of Adjustment, make sure to have courses in mind before results day. Good luck!