An adjustment place is a place that you apply for when you get better than expected A-level results.

To qualify to use an adjustment place, you need to have met and exceeded your results. Say your results were an A, B, B with an A in chemistry and you got an A, A, B but your B was in chemistry. You may have exceeded your results; you got two As and a B which is better than the A and two B’s they ask for; but you didn't get that A in chemistry, so you haven't met your offer even though you've exceeded it. I know that sounds a bit weird but you have to have done better than expected, better than the university wanted you if you're going to qualify to apply for an adjustment place.

You do not have a lot of time to do this, you have five 24-hour periods from the time that your offer turns to an unconditional firm offer. That might not be on results day, it might be the day after or there might be some confusion, it might be a couple of days after. You cannot rely on there being any good adjustment places because loads of places are full and universities want full courses, they're not going to save places just in case someone better turns up on UCAS results day. You need to be looking through the UCAS website and seeing if there any places that you might want to apply through adjustment. You have to have ideas, you cannot rely on there being any decent places although last year, for medicine there were places available through clearing. Even though universities want to full places, some people will unfortunately not have got the grades that they want and won't get those places. Those places will then be available to other people; such as you; who have got better than expected results and might be able to apply for adjustment. Your original offer, the one that has turned from a conditional firm into an unconditional firm is safe while you look around. They're not going to take that away from you just when you're doing inquiries about adjustment places, it is only gone once you have confirmed your new place. So, be really certain that you want to change your place because once you've confirmed your new place, your old place is gone. The first thing you need to do is find the course you want, call up the university and tell them, make it really clear to them you're looking for an adjustment place and give them your UCAS ID they can log onto the system and find you. Tell them you are just looking around, that you just want information. You can call more than one place but make it really clear to them that you haven't made up your mind yet. Once you have made up your mind, and remember, things are going to go really quickly, if you call up a university and then call up a few other universities, the first university might have given that place away but once you have made up your mind, verbally over the phone confirm with this new university that you want the place and they will deal with everything else. They will put it all through the UCAS system and it will change on the UCAS website for you. Only do this once you are absolutely certain you want to change places.

This is an excellent situation to be in. It can be quite a stressful situation because you have to work quickly, but hopefully, some of you will get excellent new places from this.

Mason’s Story – Results Day and Adjustment.

I can’t deny how nervous I was for results day. This was possibly one of the biggest days of my life. In comparison to receiving my GCSE results this was an entirely different experience. We had been told by our college tutor that on the morning of results day you would be able to check your offers and that this would be on the UCAS website under tracking. If your results were good your offers would show up as unconditional offers, it may also show the offers as conditional or no offers at all, dependant on your results.

The first thing I literally did after waking up was attempt to log on and check my offers, the server however was far too busy and the offers weren't loading. My mum had to drag me away from laptop as I was obsessively pressing the refresh button. She told me to relax and that I would know my results shortly after arriving at college. So we made our way to college, I spotted my friends who had eagerly been waiting for me. Everyone was so nervous and you could feel the trepidation in the air.

We made our way to queue, it was beyond busy. My stomach was in knots as I was handed my envelope, I couldn't open it immediately, I needed a quiet place where I could open it. Peeling back that envelope is probably one of the most nerve-racking things I have done so far. I couldn’t believe my results, they were so much better than I had expected or even wished for.

After phoning my family I went straight to my favourite tutor. She had always told me that she believed I could get better results than I was predicted. She immediately told me to check my UCAS (I had forgotten all about the offers by this point), I had unconditional offers! My tutor knew from our previous discussions that ideally I wanted to study a different course because I anticipated I wouldn’t get the results I needed for that course, I settled for a similar course. She told me immediately to register for Adjustment on the UCAS website and to speak to our college UCAS adviser.

With Adjustment I would be able to apply for a different course or even university whilst holding onto to my unconditional offer. This can only be done within five days. On the advisers advice and not wanting to let this amazing opportunity pass I rang the university to ask they still had places available on the course that ideally I had wanted to study. They told me they did and talked me through the process. I could be notified at any time, the suspense was killing me as I went out with my friends to celebrate. Luckily, it was only a few hours when I received an email telling me something had changed on my offers page. I checked and I had been accepted. 

I couldn’t believe it! Now I could finally relax!