It’s a nervous time for students across the country, many of whom will recently have found out if they’ve made the grade and been accepted in to their first choice university. With competition for places always high, some institutions will wait until as late as the end of this month to break the news – leaving an anxious wait for some and a crushing blow in the offing for those that don’t make it.


But fear not, for here are some simple top tips to pick you up should you fall at the final hurdle.

The first thing to do is keep calm and don’t panic! Remember that there are plenty of other people in the same boat and it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Try not to let it knock your confidence – see it as a chance for a new challenge that could take you out of your comfort zone and onto new and better things. Even if you got the right grades, more often than not you won’t get an explanation as to the reasons why you didn’t get in. There are a plethora of reasons but in the end, someone’s going to have to miss out on the cut. For your own peace of mind you could contact the university and politely ask for any feedback. It’s also worth going over your personal statement and making sure it’s tip top – follow this link for help with personal statements.

If you have them, sit down and think hard about any other offers you’ve received. You could have overlooked a fantastic course or feature of another university because you only had eyes for your primary goal. Your heart may still be set on making into the university you missed out on and that’s fine – you can always reapply again next year and make the most of the interim by gaining further qualifications or work experience that stands you in better stead next time around. Everyone likes a tryer.

Check the UCAS website regularly for lists of other courses open and available to you, you may well find a gem of a course that you hadn’t considered before. Make this your bible.

Being spat out the other end of a long application process is enough to put some people off higher education all together. There are other options on the table; you may flourish in a vocational or apprenticeship role for example – check out the National Apprenticeship Service website for more. Alternatively, visit  NotGoigToUni for loads of information on jobs, training and careers designed specially for people in your shoes.

And if you didn’t get any offers? The same applies – it’s not the end of the world. UCAS Extra is there for those of you who simply can’t wait another year to reapply, letting you apply for courses that still have places free until the end of June. Don’t forget that around 30-50,000 students get into higher education during the clearing process each year at the start of September so you might want to hold out for that and keep your options open. Once clearing starts, however, don’t dally and act fast. Make sure you free up your diary to devote time to getting in – ask yourself how much you want this and go for it!

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Joseph is a French and Spanish to English translator, language enthusiast, and blogger.