What to Do if Your IB Scores Didn’t Come Out as Expected: UCAS Edition
First of all, give a pat on your shoulder for making it through the IB result release day. Undoubtedly, the COVID pandemic has disrupted the learning progress and environment for many. This is particularly daunting for students who have a conditional offer to meet for their UCAS application. If this is you, and if you have missed your UCAS offer conditions, read on for a quick step-by-step guide.
Case 1: I missed my UCAS Firm offer and would like to retain my place. What should I do?
- Stay calm and call the admissions office.
- If you have narrowly missed your UCAS firm offer, you have to be proactive and call the university’s general admissions office as soon as possible. There are students who might have outperformed their predicted grades and would like to see if there are any chances of securing a place in their dream university. Therefore, it is important for you to call the university to explain your situation and express your sincerity of retaining the place.
- Send follow-up email.
- After speaking with the admission officer, chances are you won’t be able to obtain a confirmation on your Firm offer still; the admissions team is likely to ask you to follow up with them again after the A-Level result release in mid-August. That is okay! You have already expressed your eagerness to retain the offer and provided all the necessary information to the admissions. Now, it is time to send a follow-up email. Thank the admissions team for taking the time to answer your call and provide them with your UCAS ID and / student number once again for their easy reference.
Case 2: I missed both your UCAS Firm and Insurance offers. What should I do?
- Did you narrowly miss your offer or are you off by a distance?
- This scenario can go two ways, depending on how far away your results are from the conditional offers. If you have narrowly missed both offers, repeat the steps outlined in the above section. However, if you have missed the offers by a wide margin, then you will be entering the UCAS Clearing process.
- Explore alternative university programs via the UCAS Clearing page
- UCAS Clearing is a UCAS function that allows you to explore other university programs outside of your Firm or Insurance offers. Universities that still have places available after the result release day would post their program openings onto the Clearing page for students to browse. You can apply for any Clearing university / program, provided that you have taken the required IB subjects and met the required grades. Your personal statement may no longer be taken into consideration in the Clearing round
- Reach out to the admissions office of your selected programs
- Look at the Clearing page and identify 3-4 courses that you are interested in applying for. Give the universities a call to see if they will consider your application (remember to have your UCAS ID, IB results, and the UCAS course code ready at hand). The admissions officer who answers your call may have a ‘mini-interview’ with you to understand why you are interested in the course and determine if you are a suitable candidate. So do prepare the relevant answers before calling the admissions office!
- Confirm your ‘soft offer’ and get ready to attend university this fall!
- If your selected universities are convinced about your application, they will give you a ‘soft offer’ confirmed via email, i.e. a non-binding offer to attend that university. You can receive multiple ‘soft offers’ before you finally choose one university to enter in UCAS Clearing (remember you may only confirm universities in Clearing from which you have received a ‘soft offer’). Once the university accepts you, the UCAS system will update your status to confirm your place with the university. You are all set for the new academic year!
Click here for more information on how to plan for your UCAS Clearing process. Best of luck!