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Terms Explained

Here are a few key terms you’ll need to be aware of:

Firm: Your first choice.

Insurance: Your second or ‘back-up’ choice. It’s recommended that you choose a course with slightly lower entry requirements for your Insurance option, but it should still be a course and university that meet your requirements and you would feel happy attending.

Conditional: An offer that depends on the outcome of your upcoming exams/qualification – the university is offering you a place on the condition that you attain certain grades.

Unconditional: Usually offered to those that already have their Level 3 (e.g. A Levels/BTEC Extended) qualifications or those with an exceptional application that meets specific criteria.

Here are a few more tips on how to respond to your offers:

Don’t Rush!

It might be tempting to accept the first offer you receive, but what about all the other offers that might come your way? Most applicants don’t actually have to respond to their offers until Wednesday 1st May 2019 (this is in line with when you receive your last offer).  This will give you a bit more time and opportunities to visit and research your shortlisted institutions.

Remember that each course will be different depending on the institution that is teaching it. So if you have two courses with identical titles, be sure to look at the module lists and contact the course leaders where possible so you can find out how each course will differ.

Also remember, university is not just about going to lectures and pulling an all-nighter in the library! There is much more to the university experience. Try to visit the university and see the facilities first hand, talk to the lecturers, staff and students in person and check out all the extracurricular activities on offer.

Responding to UCAS

Once you think you have collected all the information you need to make a decision, it’s time to let UCAS know your choices. To do this you’ll need to log in to UCAS Track and enter your personal ID, username and password.

First select your number one choice as your Firm (F), and then your second choice (if you have one) as your Insurance (I). It’s important to remember that if you get the grades to make it to your Firm choice, you are committed to going there; you can’t automatically swap to your Insurance.

Remember to make sure your Insurance choice has a lower grade offer to ensure it serves its purpose! You don’t want to end up with no offers on the table!

Once you have made your top two choices, you will need to Decline (D) all your other offers.

Results Day and Enrolment

Now it’s time to buckle down and achieve those grades required for your top choice university.  Hopefully, come results day later in the summer, you will be celebrating doing just that!  If this is the case, you don’t need to call the University; just log on to UCAS Track where you will see a big congratulations message and confirmation of your place at your Firm choice institution.

However, if you find your results weren’t quite what you were aiming for, try not to panic!  You can always try and call your first choice university and see if they can still offer you a place.  At Chester, we always try our best to help accommodate you or suggest an alternative course where possible.

You also have the option of falling back into the safety net of your Insurance choice, if you have met the grade boundaries there. Failing that, or if you change your mind altogether, you can always check out the Clearing section of UCAS and see if any other courses are available that take your fancy.

Want to Know More?

There's lots more information about the application process available on our website.

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