In the same way that Clearing works for students whose results are worse than they had expected, adjustment allows them to reconsider their options if they have done better than expected. They can look at universities that are better than their first choice, those they were initially rejected from, or courses that required grades they were not predicted to achieve. Students with results higher than the grade requirements for their first choice are eligible.


Image Credit: Kosala Bandara/

How it works

To use Adjustment, click 'Register for Adjustment' in Track on UCAS. Adjustment starts on the day of A-level results and lasts until 31st August. However, students only have five 24-hour periods (including weekends) within this time to use it.

Unlike Clearing, there is no vacancy list for universities. If a student is interested in a certain university, they will need to call them and ask whether they've space through Adjustment. Having said this, the UCAS Clearing vacancy list can give some idea of what is available.

While looking for a place, a student’s original first choice will be safe and they can still chose to take it up if there is nothing they prefer.

If they are offered a new place (verbally) and want to accept it, UCAS Track will be updated with their new university and course choice. After this, they will not be able to change their mind because their original first choice university will become null and void.


Be prepared

  • Those that think they might like to use adjustment should have researched other universities and courses they might be interested in so that they know where to call on A-level results day
  • It is a good idea for them to also have a list of their academic and personal interests and achievements, with links to their chosen course, ready prior to calling universities
  • They should also have their GCSE and AS results to hand when calling up universities
  • Finally, don't book a holiday during A-level results week

Choosing a new university through Adjustment means students will also have to re-apply for accommodation and they will be less likely to obtain their ideal halls. Also, they should not feel pressured to use Adjustment even if they've received better grades than expected, they may still be happy with your first choice university.


Return to UCAS Explained