The Student Room reflects on busiest A-Level results day in history


As results day heads in to its final hours we’ve asked Chris Newson (CEO), Jason Geall (MD) and Jamie O’Connell (Marketing Director) to reflect on the busiest day in HE.

With over 20,000 news posts across the site by 4pm and a record 16,366 students online at one time the hamsters running our servers were put to the test and came through with shining results, producing 7000 page requests per minute.

It may sound boring and techy but it means that we’ve been able to fulfil our promise to provide a community where all students can get 24/7 support on one of the most important days in their education. And it wasn’t for nothing as three quarters of the days traffic came from students wanting to discuss university or clearing with their peers.

In addition to this our moderators -see below- were on hand through the night and throughout the day to offer expert advice, totalling over 1,600 responses to students in need.

What the The Student Room team say

Jamie O’Connell, Marketing Director @JamieTalk

“HE Minister David Willets spoke this morning of students this year being in a position of power – it has played out that way and on the whole it has been a very positive day. Universities have been eager to fill their courses and have been far more flexible with entry requirements this year.

Some students have taken advantage of the opportunity to ‘trade up’ in adjustment. It seems that most of the Russell group universities have offered places to AAB+ students when contacted directly, however, the proportion of students doing this has been small. We attribute this to the fact that, according to research we recently conducted with LSBU, only 5% of people prior to results day knew there would be the option to do it.

There have been problems unfortunately – since early today we’ve had confirmation that the electronic system universities use to process applicants has been experiencing difficulties. But we’ve been able to reassure students that are experiencing delays and abnormal status changes through our forums that they aren’t alone.

We hope that UCAS let students know when the system will be restored and when they will have confirmation of their university place. It’s only then some students will feel confident that they can go out and have a much deserved celebration.”

Chris Newson, CEO – @ChrisNewson

“Clearing 2012 started calmly enough this morning but the problems with UCAS systems soon changed that. As a truly independent community with students’ interests at heart, The Student Room had to react quickly to offer reassurance.

The university application process needs to be more accountable with a fully transparent communication process. Hopefully, following another year of technical failings, universities, government & students will press for change.”

Jason Geall, Managing Director – @JasonGeall

“The 2012 A level results day and clearing kick off have been like no other. The uncapping of AAB graded student intake coupled with the ludicrously low level of awareness of these changes combined to create an uncertain start for students this morning.

When you add to this a change in the marking model which stunted the year on year result improvements, you have to feel for the 629,000 students who have invested significant energy in their A level studies.

We’ve experienced record levels of activity today at The Student Room, in visitors, conversation posts and advertising take-up. Everything that is magic about the internet has combined to see The Student Room bring together our community of students and moderators, to navigate through the challenge that is clearing.”

We’d like to wish all students good luck for the future, no matter what path they take and remind them that The Student Room will continue to offer the highest level of support and advice for young people no matter what the issue.

And if you have spaces available in clearing please get in touch and we’ll help you connect with those students searching for a place- call 0800 999 3222 or through our contact us form