Results and Clearing 2023


Understand the key events around Results Day and the impact they are having on students.


SQA Results Day

(Tuesday 8th August)

Record numbers of Scottish students receive their first choice at university

On SQA Results Day, Ucas reported nearly three quarters (72%) of Scottish students aged 19 and under had gained a place at their first choice university.

Although there was a 7% decrease in total number of Scottish applicants (all ages) compared to 2022, this is largely accountable from a decline in mature applicants of 21 and older.

The number of accepted applicants to Scottish providers has fallen for subjects allied to medicine (-7%), educations and teaching (-15%) and social sciences (-4%). More details can be found on the Ucas dashboard

"Only 2 hours till the texts come out and I’m genuinely terrified"

"I got the ‘B’ for Maths! I think I met my Glasgow University conditions 😭🥳😭"

"I got my results and found out I got a B in higher maths 😭 What are my chances of doing chem engineering now?"

Scottish students came to The Student Room throughout the day, offering support to each other, sharing results and asking advice.

The week before A-level, BTEC and T-Level Results Day

(Published Thursday 10th August)

Reflecting on the 2023/24 cohort’s A-level experience

 After a few years of relative normality, it’s easy to forget the experiences of different student cohorts caused by the pandemic, and how it may still be impacting them as they go through their educational journey. For the cohort receiving results next week, this is actually the first time they will have received results based on exams they’ve completed. During the pandemic, they would have received teacher assessed grades for GCSE because their exams were cancelled. 

They were also impacted by the long tail of absences in Year 12. This was a time when students were missing class due to their own illness and had to try and keep up from home while isolating. However, teacher absences were also high, with some students saying their college was struggling to staff their classes. In fact, in a poll we ran in October of 2022, over 80% of students said their schooling had been disrupted that academic year.

So it’s important to remember that the students receiving their results next week may still be balancing complicated feelings about how their A-level journey has gone. This is a nervous time for many, and we should remember that even for those who get into the course of their choice, they will need support to transition through to this important next step. Whatever happens on Thursday next week, we have support for every student on The Student Room. 

(At the time data was collected: 289 poll responses)

Student confidence on securing their firm choice university

At the end of July, we ran a poll on The Student Room asking year 13s how they were feeling about getting their grades for uni. Of the 289 votes, just over half (51%) thought they would meet or exceed the grades they needed, while 42% felt like they’d miss the grades for their university offer.

"I have a offer for medicine but i’m worried I wont meet the grades, mainly because the grade boundaries are unpredictable this year and they’re making me nervous"

"I’m taking a gap year so I don’t even have a requirement of grades to meet but I’m still terrified lol. I wish we didn’t have to wait so long for results day, I just want it to be over with!"

However, UCAS has shared that 97% of offer holders now feel confident of gaining a place at university. So could our TSR poll be an indicator of students’ potential to go through clearing? We’ll only know for sure as Results unfolds.

Contingency options

For students who don't get the grades they are expecting our snap poll put Clearing as the top option. We're starting to see students asking about Clearing or what they can do if they don't get the grades they want:

Which clearing unis 2023 are good for biochemistry?

If I get rejected by my firm am I able to call them up for clearing to ask to be on the foundation course of the course I already got rejected from?

I need some help deciding which uni I should apply for Clearing for Accounting and Finance. Does anyone here have any recommendations? Or would you suggest I take a gap year? 

(At the time data was collected: 182 poll responses)

Data: Past 60 days. Subject % of total uni course forum pageviews (2022 vs 2023)

Subject interest trends on the lead up to Results Day

We've been keeping a close eye on where students have been visiting on our university course forums in the past 60 days.

With Computer Science noted by Ucas as having record applicant numbers, making it the seventh most popular course, popularity of course discussion for the subject has also bolstered.

Over the past 60 days, we have seen the interest in Computer Science increase by 17% y-o-y, continuing the growth of 7.5% that we saw in Clearing 2022. Other notable increases are Engineering (+14%) and Law (+4%).

We are seeing a continuing trend of interest in apprenticeships growing YoY, with share of voice in careers forums up 15% from Clearing 2022, a trend backed up in our recent insight into cost of living.

We all know that this has been a testing year for Nursing recruitment, however, we are seeing green shoots of recovery with interest in Nursing up a modest 0.5%.

Weekend before Results Day

(Published Tuesday 15th August)

Nearly a quarter of students in our poll are expecting to use Clearing due to missing their offer

While the majority of students aren’t anticipating using Clearing this year, it’s interesting to note that nearly a quarter of students who responded to our poll over the weekend are expecting to miss their offer. To us, this isn’t surprising as we saw in July that over 40% of students felt concerned they weren’t going to reach the grades they were hoping for. The third of students who are unsure in this poll are also an interesting group. This shows there are students who are open-minded about what might happen on Results Day, and perhaps feel as though it could go either way. These students shouldn’t be mistaken as uncertain or uninformed, but simply waiting for all the information before they make their final choice. 

Activity on The Student Room:  Over the weekend (11th-14th) the most viewed articles were Guide to A-level Results day 2023University phone numbers and contact details for Ucas Clearing and Exam Results 2023.  Much discussion is centralising around our Results Day Countdown thread, with 25,000 pageviews across the weekend prior to A-level results day. Perhaps expectedly, the main emotion in the lead up to Results in nerves, with 25% of students saying they’re feeling nervous, and another 19% saying they’re feeling scared. This is understandably a challenging time for many students, waiting in this period of uncertainty, which is why we have so much support available in the forums by way of our TSR volunteers, incredible community members and we’ll soon be welcoming the team from Student Minds on site to provide reassurance and expertise over the Results period. 

News from Ucas: According to UCAS CEO, students receiving grades on Thursday should expect their grades to be overall lower than the last few years. This is expected due to the deliberate return to pre-pandemic grade distributions, but there is some concern for students who end up competing for university places with those from earlier cohorts who may have received higher grades on paper due to pandemic adjustments.

(At the time data was collected: 334 poll responses)

"So very scared now. Just want it to be over with"

"What is a reasonable way to start a call to uni about a course in clearing? It may be obvious to some people, but I know I'll panic and not know what to say. Especially if I'm upset about missing my firm offer."

"i'm worried about unis and grade boundaries being harsh, even compared to 2019 standards."

"I’m really nervous for results day. Can someone give me tips on what to do when I ring up for Clearing? like do I just call up and say “hi I’ve not met my offer is it possible if I’d be accepted with these grades____”. I’m not sure what to say"

"If a uni didn’t give you an offer can u still apply to that same uni for clearing?"


The Student Room are encouraging that everyone should #BeResultsProud this year. Over the next week we will be answering any questions that students have about the big day, celebrating student success and supporting those that didn't do as well. Some of our content and threads include: 

This is just a handful of what we have going on across the site in the next few days.  Our volunteers have done an amazing job as always, ensuring threads are set up to support students no matter the outcome. We're also looking forward to seeing university Official Reps on site over the coming days, so together we can ensure students are encouraged, supported and prepared to take the next steps in their lives. As a reminder of our community guidelines and how to support in an impartial way, we are encouraging your uni Official Reps to view this thread (when logged in). 

"Thank you so much - I'm not sure what we would do without the excellent support and advice from TSR. I really appreciate your help."

Results Day Grades

(Published: Thursday 17th August)

79% of UK 18 year old applicants gain place at first choice university

Ucas have reported this morning that 79% of 18 year old applicants have secured their first choice. This compares to 81% in 2022 when exams were reintroduced, and 74% in 2019, the last time grading arrangements were the same.

12% have been placed at their insurance choice, compared to 14% in 2019 and 11% in 2022. A further 9% have not been placed at their first or insurance choice and are now in Clearing, which compares to 12% in 2019, and 7% in 2022.

Overall A-level outcomes in comparison with 2022:

• A* down by 5.7pp
• A*- A down by 9.2pp
• A*- E down by 1.1p

Overall A-level outcomes in comparison with 2019:

• Results at A* up by 1.2pp from 7.7% to 8.9%
• Results at A*-A up by 1.8pp from 25.4% to 27.2%
• Results at A*-E down by 0.3pp from 97.6% to 97.3%

Morning of A-level, BTEC and T-Level Results Day

Results Day - how students are feeling

The day before Results Day the student sentiment score on site was at 6.9, up from 6.0 over the weekend. This shows a shift towards more optimistic and positive conversations on the eve of Results.

The top threads in the last 48 hours include the A-levels Results Countdown, followed by Medicine Clearing 2023. Our popular, more fun-focused thread Free Food on A-level Results Day is also picking up on pageviews as students look where to go to celebrate. 

What are students talking about?

There have been missed offers:

"Needed A* A* A to get into Warwick but got A* A* B. Is it worth calling them to see if they'll accept me still on those grades or is it likely to be a straight no?"

"Hi! So I achieved BBD in sociology, maths and physics respectively and got offered an alternative offer of a foundation year at Sheffield but I’ve never really looked into foundation years to know if they’re worth it? I’m just looking for some advice on whether I should take it or attempt to retake my exams next year to avoid it, thank you!"

"I only got AAB. please help me someone I was going to go to durham for law but I've missed my offer. does anyone know of any russell group unis that would accept me for any humanities or law course through clearing???"

Posts of confusion:

"I have met the requirements of my offer from my firm but only my insurance choice has been confirmed, I have yet to hear from my firm choice...I'm a mess. Does this mean they have declined me?"

I got accepted for my insurance choice but not my firm. But they both require a grade of ABB. How is this possible?

And those of celebration and relief!

"I got 3 As!!! Off to do medicine now!!! Really convinced myself that I messed exams up but I'm so happy "

"I got the grades I needed for cardiff!!! (ABB) I did not think I would be able to pull it off 😭 "

"I got ACC, going to study nursing. so happy! well done everyone"

Official Reps and our team of volunteers are playing a key role in supporting students

Our Ucas trained Clearing and Applications Advisors are doing an outstanding job today, as always! The volunteers are trained by UCAS and Ofqual and are experts in the application process, Clearing process and the A-level grading system. There has also been some great interaction from Official Reps today including this thread. The support and advice really does make a difference.

Subject growth on The Student Room

Top page views for subject related forums on site yesterday (16 August) included Medicine, Maths, Law and Dentistry.

We also have seen growth year on year in pageviews for some subject forums including Economics, Computer Science, Pharmacy, Accounting and Finance and Geography, Geology and Environment. Some of these shifts are to be expected as subjects like Computer Science and Economics are in the top ten of A-level subject increases from 2022 to 2023 (+16.7% and +7.3% respectively).

If university teams have any specific subject Clearing requirements please get in touch with our Education team who can advise on the best options for you.

A-level, BTEC and T-Level Results Day and one day on

(Published: Friday 18th August)

(At the time data was collected: 499 poll responses)

Disappointment for many students in our snap poll

Slightly less of a positive results morning compared to last year, but this is expected since results were so high in 2022, and 2023 has represented a return to pre-pandemic grading profiles. On site near miss offers seemed to be quite generous this year and we had a lot of questions about remarks.

On Results morning we began to see a concerning trend with a number of students having missed their offers and received lower grades than they thought they would. This sentiment then continued throughout the day and our poll we are running shows more than half of respondents receiving grades lower than expected. We expected this in comparison to last year especially, when more students received higher grades than usual. However, when we look back at a similar poll on The Student Room before the pandemic in 2019, we can see a lower level of disappointment back then.

Lots of conversation around remarks

Another community poll indicates that students are having success with remarks with lots of conversation between students awaiting remarks/asking if they should apply for one.

I got 97/200 on my exam this morning and got a C. The grade boundary for a B is 100/200. Is it worth getting it remarked?

Got A*BB yesterday, I am 3 marks off an A in maths and 10 marks off an A in computer science. And due to my stupidity and overconfidence my firm and insurance were too close being AAA and AAB respectively. I got rejected by both and put into clearing. I emailed both of them and they said if I change my maths grade they would reconsider my application. I of course paid for my maths paper to be remarked as my teacher suggested but I’m hopeless at this point. Would it be worth resitting maths if I’m unsuccessful with the remark?

I did OCR A A level physics and got 3 marks of an A. Is it worth requesting a remark?

Site activity on Results Day

We saw 300,000 users come to the site on Results Day and more than 257,000 words written as conversations covered celebrations, resits, remarks, Clearing, starting university and much more.

The Uni Guide was also busy with students researching Clearing options and there was growth y-o-y for university lead gen buttons clicked throughout the day.

Got in with BBC with entry requirement of ABB and in clearing at BBB. So someone is smiling down on me!! Cannot wait!

Anybody on here planning to retake their A levels and reapply to uni next year? Thinking of doing so and feel a bit scared tbh

I spent so long prepping for clearing yesterday, and honestly still have no idea how it works. I'm so lucky I didn't have to go through that race, and got into my firm. Good luck to all that are going through the trials and tribulation of clearing, be proud of what you've achieved!

Shout-out to the Uni Official Reps and Volunteers

University Official Reps did an incredible job alongside our TSR Community Team and UCAS-trained Clearing and Applications Advisors who volunteer their time to support students over Results. Delivering personalised support, quickly and without bias to ensure young people find the future that is right for them. Posts by Official Reps were up 38% from Results Day 2022 and post views for the Reps were at 764,000 for the day.

There are so many shout outs but just a handful of those getting some kudos in TSR HQ are Wrexham University Rep who have been brilliant throughout Results Day, University of Bradford offering great advice, University of Salford who were super helpful to a second year uni midwifery student, Student Minds gave support throughout the day across so many threads and a bunch of reps in this thread where a student had lost both firm and insurance choices. There are too many to mention and we thank you all for your help throughout the day.

Hopefully I get the grades but it’s nice to know that they look again! Like other people were saying, we all appreciate your help through this stressful time. I feel more hopeful

Taken a shift at work; keep me from overthinking. Hope you are over all the main busy period and get to chill in the evening. Thank you for all your time and the advice you and others have given me.

Thank you so much & for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated.

Week following A-level, BTEC and T-Level Results Day

(Published: Monday 21st August onwards)

Busy weekend on student forums

It continued to be a busy weekend on The Student Room after the release of A-level results, up 18% y-o-y on posting in our university forums on Saturday and Sunday. Discussions continued from students who missed their offers and were navigating clearing. The great accommodation shuffle is also taking place with lots of students chatting in our uni accommodation forum (+10% page views y-o-y) to ensure they’ve secured a place to live as they confirm their plans for September.

Anecdotally, while we’ve seen a high number of students who’ve been disappointed with their results, we’ve also seen fairly generous acceptances from universities. Particularly for students applying for Medicine, it seems a number were predicted reasonably high grades, but actual grades were considerably lower. Interestingly, we are also seeing some threads like this one, where students are worrying that they aren't cut out for a course they've got into on a reduced offer.

I didn't get the grades I needed to study mechanical engineering so I've been through clearing and had 2 offers - one to study an MEng at York uni in engineering (no specialism) and one to study a BEng in mechanical engineering at Liverpool uni. I'm really stuck in deciding which to go for.

Just got my a levels: A psychology, A biology, B philosophy (2 marks of an A so considering a remark), C in chemistry. I'm feeling ok just a bit rubbish about reapplying for psychology, as I've decided on a gap year, with AAB when I know all the psychology courses I looked at and am interested in are AAA or AAA*. Does anyone know any good courses that accept AAB or would maybe accept me as I have the fourth a level too. Thanks!

This word cloud shows some of the most popular terms used 17th-21st August on site.

Got my a level results and idk what to choose now. I originally had a City university of London offer for business management, however due to my grades they offered me a foundation year instead. I also have my insurance which is Westminster for Business Management ( Marketing). What would you recommend I choose. I was not open to foundation year at all. I have four days to choose! Send help please

So i got into my uni choice which i needed three Bs for but i managed to get A*BC. not that i’m complaining i am definitely most grateful i got in but i’m just wondering how i got in i thought i would’ve had to go through clearing?

Over the weekend, our top articles have been geared toward those who’ll be starting university in September and those who are still navigating the post-results maze.

Looking ahead to starting university

For students who received a place for September, there’s lots of questions about life at university and how to prepare - now the panic of organising their new lives start! Practical tips are high on the list, but so are things like making friends, which we know is a key worry for this cohort starting in September, as well as physical and mental health.

Advice for making friends at university? I recently got my offer and I was wondering if there is any advice on what to do. I've heard joining societies is good?

Heading to KCL for Law, wondering what things I should need. Any tips or advice for things I should do in my remaining month of holiday?

I am really happy about getting into my dream university but I am somewhat nervous about dealing with my mental health issues in a new environment. For one thing, apparently I am required to have 80% of my meals at the university college canteen.. it feels silly even caring about this because on a larger scale I'm just so happy I'm going to this university, but it's not like the good news instantly cures my mental illness.. anyway, the idea of having little control over what I eat really stresses me out. I know nobody can *make* me eat, but I wish I knew what to expect, so I could come up with some strategies that set my mind at ease, and that way I can just focus on what really matters.

I have a severe phobia of illness (in part due to the fact I have autism as well), and as university gets closer I’m becoming increasingly more scared of sharing accommodation. I’m in shared kitchen and shared bathroom and wanted to know how other people have coped with this. I don’t drink alcohol because of my anxiety but I’ve heard things about ‘freshers flu’ is this real? I don’t want to come home because I can’t cope. Or am I worrying about nothing?

GCSE Results Day

(Published: Thursday 24th August)

I did really well. couldn't believe an 8-8 in science. predicted 7-6.

Hard work really does pay off, all A's, pretty sure I was a few marks away from an A* in my maths (389.00/400.00 U marks). I thought I messed up in my English lang test, but I was surprised by my A. My mum and dad are really happy and ofc free food

Do u think I can still go to a prestigious uni with these results or are they too low 😭

SUPER happy with my results, kinda ****ed at maths grade boundaries for being ridic this year, would've been a 9 in 2019 but such is life :_))

GCSE Results Day – Results analysis

More than 6 million GCSE and Level 1 and 2 VTQ results are being issued today and as anticipated, overall results are similar to pre-pandemic levels this year.

68.2% of entries were graded 9-4 (equivalent A-C), similar to the last year exams were sat pre-Covid (67.3%), and 22% were graded 7 or higher (equivalent to an A or higher).

Overall GCSE outcomes in comparison to 2019.

7+ (equivalent to an A) 22.0% (up 1.2pp from 20.8%)
4+ (equivalent to C) 68.2% (up 0.9pp from 67.3%)
1 (equivalent to G) 98.0% (down 0.3% from 98.3%)

Overall GCSE outcomes in comparison to 2022.

7+ (equivalent to an A) 22% (down 4.3pp from 26.3%)
4+ (equivalent to C) 68.2% (down 0.9pp from 67.3%)
1 (equivalent to G) 98.0% (down 0.4pp from 98.4%)

BBC also reported on a widening regional divide as the proportion of grades of 7 or above was dependant on where you live. In London, it was 28.4%. In the North East, it was 17.6%. The north-south divide existed before the Covid pandemic, but the gap between the regions with the highest and lowest proportions of top grades has grown from 9.3 percentage points in 2019 to 10.8 percentage points this year.

Key takeaways from Results Week 2023

Insights so far:

Ucas reported 72% of young Scottish applicants, aged 19 and under, (18,780) have gained a place at their first choice university, up from 69% last year

For students who don't get the grades they are expecting, our snap poll put Clearing as the top option. 

Nearly a quarter of polled students on TSR say they are expecting to use Clearing because they'll miss their offer on Thursday.

A poll running on our A level countdown thread shows that almost 25% of students are feeling nervous ahead of results and 20% feel scared.

According to UCAS CEO, students receiving grades on Thursday should expect their grades to be overall lower than the last few years. 

Across the UK, 79% of those receiving results gained a place at their first-choice university.

Our poll on Results Day showed 56% of respondents had received grades lower than they expected.

Anecdotally, while we’ve seen a high number of students who’ve been disappointed with their results, we’ve also seen fairly generous acceptances from universities. Particularly for students applying for Medicine, it seems a number were predicted fairly high grades but actual grades were considerably lower.

Speak to our team about these insights, Clearing, or student recruitment

Get in touch