Hundreds of thousands of students will get their A-level results today across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in the first exams held since before the COVID pandemic.
Ratings are expected to decline overall from last year, but are expected to be higher than 2019.
Summer exams were canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and students received grades decided by teachers.
This year’s race for college places is expected to be one of the most competitive yet, with nearly 40% of students likely to use the compensation system to find a place in a course.
The Ucas admissions service acknowledged that universities have been more careful in their offers.
He added that while he expects a record or near-record number of students to gain access to their first-choice courses, the process will not be “painless” for all, with some students feeling disappointed.
While some schools and colleges ask students to collect their results in person, others will post the results online.
The Department of Education said record numbers of students, including a high number of disadvantaged students, are still expected to enter university in September.
Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes said the Class of 2022 faced “unprecedented disruption to their education”, while Education Secretary James Cleverly said every student collecting his results should be proud.
Course to clear drop after ‘admin blip’
Students who miss out on their first choice for college have been urged not to panic and instead turn to teachers for advice and support.
However, the number of courses for compensation students fell before results day, with one university blaming an “administrative error”, for showing more than 500 as available when they shouldn’t have been.
Students can use the compensation to see what courses or universities might be available if they need an alternate plan.
A PA news agency snapshot of the UK’s biggest higher education providers on Wednesday morning showed there were 22,685 courses with vacancies for students living in England, up from 23,280 on Friday.
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Subjects for A-Level and GCSE exams published in advance
The University of Liverpool had shown 529 courses available for compensation on the Ucas website last week, but it is understood that this should not have been the case and that it was an “administrative problem “.
A university spokeswoman said compensation at her university will be for “a small number of high-quality applicants in a range of subjects”.
They added: “The Ucas compensation pages have been live for some time for pre-qualified candidates, as is the case every year. We have taken down the pages while we determine which courses are available before the day of the results tomorrow, when we announce all vacancies.”
The change saw options at Russell Group universities – of which the University of Liverpool is a member – shrink from last week, with 1,785 courses at 15 of the 24 elite institutions on Wednesday morning, down from 2,358 courses in 17 of them on Friday.
Last year it was announced that A-level students taking exams this summer would find out what subjects they would be tested on to help them prepare.