Hundreds of thousands of students will have their A-level results today across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in the first exams since before the COVID pandemic.
Ratings are expected to be down overall compared to last year, but should be higher than in 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 university places is expected to be one of the most competitive yet, with almost 40% of students likely to use the compensation system to find a place on a course.
The Ucas admissions service acknowledged that universities have been more cautious in their offers.
He added that while he expects record or near-record numbers of students to enter his top-choice courses, the process won’t be “pain-free” for everyone, and some students will be left disappointed.
While some schools and universities ask students to collect their results in person, others will post the results online.
The Department for Education said a record number of students, including a high number of disadvantaged students, are still expected to start university in September.
Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes said the class of 2022 faced an “unprecedented disruption to their education,” while Education Secretary James Cleverly said all students collecting their results should be proud.
Courses to clear drop after ‘admin blip’
Students who miss out on their first college options have been urged not to panic and instead turn to professors for advice and support.
However, the number of courses for cleanup students dropped before results day, with one university blaming a “clerical error” for showing more than 500 as available when they shouldn’t have been.
Students can use compensation to see what courses or colleges might be available to them if they need an alternate plan.
As of Wednesday morning, a PA News Agency snapshot of the UK’s largest higher education providers showed there were 22,685 courses with vacancies for students living in England, up from 23,280 on Friday.
A-levels and GCSEs: here’s what’s changing with exams
Topics for A-level and GCSE exams published in advance
The University of Liverpool had shown 529 courses available on the Ucas website last week, but it is understood that this should not have been the case and was a “clerical error”.
A university spokeswoman said authorization at her university will be for “a small number of high-quality candidates in a variety of subjects.”
They added: “The Ucas compensation pages were active for a period of time for pre-qualified applicants, as is the case every year. We are removing the pages while we determine which courses are available ahead of results day tomorrow, when we will announce any openings.” .
The change saw options at Russell Group universities, of which the University of Liverpool is a member, shrink compared to last week, with 1,785 courses at 15 of the 24 elite institutions as of Wednesday morning, in compared to 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.