Which? Uni offers advice to Scottish students and their families ahead of Highers results day next week

Alex Hayman, Which? Managing Director of Public Markets, said:

“Waiting for your results is always a nerve-wracking experience. However, there are steps you can take to prepare and to help you make sense of your options once you’ve got your results – whatever happens on the 7th.”

1. Here’s what to expect when you get your results. You’ll receive:

  • A cover letter from the SQA Executive, outlining all the documents enclosed, your Scottish Candidate Number and SQA contact details if you have any queries

  • A summary of your grades, covering all the SQA qualifications and units you’ve achieved until now

  • A detailed record of attainment, covering the most recent qualifications you’ve achieved in more detail

  • A core skills profile, outlining the five skills you’ve achieved from your qualifications, which the SQA considers crucial to work

2. S5 students can start to research where their SQA qualifications could take them, as your options are still incredibly open after receiving your results. It’s worth bookmarking https://university.which.co.uk/courses where you can search for a university course’s entry requirements, including filtering by SQA Highers grades. You may find you already have the qualifications required for your dream course, or that you might benefit from taking additional courses in S6.

3. If you are considering taking extra Highers, Advanced Highers or retakes in S6, it’s definitely worth researching their value. Some courses don’t consider retakes, preferring students to have taken their qualifications in one batch. Likewise, whilst some very competitive subjects like law and medicine will ask for Advanced Highers, many courses don’t require them.

4. However, entry to most courses is likely to be very competitive, so additional Highers and/or Advanced Highers may give you an edge over other applicants. If you think you’re likely to benefit from extra qualifications and that you can manage the additional workload alongside other commitments (extracurriculars, such as work-experience placements or clubs you’re involved in are also extremely valuable when applying to university), make sure you’re signed up for the relevant subjects in time for starting the new school year.

5. If you’re an S6 student and you don’t get the Advanced Higher or retaken Higher results you need for your course offer, you should check Ucas Track immediately to see the status of your offer. If it says ‘conditional’, that means the university is still making a decision over whether to accept you or not – there’s still hope!  It’s a good idea to have the contact details for your university choices so that you can call them directly to speak to someone.

6. If neither your first or insurance choice accepts you, you can enter Clearing to find an alternative course.  If you haven’t already done so, shortlist some target courses in advance so that you have a good starting point and a clear idea of what your best-case scenario might be. Think about where you might be prepared to compromise.  For example, do you have your heart set on a particular city or institution, or is the subject of the course that means the most to you?

Notes to editors

  • Which? University is a free and independent website to help students make more informed decisions about higher education, featuring more than 30,000 courses and nearly 300 universities and colleges to search and compare.
  • Which? University brings together facts and statistics from official sources including UCAS and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), and combines these with real-life insight from students and our unbiased analysis.
  • For more information ahead of results day, please visit https://university.which.co.uk/advice/clearing-results-day/scottish-results-day-what-to-expect

Press Release