Go Higher: UCAS application form - deadline details

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The Independent Online
The process begins when you fill in and send off your UCAS application form - the closing date for this is 15 December, so if you have not sent if off already you will have to get a move on.

You can choose up to six universities or colleges on the form. The quicker you send it off, the quicker you will receive replies.

Offers will be based on information supplied on the form and your expected grades. You will receive up to six offers, and then have to make your mind up which two you are going to accept - a firm choice and an insurance choice.

Usually the insurance choice requires exam grades lower than your firm offer.

You then take your A-level exams in June and wait for your results, which in 1999 are due to arrive on 19 August.

If your grades qualify you for your firm choice, you're in! Some universities will still take you if your results are slightly under what you needed.

If your grades qualify for your insurance choice, you are in, but again if they are slightly below some institutions may still take you.

If you fail to meet the requirements of both universities/colleges, UCAS will send you clearing forms.

Lists of course vacancies are published every day in The Independent, and once you have spotted the one you want to do, you should contact the university or college and try to get a place.