Consider what YOU really want. Your firm choice should be the university and/or course which sparks the most excitement. If you’re not excited by the course, then when you’ve got a lot of work to do you’re unlikely to be able to stay motivated to do the work and will fall behind. You don’t get to choose between your choices on results day so listing an unconditional offer as a firm choice means you will be going to that university, unless you withdraw your application.
Before committing to listing an unconditional offer as your firm choice, make sure you have made every effort to visit an applicant or open day to get a real feel for the learning environment and opportunities on offer from your chosen course/university.
Will you be able to achieve the grades set out in the conditions of your offer?
If you don’t quite make the grades, you can sometimes still be accepted but it is not guaranteed and you should not rely on this.
If you don’t get your place you can go through Clearing and Adjustment.
If you choose a conditional offer as your firm choice, you will also get to choose an insurance choice. This is a back-up option if you do not meet the terms of the offer/get accepted by your first choice. You DO NOT get to choose between a firm and an insurance on Results’ Day.
UNCONDITIONAL OFFER WARNINGS
Whilst unconditional offers do take the pressure off your exams, DO NOT LET YOUR STUDIES SLIDE! Your grades stay with you FOREVER as they will be on your CV for jobs, etc.
If you let your grades drop, go to your unconditional choice and find out you don’t like it and drop out but want to go back to university in the future, you will need to reapply. With low achieved grades, you may not receive an offer.
There may be additional actions you might be required to gain an unconditional offer, such as list them as your firm choice, complete a DBS check, provide further proof of your qualifications, meet a financial/residential/medical requirement, etc.
Keep a close eye on your emails and UCAS Track to receive relevant instruction from the universities.
More information available from UCAS.