We strongly advise that you do not to make any decisions about your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices until you have received responses from ALL the universities (successful and unsuccessful) to which you have applied. You cannot change your mind once you have chosen your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices. 

Your ‘Insurance’ choice is only a back up and you will only be placed there if you do not meet the conditions of your ‘Firm’ choice. You can’t choose between your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices on Results Day! 

Make sure to check your own UCAS Track for your deadline, and don’t rely on your friends telling you as deadlines can vary! 

  • Offers – positive responses from universities. You may not need an interview or to send a portfolio and then will just get an offer. Offers can be: Conditional, Unconditional or Unsuccessful see blog post ‘Replying to Your UCAS Offers’ for more information on types of offers.  
  • ‘Conditional’ offer a place on the course/at the university will be given to you if you achieve a set of requirements, usually specific grades or UCAS points. Find out about UCAS points in the UCAS Handbook or on the UCAS website. 
  • ‘Unconditional’ offer a place on the course/at the university will be given to you, no matter what grades you achieve! See the blog on ‘Unconditional’ offers for advice and guidance. 
  • Results – the grades you get in GCSEs, BTEC, WJEC Diplomas and A-Levels (results are released in mid-August). Confirmation of an offer might depend on your results. 
  • Replies – Responses you make to the offers you receive. Wait until you have offers/responses from all your universities before you make replies regarding your ‘Firm and Insurance’ choices. See blog post ‘Replying to Your UCAS Offers’ 
  • Results Day – one day for Level 3 (A Level) exam results and another for Level 2 (GCSE).  
  • Firm choice – Your first choice of University. This will be the university you attend/course you study if you achieve the grades required within your offer. 
  • Insurance choice – Your second choice of University. The only reason you would go to your ‘Insurance’ choice is if you do not meet the requirements for your ‘Firm’ choice. Therefore, you should try and choose an ‘Insurance’ choice that has a lower grade requirements than your ‘Firm’ choice.


Click here for more information or to watch the helpful video.

  1. Log into UCAS Track and click on ‘Reply to your offers’.  
  2. Choose your ‘Firm’ choice; click on the university you most want to study and then, click ‘Continue’.  
  3. If you have selected a ‘Conditional’ offer as your ‘Firm’ choice, select an ‘Insurance’ course, your back up choice. 
  4. Review your replies; check them and then double check them! 
  5. ‘Reply to Your Offers’ which will formally notify your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices to potentially expect you as a student!  

Having trouble? See the Destinations Department on the top floor of the LRC. 

What to consider when choosing ‘firm’ and ‘insurance’ choices?

It is really best to receive all your offers before you make your decisions on your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices as later offers you get might change your mind about where you want to go. Additionally, once you make your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices all other offers are declined and you cannot ‘get them back’. 

Your choices should be somewhere you want to study for possibly the next 3+ years, a course you enjoy, an area with living costs appropriate to your financial situation, etc. 

Once you have received ALL of your responses you need to list your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices. You do this through UCAS Track. See further on for more information.  


How long do you have to respond to your offers?  

This will vary from student to student so make sure to check your own UCAS Track for your deadline, and don’t rely on your friends telling you!  


Do I have to put an ‘Insurance’ choice down?

The Destinations Department’s advice is to always put down an ‘Insurance’ choice if you have 2 or more offers.

Even if the grades are the same or higher than for your ‘Firm’ choice, we would advise listing an ‘Insurance’ choice as there is no real harm in doing this. Ideally, you should choose a choice which has lower requirements so if your grades slip you still have a place to go, hopefully without needing to go through Clearing. 

If you only have one offer, don’t worry! Just list it as your ‘Firm’ choice. If you don’t meet the criteria for this ‘Firm’ choice course/university, you will be entered into Clearing. See blog about Clearing.

What if I have an unconditional offer?  

If you list an unconditional offer as your ‘Firm’ choice, this is the university at which you will study – congratulations! Don’t forget to read our blog on unconditional offers before accepting. You don’t get to choose an ‘Insurance’ choice because you have no conditions or grades to meet. 


Can you list an ‘Unconditional offer as your insurance choice?

Yes. If you list an unconditional offer as your ‘Insurance’ choice, this means that if you do not achieve the requirements for your ‘Firm’ choice, you will go on to study at this university/course as there are no specific conditions to your offer. 


Do I get to choose between my ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices on A Level Results Day?  

No, you do not get to choose between your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices. 

  • If you achieve the requirements for your ‘Firm’ choice, you will go to this university and your ‘Insurance’ choice will be notified. 
  • If you do not achieve the grades for your ‘Firm’ choice but do receive the grades for your ‘Insurance’, this is the course/university you will progress onto.  


What happens to all the other offers I have been made?  

All other offers apart from your ‘Firm’ and ‘Insurance’ choices will be declined; you will not be able to choose to go to one of these universities on Results Day.  


What happens if I do not want to accept any of my offers?  

  • If you have changed your mind about your choice of universities, courses or about taking a gap year, see the Destinations Department for advice and to chat through your options. 
  • If you decline all your choices and all other courses you want to apply for are already full, you may end up with no place at all! Seek advice first.  


I have missed my reply deadline or have changed my mind on my ‘Firm’/’Insurance’ choices. What should I do?  

See Destinations Department ASAP 



  • Make sure you know when your deadline is for responding; if you miss the deadline, all your choices will be automatically declined! 
  • Take your time with your decision and make sure you are happy with your ‘Firm’/ ‘Insurance’ choices before you make the selection on UCAS Track.  
  • If you are worried or unsure, see The Destinations Department or ask a member of St David’s staff for help. Your family are also a good source of guidance. 
  • Don’t forget that YOU are the one that will need to go to lectures of this course at this university so the final decision should be yours! Do what is best for you and your future! 

More information HERE.