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Exams 2020 Statement and FAQs

We want to express our understanding and concern for the hugely difficult situation in which so many students find themselves after receiving their results this year. We understand the widespread upset within our applicant community.

Thank you for your patience and understanding while we have worked through the revised grade results process since 20 August. We are delighted if you have now been successful in securing a place at Exeter. If you have had to defer until 2021, please understand that we did not take these decisions lightly. We know this may cause disruption to your original plans but it is very important though that we manage the number of students on campus safely and securely. We also want to make sure that you have the outstanding student experience you would expect from Exeter. If we were not able to confirm your place, we are sorry and wish you the very best of luck for the future

We would also like to thank our wonderful schools, colleges, partners and agents for their support at this difficult time. We have worked hard to listen to your feedback and respond to the information you have provided both at a general level and in relation to individual students.

We have been committed to our offer-holders throughout the uncertainties of this year. As part of this, following the receipt of the Centre Assessed Grades, we have made many more places available for study in 2020 than we originally planned, and have offered a large number of students the chance to come to Exeter in 2021. We are now keen to settle our numbers for 2020 and put into place our plans for the new academic year. For further information and detailed answers to your questions, please see below.

Our Admissions team are available to answer your queries. We will be available Monday to Friday from 09:00-17:00 (UK time).

  • Applicants can call us on 0300 555 6060

Frequently asked questions

The University of Exeter has now processed the results sent to us by UCAS as revised grades on Thursday 20 August 2020. These revised grades follow the announcement of OfQual, the regulator for examinations in England, on 17th August. We are still waiting for changes relating to BTEC results and amended results from Wales. Where we have received revised grades, we have made decisions on these applications in line with our published policies. Any further amended grades received will be processed in the same way. We will endeavour to be flexible, including as a result of appeals, until 7 September though we will be monitoring space and capacity very carefully and may need to ask candidates to defer until 2021 if we are unable to safely accommodate further students for 2020.

If you haven’t already received your CAGs, contact your school or college.  UCAS and universities cannot share these with you. We are still waiting for results amendments relating to BTEC awards and for any changes relating to Welsh qualifications.

If you are currently holding a confirmed place, and you are happy with this, you do not need to do anything. You will be starting your studies as planned.

We received the official CAGs on Thursday 20 August and reviewed these against the original offer for all applicants who were originally holding Exeter as their Firm or Insurance choice.

All applicants who did not have their Firm or Insurance place confirmed will have received an email on Saturday 22 August advising them of our decision following receipt of the CAGs.

We need to wait for the verified and secure CAGs via the exam boards and UCAS. This also means we can be fair to candidates who may receive their CAGs at different times and in different ways.

All applicants who did not have their Firm or Insurance confirmed place will have received an email on Saturday 22 August advising them of our decision following receipt of the CAGs. Please check your email if you are waiting to hear from Exeter. If we have been able to accept you based on revised grades, your email will outline the next steps which you need to take to secure your place.

UCAS has communicated with applicants, schools and colleges, and parents in order to keep them updated.  They will continue to provide support advice to applicants where it is required.  Further details can be found here.

We are honouring places for 2020/1 for applicants who were holding Exeter as their Firm choice, if you have secured CAGs that now meet all the conditions of your original offer including any subject conditions. If you have met the conditions of the offer, including any subject conditions with compensating grades for instance A*AB for an AAA offer we have also been able to honour your place.

If you have missed one or more condition, but your grades are within the range we have accepted in other cases in 2020 you will have been offered a deferred place for entry in 2021.

If your CAGs are still lower than your offer and outside the range we have accepted at all in 2020 we have not been able to confirm your place. Neither OfQual nor the UK government has said that all offers must be honoured this year irrespective of the results issued. We are very sorry that you will be disappointed by this decision and wish you every success in the future.

Please understand that all these decisions are in the interests of balancing those with amended results alongside those of current and new students whom we need to look after safely on campus in the autumn. We understand not everyone will have had the decision they wanted or the year of study they originally wanted but we have increased the number of places offered very significantly above our original plan to be as flexible as possible. Going beyond this would involve too many risks to the safety, security and quality of the outstanding student experience we offer.

We understand that these arrangements will not seem fair to everyone. You may feel that we should honour offers for all those who had one this year. In a normal year, we would not be able to accept all those holding an offer and we need to ensure that all students are able to manage the academic demands of the course. Universities like Exeter always make more offers than they have places available. This is because we have to make offers before results come out. Every year a number of students defer, withdraw, change their minds or don’t achieve the results they need to meet their offer. We build an allowance for this into our offer making so that we end up with the right number of students at the end of the process. We also have to manage capacity in our teaching and learning spaces, accommodation and halls of residence and, this year, social distancing and Covid-security.

These are challenging and upsetting circumstances and we want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to put the interests of our hugely valued applicants, and their schools and colleges, first. Doing this means finding a difficult balance between the interests of our accepted new students, our current students and those whom we have sadly had to disappoint in their hopes of a place for 2020. It is only this way that we can maintain our outstanding Exeter student experience.

Applicants who have now secured their place at Exeter or been offered a place for deferred entry will have received an email which includes clear guidance on what to do in order to secure the place.

If you have any queries regarding this, please contact our Admissions team who will be available on Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 August 08.00 - 20.00 and Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 09:00-17:00 (UK time). If there are delays, please be patient and we’ll get to your call as soon as we can.

You can call us on 0300 555 6060 (UK callers)* or +44(0)1392 723004 (EU/International callers)

* Calling us on an 0300 number will cost you the same as a call to a standard landline number starting with 01 and 02.

UCAS have confirmed that you should be looking to secure a place at your firm choice. Due to capacity constraints we are not in a position to offer you a place for 2020 entry in these circumstances.

If you wish to accept your place you will need to carry out the steps outlined in the email you were sent no later than Wednesday 26 August at 17:00.

We are very sorry but due to the increased number of applicants who are now eligible for a place we do not have capacity to accept all those with lower grades than their offer. We have followed the government’s advice about those applicants we should try to fit in for 2020 and have gone further than our original promise to accept only those who met all their original conditions. We are sorry if you were not in one of the groups we did accept and appreciate this is disappointing. However we have to follow separate government advice about the safety and security of our students on campus and we have now reached the limit of our capacity.  

Our appeals policy relates only to those whose schools or college are submitting a formal appeal relating to their case, or those living in parts of the UK where there is access to an individual appeals process. We are sorry but we cannot treat the issue of CAGs as the same thing as the appeals process. See (link) for our information on appeals.

It will depend on each university’s policy, but at Exeter if we have already confirmed your place regardless of whether you secured it via firm, insurance, alternative offer or clearing, we will not withdraw this offer.  If we were your firm choice and you have secured a place elsewhere we do not insist you take up the place at Exeter, this is an additional option but one you are not obliged to accept. However do please let us know this as soon as possible if you do not which to take up your place at Exeter. If we were your insurance choice at Exeter and had not previously secured a place, we may not have space for you in 2020 but will honour a place for 2021.

It is very important that you make the decision that is right for you and don’t feel pressured to do this too quickly. Take some time to think it all through.

No, we will not take back any places we have confirmed.  We have made the offer and we are committed to you completely. We look forward to welcoming you to the university in due course.

No, we will not take back any places we have confirmed. We have made the offer and we are committed to you completely. We look forward to welcoming you to the university in due course.

We are really sorry but all our programmes are now full and we are no longer accepting applicants through Clearing. You could consider applying to Exeter next year if your results are at or close to our typical offers. All the very best for the future and we hope something works out for you.

We think that most appeals will now be sorted out by the new CAG process but there could still be candidates who feel they need to appeal as they don’t have a CAG. If your results are changed because of a successful appeal, we guarantee to confirm your place if you then meet our requirements by 7th September.

We will consider amended grades after that, up until 2nd October, if spaces are available. This date is after the start of our term and is more flexible than the date we were asked to work to by the government.

After 2nd October, where we have no capacity, we will honour a place for deferred entry in 2021. If you defer, you will need to apply through UCAS (if the 2020 cycle has closed) and your application must be in time for the relevant deadline (15th October or 15th January). We are happy to confirm that 2021 applicants for Medicine who also applied in 2020 and received an offer will not need to resit UCAT or attend interview.

If your grades change, please send confirmation in the form of a scan or picture of the new statement of results, or letter from your assessment centre, to as soon as possible. We wish you every success with your appeal and hope that these amendments do address the national concerns with the results process this year.

We are really sorry that you are in this difficult situation. If we have not already been able to make a decision on your application, and you are able to take your exams in autumn, we will guarantee a place on the same programme for entry in 2021 so long as you apply through UCAS by the relevant UCAS deadline (15 October or 15 January). We will make you an offer at the same grades that you would have needed to meet our 2020 requirements.

For those planning to sit some or all exams in autumn, we are delighted to guarantee a place on the same programme for entry in 2021 so long as you apply through UCAS by the relevant UCAS deadline (15 October or 15 January). We will make you an offer to obtain the same grades that would have met our 2020 requirements.

If you are applying for our BMBS Medicine programme you will need to submit a new UCAS application on or before 15th October.  You will not be required to attend an interview or resit the UCAT in order to be considered for a place. If your application is successful and you receive an offer, it will be conditional on achieving the required grades.

Accommodation applications have been processed in line with previously published A level results. In light of the changes announced by the government, Accommodation will honour the guarantee for those who secure a place on their original course choice as a result of the new arrangements and provided the applicant applied for accommodation by 31 July. However, this accommodation may not be in a residence previously advertised and could be in purpose-built student self-catered accommodation off-campus with other Year 1 undergraduate students.

Accommodation applications will be reinstated now that we have been advised of the new results and have made the relevant new confirmation decision. However, please understand that we have had to secure new accommodation alongside the existing buildings. Those securing a place through a revised grade (CAG) will therefore be offered different accommodation to that originally included in the accommodation application. We are sorry if this causes upset but in order to allocate everyone to a room in time, this is the only way we can manage the current very difficult situation. We ask for your understanding. The new accommodation will be lovely and you will be with other new first years. Applicants will be able to review this on our accommodation portal. 

Accommodation is making arrangements to process these requests from week commencing 24 August and will aim to send an offer of accommodation by Friday 4 September.

If your place has been confirmed and you would like to defer until next year, that is fine and we are now able to process these requests provided we have this in writing from you. Please email us.

Currently we are not in a position to allow changes to programmes whilst we assess the impact of the amended grades, but you your place have been confirmed you can email us with your request and in due course we will advise if we can help with your request. Please be patient as we feel we should prioritise those who may not already have secured a place at Exeter for the moment.

No, your grades won’t go down as a result of the change to include Centre Assessment Grades this year. If your moderated result was higher than your CAG, you can use that instead. We should be able to compare the two when we receive the CAGs from UCAS but we do not yet quite know exactly how this will work. We will contact you if we have any queries.