06/08/2014 07:23 BST | Updated 06/08/2014 07:59 BST

A-Level Students Have No Back-up Plan For Results Day, Which? Study Finds

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

It's a scary thought, and we're sorry for bringing it to your attention, but what will you do if you don't get the right grades for university?

Many students haven't got a back-up plan for the worst case scenario of not meeting their uni's requirements, a study by Which? University has found.

According to the research, more than half (54%) of those with a conditional offer haven't made a back-up plan in case they don't get their first or even second choice university. And rather bizarrely, a quarter (23%) have an insurance option with the same or higher entry requirements as their first choice.

Just under half of those surveyed (48%) are confident they'll meet their first choice's requirements. This comes as no surprise, as no one wants to be overly cocky about how they've performed in exams.

But three in 10 (28%) admit they haven’t made a plan in case they fail to make the grade (pun intended), and seven in ten (70%) haven't read up on clearing, the UCAS platform that helps students who don't get the right grades fill up spare places at other unis.

Sonia Sodha, from Which? University, said: “As A-level results day approaches, it’s an understandably stressful and nerve-wracking time for prospective students, especially those who aren’t confident they’ll get into their first choice university." She said hopefully students won't require a back-up plan on results day, but "we advise they research all their options just in case."

Eight in 10 (82%) students have an insurance choice as a back-up, which is normal for UCAS applications, but two in five (40%) said they don't actually want to go there.

Around one in 10 students use clearing every year but current prospective students have little knowledge about the process, meaning they might have extra work to do when results day comes around.

You can read our summary of clearing here, with a handy infographic by Middlesex University.