Deadline day for UCAS applications is fast approaching, so it’s time to make your mind-up and start replying to those university offers for courses starting later this year.

If still haven’t made up your mind, don’t panic – the vast array of courses available can seem bewildering there is still time to consider your options and make the right choice.  Check that the course is right for you – what are the tutors like, how are the modules delivered?  Compare facilities – what sports clubs or societies do they have? And location – how near home, or a city centre?   And, finally discuss your ideas with friends and family.

Now for those applications.  You may have different deadlines to your friends – but it’s the date when all decisions (conditional offers, unconditional offers or unsuccessful decisions) have come back that determines when you need to make your replies.

If you received all your offers from universities by 31 March, you need to make sure you reply to them in Track no later than May 7.  If you received your offers by May 8, the deadline is June 5, and if you received all offers by June 5, your deadline is June 26.

However, be warned, if you fail to reply to your offers, UCAS will decline them on your behalf.  You can log-in to Track on the UCAS website if you’re unsure.

Depending on the universities and courses you have applied to – and providing you didn’t get a rejection – you’ll have either received a conditional or an unconditional offer.

A conditional offer means that you will be accepted onto your course, providing you meet certain conditions, usually exam results or UCA points.

If you’ve received an unconditional offer, you will receive a place on your chosen course, regardless of academic results. You may, however, be asked to provide proof of your qualifications – so keep your certificates handy.

You can reply to university offers in three different ways; decline, firm acceptance and insurance acceptance.

Mark your first choice as a firm acceptance and also accept another offer as a backup should you fail to achieve your desired exam results.  Make sure you would actually want to attend the university chosen and don’t chose a back-up with the same exam conditions as your first choice.

Come results day, if you have not met the conditions of your offer, you’ll be entered into Clearing  or UCAS Extra.  UCAS Extra, which is open until July 2, gives students who have used up all five choices in their initial application, the opportunity to apply for places on courses that still have vacancies.

If you are eligible to apply through Extra, check out the Choices section of Track. The option ‘Add Extra Choice’ will become available if you are able to use the service.

Clearing begins on A-level results day – that’s Thursday 14 August this year. Check out the Daily Telegraph who is UCAS’s exclusive media partner for Clearing, and will host live Clearing vacancy listings online as well as in the newspaper in England and Wales.

Once you have accepted your offer, it’s time to start thinking about where you will be living while at university. Click here to see what student accommodation we have to offer in your new home town!