Classroom revolution: A-level students could sit exams earlier and then apply to universities with their results

The agony of A-level students waiting for their results before discovering if they have  won a place at their chosen university could soon be a thing of the past.

A White Paper overhauling the Ucas system has proposed that final school exams would take place weeks earlier and the autumn university term pushed  back to as late as January.

If the reforms win support, sixth-formers would have the opportunity for the first time to apply to universities knowing their grades.

Testing time: A-level students would know their grades before applying to their chosen universities

Testing time: A-level students would know their grades before applying to their chosen universities

But the changes to term times, exam timetable and marking are unlikely to get the green light for two years so as not to disrupt the current A-level students.

Universities Minister David Willetts: Reforms have 'inherent appeal'

Universities Minister David Willetts: Reforms have 'inherent appeal'

Under Ucas,  the University and College Admissions Service, students get conditional offers in the spring which are not confirmed until they get their results in August.

But as many as half of these predicted grades are wrong with students missing out on the best universities because teachers have underestimated their performances.

The deadline for applications this year, falls at midnight tonight. But under the proposals to be published in the spring, this will be moved back for about six months and the start of the university year could be delayed until January.

Universities Minister David Willetts told The Times the reforms had 'inherent appeal' because 'everyone is dealing with facts on how [a pupil] performs.'

The overhaul will be put out for consultation, but Mr Willetts said the changes would need to be done with the 'minimum disruption' to schools.

Many universites are likely to oppose the plans because of the uncertainty over funding and conditions attached to tuition fees.

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