Users of the student web community, The Student Room, asked A-level students what they were expecting when they got their results later this month.
Of the 960 who responded, 71 per cent said they were not confident they would get the grades they needed to secure the place they had been offered.
Of those, 21 per cent said that if their fears proved well founded, they planned to appeal against their results – and believed they had a good chance of success following the well-publicised problems with some questions posed in this year’s A-level exams.
A further 42 per cent said they would retake their exams, delaying entry by a year and facing the prospect of paying higher fees in 2012, in order to have the chance of going to their chosen university to do the course they want.
However, 29 per cent said they were willing to compromise on the university and course and would try to get a place through clearing if they did not get the grades they needed.
Competition for university places is at an all time high, with around 200,000 prospective undergraduates turned away last summer, many of whom have reapplied.
The battle to secure place for entry in 2011 is expected to be particularly fierce as it is the last year of the old fees regime.
From 2012, the fee cap has been trebled to £9,000 a year, and a majority of universities have announced they intend to charge the maximum.