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Update: UCAS website forced offline due to high traffic

Thousands of A-Level students are unable to see their results and find out if they got their university place

Admissions body UCAS's Track website, which allows A-Level students to see if their results earned them a university place, is now working again after being forced offline due to high levels of demand.

Thousands of students are expecting their A-level results today, but were unable to access the UCAS Track website after traffic levels quadrupled. The website was taken down at 8.40am, with services starting to return to normal at 10.30am. The website returned to full functionality by midday.

Earlier today, a message on the website stated: "The Track service is currently busy. Please try again later."

This year's exams have been plagued with problems, from impossible questions on exam papers to Edexcel, one of the exam boards, posting A-level results on its website a week early, to the Scottish Qualifications Authority sending out Higher and Standard Grade results by text message a day early.

In a statement, UCAS said: "Traffic to the UCAS Track website is four times the peak per second compared to last year."

"In order to secure a full service, we have taken the site down for a short time. Full service will be resumed shortly and we apologise for any inconvenience."

Meanwhile, the organisation said that other UCAS websites, including the clearing vacancy search function, are still available.

"The ability to choose a clearing place will not be impacted and this function will open late afternoon as planned."

However, industry experts believe that UCAS should have been prepared for the high demand levels.

"In this day and age, there's no reason why increased traffic should cause a website to crash," said Michael Allen, director of application performance management solutions at Compuware.

"Every year, we know students will be rushing to the website on A-Level results day and UCAS should be in a great position in that it knows exactly how many students have applied for university and should therefore be in a good position to predict website traffic.

"The site should therefore have been checked in advance of today's influx to ensure it could withstand the expected numbers."

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