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Students left frustrated after UCAS outage

Site crashes under surge in traffic on A-Level results day

Thousands of students have been left frustrated this morning after the website for UCAS, the official body that manages university applications, crashed.

UCAS offers an online tracking system that allow students to monitor the progress of their university application, which will be confirmed or denied today following the distribution of A-Level results. However, the surge in traffic, which UCAS said was four times more than seen last year, lead to the site being taken offline this morning.

"Traffic to Track 4x the peak per second compared to last year: we've taken the site down for a short time - sorry for the inconvenience," UCAS said in a tweet.

While the site now appears to be back online, a number of students turned to micro-blogging site Twitter to vent their frustration at the outage.

CraigD92 said: "Grrr. I get up early to try and beat the rush and ucas is crashing left, right and centre" while Chichi_JA added: "UCAS still isn't loading... this is torture".

Michael Allen, the director of Application Performance Management Solutions at Compuware said in this day and age, there's no reason why increased traffic should cause a website to crash.

"For it to happen to UCAS on results day is inexcusable and has added more stress to what is already a tough day for prospective University students. 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," he said.

"The site should therefore have been checked in advance of today's influx to ensure it could withstand the expected numbers. There are numerous tests that can be done to ensure a website can handle the pressure. Testing in advance will flag up any problems so steps can be taken to ensure things run smoothly when the traffic hits. For any organisation running a website likely to come under sudden pressure, this kind of forward thinking is vital and it would have made the difference today."

Check out PC Advsior's Back to School Guide for sound advice on what to you should and shouldn't buy to set you up for university life.

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