Teachers may no longer have to predict what grades their A-level pupils will achieve.
Universities minister David Willetts has indicated that the timing of exams could be overhauled, so that results are out before universities begin offering places.
Speaking to the Times, he said the system being used at present needed to be "re-engineered".
"Instead of speculative applications based on possible A-Level grades everyone is dealing on how (a pupil) performs," he told the news provider.
"It would involve some change in the time at which people do their exams.
"Exam boards would have to move more rapidly and the process of people getting the application into Ucas would have to change."
Mr Willetts added that proposals would be "floated" in the government's white paper in spring.
Speaking after the minister made these comments, BBC education correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti suggested that this change could benefit pupils from poorer backgrounds.