8 months ago

A Level Results Day is just around the corner. Your head might be spinning with questions about the big day but don’t worry! You can find everything you need to know right here. Are you wondering when is the big day? What if I don’t get the grades? What if I do better than expected? Don’t panic! We’ve got you covered! 

Remember results aren’t everything, you have plenty of options regardless of your results and you’ll receive lots of support along the way.

When Is A Level Results Day?

A Level Results Day is Thursday the 13th August 2020 in England and Wales. Scotland A Level Results Day is the 4th August. The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) publishes results online on the 6th which is also when you will receive your results by post. 

The time you are able to pick up your exam results if you’re studying in England and Wales depends on your Sixth Form. However, UCAS receives your A Level Results and will update your UCAS Track account at around 8am though this may vary. 

Wednesday the 12th August 2020 is known as the ‘restricted release’ of A Level results. This means that exams officers and headteachers can view your results but this is for their eyes only! 

Thousands of students flock to their UCAS account to find out whether they have met their firm or insurance university conditions. You will need to be patient on the day as the system can run slower due to the high amount of traffic it is receiving.

Ideally, you should avoid going on holiday during A Level results day as you’ll need to be able to be contacted by universities and able to get online. If you can’t be around on the day you could nominate someone to pick up your results or if you are able to log onto Track you’ll be able to see what your chosen universities have decided and whether you’ve met the requirements.

happy students receiving A Level results

When Does Track Open?

During the run up to A Level results day, Track is frozen meaning you won’t be able to make any changes to your information. If you do need to make a change you’ll need to contact the UCAS helpline. Track will be available at around 8am on A Level results day and you will then receive your next update at around midday.

What Does Track Show?

UCAS Track doesn’t show you your A Level results, however you will be able to see the status of your university applications. These will be shown as one of the below:

  • Unconditional - This means your place on the university course has been accepted.
  • Unsuccessful - This means the university has been rejected and you’ll now be elegible to enter Clearning at 3pm when it opens.
  • Unconditional Changed Course (UCC) - This means the university has accepted you but on the condition that you change your course to one which requires lower grade boundaries. They may also defer your entry to a later start date. If this is the case, you will have 5 days to make a decision. This gives you chance to contact the university to discuss the matter further and ask any questions.

When Does UCAS Clearing Open?

UCAS Clearing will be available in Track from 3pm on A Level results day. You can find the official Clearing list using the UCAS Search Tool. You might want to get in touch with universities regarding Clearing prior to it actually opening so that you’re able to add the university as soon as Track opens. 

Unsure about what UCAS Clearing is? Don’t worry! We have a full detailed guide covering what it is, why you might consider using Clearing and much more. But to cover briefly, UCAS Clearing can be used if you don’t meet your chosen universities conditions or if you haven’t already applied to university before the 30th June. 

What Do I Need to Take With Me?

If you’re going into college to pick up your grades on A Level results day, you’ll need to take with you the following:

  • A pen/notepad
  • Your personal statement
  • GCSE results
  • Conditional offers
  • University contact numbers
  • UCAS Track number and Clearing number

I’ve Met My University Offer, Now What?

Well done you! Make sure you make plenty of time to celebrate! If you have been accepted to your chosen university your Track status will appear as ‘unconditional’. You’ll then need to wait for your UCAS confirmation letter which will appear in Track around 5-7 days after your acceptance. 

You might be required to action this further. For example, the university might ask to see a copy of your GCSE and A Level results. 

If you choose to decline your university offers you will need to then enter Clearing. Be careful to think your choice over thoroughly as once you have rejected your offer the chances are your place won’t be available should you change your mind. 

What If I Don’t Get the Grades I Needed?

Don’t worry! Grades aren’t everything and you have plenty of opportunities still. 

First of all, if you’ve got your heart set on going to a specific university you could ring them and ask if they’d reconsider you despite not meeting the required grades. 

Alternatively, you might want to go to the same university but consider taking a different course which will still meet your overall career goal. 

Each university sets different grade boundaries for their courses. If you didn’t get the grades to be accepted onto your desired course at your chosen university, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t study that course. You could check out other universities through Clearing which offer the course you want to commit to. 

If you’re reconsidering going to university altogether then you might want to look at different pathways into your professional career. There are plenty of apprenticeships available covering a wide range of industries and you might be surprised to hear that you can actually do an apprenticeship at degree level. 

If you want to rethink your options then you could do a gap year or work abroad and always look at applying next year. 

The world is your oyster and it is completely your choice!

Happy young man looking up to blank bubble speech hand drawn on a dark chalkboard

Can I Get A Level Exams Remarked? 

If you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for then don’t worry! It might feel like the end of the world but it doesn’t have to be. You have an array of options still available to you. 

If you were only a couple of mark off meeting the higher grade then you might want to consider getting your A Level exam remarked. Remarks are now known as ‘Reviews of Results (RoR)’. You will need to contact your sixth form to get a remark who will arrange the paperwork with your exam centre. 

Make sure you update your university of your plans to get your paper remarked as they may be able to reserve your place. Remember that when getting your paper remarked it is also possible that your grade could go down. You will also need to pay to get your paper remarked and a refund will depend on whether your application is successful or not!

Remark prices vary depending on the exam board you studied with and you have up to the 21st September to request a Review of Results. If you’re not happy with the result of your remark you can always appeal. The deadline for priority reviews is 20th August 2020.

A Level Resits

If you don’t do as well as expected and still want to continue on the same path to your career goals then you might want to resit your A Levels. Retaking your A Levels might suit your circumstances if you find yourself in one of the following situations:

  • I’ve looked through Clearing but can’t find anything suitable
  • I didn’t meet the grades to receive an offer
  • I really want to go to university and don’t want to go down an alternative route

To retake your A Levels you’ll need to discuss this with your sixth form college who will be able to help guide you through the process. Not every college offers resits so you may need to contact other local college to find out if you can retake your exam with them. 

Another way to retake your A Levels could be to sit your exam with an independent college such as the Council for Independent Education. 

It’s worth taking into consideration that due to changes in the system, A Level resits only take place in the summer so you would have to wait till next year before doing so. Additionally, A Level resits do come with a price tag so make sure you’re willing and prepared to commit to your studies. 

Will I Still Get Into University With a Resit?

Absolutely! Universities respect the commitment that you’ve put in to better your grade. You will need to be prepared to explain to the university why you chose to retake your exams and what you have learnt from this. 

What If My A Level Results Are Better Than Expected?

If your grades are better than expected then well done you! This is a massive achievement and you should be proud of yourself! 

If your A Level results day goes better than expected you might be happy with the university and course you’ve selected but if not you have options. You might want to use the UCAS adjustment service to find a different course. The UCAS adjustment service is available to use from A Level results day 2020 until the 31st August. 

Don’t worry if you can’t find a course, you can still keep the offer you received on results day. You can enter UCAS adjustment through Track. Once you have accepted a new course or university that is when the course you had previously chosen will be declined. 

If you only applied for one uni course to begin with and paid the reduced fee of £20 you will have to pay an additional £5 to apply to more universities. 

To apply for a new course through Adjustment you can enter track where it will give you the option to ‘register for Adjustment’. To do this you will need to have exceeded your predicted grades and contact the university you’re considering going to – make sure you have your Personal ID at hand! 

Remember: you can only have one Adjustment offer!

Happy young students jumping the air with joy

What If I Want to Defer My University Place?

If you choose to postpone your university place you’ll need to be prepared to explain the reasons behind this. If you can support your action to defer your offer then the university is much more likely to accept this. 

Perhaps you want to take time out to commit to voluntary work or you want to take a gap year. Whatever your decision just make sure you take time out doing something worthwhile.  

If you’ve got all this to come next year and you’ve just sat your first year of A Levels then you might be wondering a bit about AS results day.

When Is AS Results Day?

If you’ve just sat your AS Levels then that means you’ve got all this to come! AS Results Day is on the 13th August. Some students will be sitting AS Levels, whereas others might only sit their exams in the final year of college. 

AS Levels refer to the first year of your A Levels, you can then go on to complete your A2 in the second year which will make up a full A Level qualification. Some sixth forms allow you to sit 4 AS Levels in your first year and then drop one in your second year. An AS Level acts as a stand alone qualification and will contribute towards your UCAS points. 

The UCAS Tariff Explained

UCAS tariffs are used to send data from universities to the government bodies. However, some universities have a set amount of UCAS points required for you to study a course and this will be noted in the entry requirements. Not all universities use the UCAS tariff, as an alternative they will look at grades instead. Not all qualifications attract UCAS tariff points. 


You’ve tried your best in your exams and that’s what matters. Now the results are out of your control so try not to panic about A Level results day 2020! We understand that this is easier said than done but even if you don’t do as well as expected remember, exam results aren’t everything and there are plenty of opportunities available. So enjoy the whole experience and be proud of your results whatever the outcome! 

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