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A-LEVEL RESULTS DAY 2023: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW


As A-Level results day creeps closer, students up and down the country are eagerly awaiting the outcome of 2 years of hard work. The excitement is palpable but for many, it’s a time of uncertainty and high anxiety.

However you feel about A-Level results day, you need to be prepared for several possible outcomes. Whether you achieve your expected results, surpass them, or fall short, there will be actions you need to complete depending on your results.

In this guide, we explain what you can expect on A-Level results day, how to prepare for it and the possible things you may need to do depending on your A-Level scores.

WHEN IS A-LEVEL RESULTS DAY 2023?

A-Level results day is on Thursday 17 August 2023 in England. Scottish results day is Tuesday 8 August 2023.

You can collect your results from your school or college as soon as it opens in the morning. Most exam boards will make results available online from 8 am on the same day.

Students will be able to access their UCAS applications on the UCAS Hub from 8 am on results day and will be able to add a Clearing choice from 1 pm.

PREPARING FOR A-LEVEL RESULTS DAY

It’s important to be prepared for your A-Level results so you’re ready to spring into action on the day. If you have applied for a university place, then you have a lot riding on your exam results. It’s important to know what actions you need to take, depending on your results.

Whatever you do, don’t panic and try to stay calm. By reading this guide and preparing in advance for the day, you will give yourself the best chance of dealing with your exam results calmly and efficiently, which will make the whole experience a lot easier.

Hopefully it’s a day of success and celebration, but even if not, you need to know what the results will mean for your education/career plans and what actions you will need to take.

Before results day read what each of your offers mean from the universities that have offered you a place. Understand what Clearing is, how the process works and what results you need to go to the university, apprenticeships or job that you have applied for.

You will also need to check how your exam results get to your chosen universities/colleges – most go directly to UCAS from the awarding organisations, and UCAS send them on to your chosen universities. But if not, you need to send your exam results to your universities or colleges yourself. You can check this information on the UCAS website.

On the day of your results, there are a few things you need to take with you when you collect your results. These are especially important if your grades are lower than expected:

  • A fully charged mobile phone and phone charger – in case you need to go through Clearing.
  • Download the UCAS Clearing app from the iOS or Google Play store.
  • Calculator – to work out your UCAS Tariff Points.
  • UCAS letter – with your UCAS ID number (and log-in details) and conditional offer grades
  • Copy of your reference and their contact details.
  • Your UCAS Clearing number – this will only be available on UCAS Hub if you’ve been rejected by both your first and insurance choices, and become eligible for Clearing.
  • Your personal statement – universities you speak to in Clearing will be able to see your personal statement and may ask you questions about it.
  • Contact details for universities you  have your eye on as back up places via Clearing.
  • Pens and paper – this may sound obvious but they are essential for the Clearing process as you may speak to several universities all of which will be supplying you with lots of information.

WHAT HAPPENS ON A-LEVEL RESULTS DAY

Results can be collected either online direct from the exam boards or from your school/college. Most schools and colleges will have an online portal where you can find your results but most students go to their school to collect them.

Collecting results in person is often preferred for several reasons; if your results are not what you were expecting your teachers will be available to help advise your next steps. If you have achieved the results you were hoping for, you will be with all your friends and peers to celebrate your success together.

It’s best to go to your school or college as early as possible on the morning of results day. If your results are lower than predicted this gives you time to prepare your next steps, such as contacting universities through Clearing which is available from 1 pm onwards.

When you collect your exam results from school you will probably receive a results slip. Teachers will be available to talk you through your results and what they mean. You can also see here what your results will look like and how to interpret them. If in doubt, speak with a teacher who will be able to help you.

Whatever results you achieve there are likely actions that you need to take, let’s review the potential outcomes you may face:

YOU’VE JUST MISSED YOUR PREDICTED A-LEVEL GRADES

If your results are just below what you were expecting, it may still be enough to be accepted by one of the universities that you have been offered a place by. If this is the case, then you need to contact the relevant university and accept the offer via the UCAS Hub.

If you’ve missed the grades by just a few marks, you should talk to the university in question. While they’re under no obligation to reconsider their decision they may listen to you if you plan to appeal any grades.

If your results don’t seem right and your university place is under threat, you could request a review of marking or moderation by the exam boards through their post-results services. Appeals can be made to Ofqual by schools and colleges in England on behalf of their students. Bear in mind that if you appeal, your grade can go up, down or stay the same. Throughout this process keep the university informed of your plans, as there’s a better chance that they’ll reserve the place for you.

You might also be offered an alternative by your chosen university, which will be classed as a ‘changed course offer’ which you’ll need to accept or decline. The UCAS Hub is available from 8 am on results day but it can often take a few hours for UCAS to update and allow you to make any changes.

If the above scenarios are not relevant to you and your grades are not enough for your conditional offers, then you will need to go through UCAS Clearing to see what places are available at other universities. The Clearing process is available from 1 pm onwards on results day. So, you will have a few hours in the morning to review university places that you identified as potential back-ups and ensure you have the contact details and relevant information to go through the Clearing process. If you need to go through Clearing you may find this detailed guide to  UCAS Clearing useful.

YOU’VE MET YOUR INSURANCE OFFER

If you miss your firm offer but meet your insurance offer, you can still go to one of your top two universities. Good work! Check on the UCAS Hub, if this shows as unconditional, you don’t need to do anything further for now. Remember, this may take a while to update in the UCAS Hub on results day. If it is still showing as conditional by lunchtime on results day, you should phone the university to find out what the hold-up is.

If you accept your insurance choice, you will need to change your student loan details using your online student finance account. You might be entitled to slightly more or slightly less financial support depending on where you’re now going to study but this does not need to be done on results day.  You can wait for your confirmation letter from the university to arrive. Of course, you will also need to think about sorting out accommodation at your new university. Alternatively, if you wish to decline your insurance offer, you can still go into Clearing.

If you miss your firm offer and insurance offer the university may accept you for a different course. This will show up on the UCAS Hub as an unconditional place with substantial changes to your original choice, with details of the new course. You have five days to decide whether to accept this alternative. Read the course description carefully and be certain that it is a course you want to do.

GRADES ARE MUCH LOWER THAN PREDICTED

Obviously, this is a disappointing outcome and may be upsetting for you, especially if friends are jumping up and down around you screaming “I got my results! I’m going to uni!”. Whatever you do don’t panic or feel that your entire life is over, there are lots of options open to you and it doesn’t spell disaster for your future.

Go and talk to your teachers at school or college who will be available on results day to help you. They know your circumstances best and are there to help advise you about what to do next. Don’t panic – remember, lots of very able people either don’t go to university straight from school or don’t go at all.

Your main options are to:

1) Enter Clearing to see if your grades are acceptable to another university.

2) Retake your A-levels next summer and reapply for next year’s entry to university. No results will be held against you, you can start the whole process again completely from scratch.

3) Forget about uni for the moment and either get a job, take a gap year, go to college to do a non-degree course, or do a traineeship or apprenticeship.

GRADES ARE MUCH HIGHER THAN PREDICTED

If you significantly exceed your predicted results first of all give yourself a big pat on the back. This is a huge success and reflects the hard work you put in during the months leading up to your exams. Once the UCAS Hub updates on the morning of results day you’ll be sent a confirmation from your firm choice. All you need to do is accept the offer and spend the day celebrating your success and look forward to going to university.

For some students achieving much higher grades than predicted can open up the chance of university places that they thought were not within reach. If this is you, and you have researched the alternative university courses that you would ideally like to attend with your higher results, then you can opt to self-release into the Clearing process and apply for a different course.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT

In most cases, UCAS will receive your exam results and send them on to the universities which have offered you a place. If you are an international or EU student you may need to send proof of your results certificates or transcripts to the university, college, or conservatoire yourself. Different course providers have different policies for how they want to receive results, check with them so you know if you need to take action.

In this situation, it’s really important that you send your results/certificates yourself to your chosen course providers as soon as you receive them. You can check on the UCAS website which examination boards do not send results to UCAS, and in which case you will need to send the results yourself.

Once you have received your results and taken the necessary actions as detailed above your next steps are:

1) Sort out your accommodation for September. Don’t wait around as the best of what’s left will get snatched up quickly. This guide to finding accommodation in Clearing might help.

2) Get your finances sorted. This includes adjusting any university loans you have applied for and considering expenses you need to factor into your budget.

3) Research the area. If you’ve gone through Clearing and you’re heading to a different university than first thought you need to do some research about the university, the course and the town/city in which you will be living.

CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENTS, STAYING POSITIVE AND SUPPORT RESOURCES

No matter what A-Level results you achieve, it’s important to take the time to acknowledge all your hard work over the last 2 years and celebrate your graduation from school. The build-up to results day can be stressful and you may feel so anxious or have such high expectations that by the time results day rolls around anything short of perfection may feel disappointing.

Remember that A-Levels are a stepping stone and part of your educational journey, not the be-all and end-all. Hopefully, you will have learned in this guide that there are numerous options available to you, even if you receive much lower grades than predicted. Try not to get caught up in the drama of the day by maintaining a realistic and positive perspective.

If you need support and advice regarding your A-Level results, check out some of these resources:

  • Exam Results Helpline (ERH): 0808 100 8000 – The ERH is a collaboration between UCAS, the BBC and the Department of Education. This free telephone exam results helpline for students is neutral, knowledgeable and non-judgmental. Lines open from 8 am on results day.
  • Talk with teachers, friends and your parents. These people know you and your circumstances the best. Talk through your concerns with them to help you decide your next steps.

THE BENEFITS OF TUTORING SERVICES

If you choose to resit your A-Levels, or you will sit your final A-Level exams next year, it’s worth considering A-Level tutoring services.

A-Level tutoring is a fantastic way to bolster your A-Level learning and can be invaluable to students who lack confidence or feel they need some extra with their course. It can also be incredibly useful to work with different tutors who may have different approaches to learning and can teach you different revision techniques. All of these can boost your study skills, build confidence and improve your chances of getting the A-Level grades you want.

A-Level tutoring can be done in person or online and is completely flexible depending on how much tutoring you wish to receive. To find out more about A-Level tutoring with JK Educate and how it can help you get in touch by phone on 020 3488 0754 or via the online contact form.

ARE YOU READY FOR RESULTS DAY?

Now that you know what to expect on A-Level results day you should be feeling a lot calmer. Preparation for the day is key so that you’re ready for all the potential outcomes.

Whatever your results may be, remember that A-levels are part of a bigger educational journey and are not the only path to career success. Keep calm, be prepared, and maintain a positive mindset and you will find exam results day is a lot more enjoyable than you might have imagined.

If you would like to find out more about how tutoring can support your educational journey, either at A-Level or undergraduate level, get in touch with us at JK Educate today. We offer a range of support and tutoring services for students of all ages and all levels, no matter what your needs are.

Call us today on 020 3488 0754, or complete our online enquiry form. We are ready to help you achieve your best.

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