What to Do if Your A-Level Results are Not what You Wanted

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Dan Rosenberg

Partner, Education & Public Law Solicitor

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You might feel like you’ve spent you entire time at school working up to A-Level Results Day. So the pressure and nerves can leave you feeling extremely upset if your results weren’t what you expected. And watching your peers get into their chosen universities if you didn’t get the results that you hoped for can be even more disheartening.

But don’t lose hope - you’ve got plenty of options. Schools and universities should be more flexible following the Coronavirus pandemic, as they understand that studying for such important grades in these uncertain times has not been easy.

Our Education Law Solicitors have listed what steps you can take if you’ve been left feeling disappointed by your A Level results this year.

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Speak to your Chosen Universities

If you didn’t get the grades that you needed to get onto the course you wanted, speak to your university of choice. The Government have urged universities to be as flexible as possible this year as the pandemic has meant that your centre assessed grade (CAD) might not be as accurate as grades awarded from sitting exams.

As there will be less international students flying over this year and universities have been asked to hold places spare for those who choose to appeal their CAD, getting a place might not be as impossible as it seems.

And even if your chosen university doesn’t have a place for you, you could look elsewhere with Clearing. Thousands of people get into university through Clearing every year. Most universities will offer this option for at least some of their courses, so don’t worry about having to go to a lower ranking university - even the most sought after universities could have spaces.

UCAS Track will have automatically provided you with a Clearing number when you didn’t get into your first or insurance choice university. And your school can help you with the process.

Appeal through your School

At the moment, the primary way to appeal is through your school. There isn't a system in place for individual students to appeal. So speak to the school and your teachers can help you with this.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has additionally said that if you don’t get the grades you want in you’re A-Levels, then you could use your mock exam results from earlier on this year. This will likely only help very few students, as most mock results are lower than what people ultimately get. But it is a route available to those who could benefit. 

Choosing to use your mock results also needs to be done through the school.  More information on these appeals will be given by Ofqual next week.

Resit Your Exams

You could resit your exams this year. But if your focus is on going to university in September your priority over the next few days will need to be speaking to universities with the grades you have, rather than focusing on doing resits.

The Government have said that A-Level students who don’t get the grades they need can retake their exams in the autumn of this year, rather than having to wait a whole year to sit exams again.

We understand that this year has been difficult and unpredictable. But if your results are disappointing, don’t lose hope. You’ve got plenty of options and remember that you’re not alone, as thousands across the country will be going through the same process today too.

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