A level results day – your options if you don’t get the grades you need

by Anita Naik

Not getting the A-Level grades you want doesn't mean the end of your university dreams. If you get lower than your current offer, you have the following choices ahead of you.

Contact your university of choice

If your grades are just under, you might still get accepted by at least one of your choices.

And even if you didn't meet the grades of your original offer, you might find that some universities will still offer you a place.

Take a gap year

This way you can apply to a different University and course next year. What's more used constructively, a gap year can look great on a CV, and make you a more valuable contender for university or future employment. Plus it gives you time to retake your A-Levels.

Resit to improve your grades

You can do this at school, sixth form or college. You can retake the course in the same way, or you can enrol to resit at your school. If your school doesn't offer this option, look at local sixth forms or colleges that can accommodate you.

Resit the course online. This is an excellent option if you want to work and re-take as an online course which will give you flexibility as you will not be confined to a set timetable. This means you can study anywhere you choose, but you will still sit your exam at a school or college on the same date as all other students.

For tutors do look at our pages for Maths, Physics, History and more.

Look for other courses you may be able to get on

Think about other courses or universities. Clearing at UCAS opens from 8 am. If you need to find a new course, you can browse thousands of vacant places, but you cannot apply for a new course until 3 pm.

If the university gives you an informal offer, be sure to check how long they're willing to keep the spot open for you. Get as many offers as you want before making up your mind, be wary of those expiry dates!

Become an Apprentice

Apprenticeships are also a great way to study for a qualification and get real experience. There are a huge variety of apprenticeships available across a wide range of industries, and job roles. As a paid employee, each apprentice works alongside studying. There are no student fees, and the government and your employer will fund your training costs.

It's an ideal option if you have a clear idea of the career path you want to follow, providing you with practical, on-the-job training, and classroom-based instruction.

Degree apprenticeships are a new type of programme offered by some universities, where students can achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree. Training via this programme means spending part of the time at university and the rest with an employer.