Results Day - What to Expect

by Anita Naik

The results season will soon be upon us, and with it comes the anxiety of what next and what to do if things go wrong. It's a hard time of year, even tougher in the light of remote learning, lockdown and the pandemic. However, rest assured, whatever happens, you still have choices. Here's what you need to know.

A-level results

Being prepared for A-level results day is the number one way to lower your stress levels in the run-up to results. Firstly, know when your results are due. This year's A-level results day is Tuesday, 10 August.

Results go to UCAS at 8 am but check with your school/college to arrive for your results. To find out if you have got into the university of your choice, go to UCAS Track. This updates at 8 am, but it takes time for universities to send confirmations. This means you'll still need to collect your results to see what grades you have, just in case you need to enter Clearing.

If you get the grades, you need to wait for a confirmation from your university of choice. If you haven't reached the grades, check Track to see if you've been offered a place on a different course at the same university or if the university will still take you with a lower grade.

If that isn't an option, then you can either apply for a new course through UCAS Clearing (more than 70,000 students were accepted through Clearing last year source: UCAS, 2020) or consider taking a gap year or make a plan to retake your A-levels in the new academic year.

To help yourself be ready with your:

1. UCAS ID number 2. UCAS Clearing number - this will only be available on UCAS Track if you become eligible for Clearing3. Personal statement - universities may ask you questions based on this in Clearing4. GCSE results - these might come up.

GCSE results

This year, GCSE results are out on Thursday, 12 August in England and Wales, the same week as A-level results and a week earlier than usual.

Results need to be collected from your school, and again, preparation is vital. The new numerical system means grades are from 9 - 1 (highest to lowest). A* is between grades 8 and 9, 7 is an A, 6 and 5 equals B, and a 4 is a C. Knowing this will help you see how you have done to see if you have a place at Sixth Form College.

If you don't get the grades you need, talk to your teachers, who can advise and help you. And remember, if you don't want to retake, all is not lost. There are plenty of vocational courses at schools and colleges, such as a BTEC, that will give you a route to university.

A BTEC - 'Business and Technology Education Council' is a practical-based, vocational qualification. There are over 2,000 qualifications across 16 sectors, meaning you can study everything from animation to computing or engineering. These are then assessed via coursework and projects with the benefit that you gain practical experience.

You will need at least five GCSEs to get on to a level 3 BTEC course, so you will need to do Level 1 and 2 if you have no GCSEs.

· BTEC Level 1 and 2 = equivalent to a GCSE

· BTEC Level 3 = equivalent to an A-level

After Level 3, you can apply to university via UCAS.

What if I want to appeal my grades?

All pupils will be able to appeal their GCSE and A-level results if they think their school made an "unreasonable academic judgement". Some appeals will be classed as "priority" if a pupil's place on a higher education course depends on a change to their results.

Ofqual has said that the appeals process will be different this year and involves pupils first asking schools/colleges to check for errors before escalating appeals to exam boards on their behalf. Boards will then consider whether grades issued were a "reasonable exercise of academic judgement".

Therefore, results will only be deemed incorrect "where the original decision represents an unreasonable application of academic judgment".

Ask your school and college for more information, advice and help on how to do the above.

For further reading, see our posts on How will I be graded this year, Ideas for a gap year, How to get into university with no GCSEs

Tags: A-Levels GCSE
Categories: University GCSE A-levels