Although the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted study and exams, students will still get A level results. Read our FAQs for everything you need to know.
When Is A level Results Day In 2020?
A level Results Day will occur on 13th August 2020 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
In Scotland, results are published online on 4th August.
How are we being graded? What’s the latest?
The Department for Education have announced that A level grades will be based on the teachers estimated grade originally submitted. You can use this grade if it is higher than what you received on results day.
This system replaces the a “triple lock” which the Government recently announced.
Or you can instead choose to take a written exam in the autumn.
Watch our A Level Results Day Webinar for answers to all your FAQS
How can you know if a course or university is right for you if you can’t go and visit it or attend open days? Will employers trust your A level grades if you haven’t actually taken exams? Watch our webinar with experts and students to find out!
FAQs answered in the webinar include:
- When getting our results from our respective colleges, what measures are in place to decrease the risk of corona and how will we know what they are? Are we meant to book an appointment?
Going to University
- How does one know whether a course/university is right for them if they cannot go and visit and try it out for themselves due to fear of corona?
- How do you know where to look when trying to find what a university wants in terms of grades?
Apprenticeships and employment
- How does one find legitimate apprenticeship offers online?
- What are employers looking for from young people? Has it changed since COVID?
- Will employers trust the grades I get if I haven’t actually taken the exams?
- Should I do an apprenticeship?
What about AS levels?
Your AS level results will be available on the same day. In England AS levels are seen as a measure of how you are progressing, these results will not go towards your final A level grade.
In Northern Ireland the decision has been made that whilst you will receive your results will not count towards your final grade.
How will I get my A level results?
Results will be available on the 13th August as planned (for Englands, Wales and NI and 4th August for Scotland), how you will receive these results might differ. If it is safe to do so your college or sixth form might open for you to attend to collect your results in person.
For those who are not able to collect results on the day, those who are shielding or whose schools can not open results will be available online through the UCAS Track system or through SQA if you are based in Scotland.
Is there anything I can do to prepare?
Try not to overthink it and cause yourself anxiety, until you know the situation you won’t be able to change anything. Make sure you have the link to this guide and we will help you get through the day whatever it throws at you.
If you are applying for University make sure your UCAS Track and SQA details are up to date, double check the email address and phone number stored and make sure that if you are working that you have time on the day to take action if needed. Do this as soon as possible as in the days leading up to the results your UCAS Track account is ‘frozen’.
What do I need when collecting my results?
- Mobile phone (you’ll probably want/need to make lots of phone calls on getting your results)
- Phone charger
- Pen and paper to note down any key info on the day
- Some form of ID (if you are collecting results in person)
- Your UCAS Track or SQA password and login information if University is your next step
- details of conditional offers, university contact numbers, your UCAS Track number, universities’ UCAS and Clearing numbers
- notes from having researched universities and courses beforehand, with a list of questions to ask course tutors
- your personal statement and GCSE results.
Moving in to work
- Your employer or training provider details if an apprenticeship, school leaver or entry level role is your next step
Do I need to tell UCAS or SQA my grades?
UCAS and SQA are automatically sent your grades so you will not need to call them and let them know what you got, be patient with the online system on the day if you can. There will be thousands of young people online using it and it is bound to be a little slow.
There are some exams grades which are not passed along, take a quick look at this handy UCAS guide and see if you will need to pass any details along to your university on the day
What if I am not happy, can I get my A levels remarked?
First up, don’t panic. You still have options. This year is different to any other year and there is bound to be uncertainty.
If your grades are just a few marks off of what you needed it is worth calling your university and seeing if they will accept your offer.
If you really don’t think that the grade was a good match for your ability, you will have the opportunity to take exams in the autumn this year or in summer 2021. If you choose to do this, you can use the higher of the two grades as your final, official A level grade.
What about appeals?
For this year appeals will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances. These include, if it is thought there was an error when submitting information or that there has been a mistake in calculating or communicating a grade. Students who have evidence of bias or discrimination can also raise this with the centre.
Can I retake my A levels in Autumn?
Yes. At the moment the plan is to have exams starting in October, all exams should be available then but you do not have to retake them all, only the ones where you think you could do better than the grades you received. Exam boards will have entry deadlines (similar to a register of everyone who wants to retake the exam) if you do want to enter the deadline is likely to be at the end of August, you will need to make sure you keep up to date with when the deadlines are so you don’t miss your chance.
If I retake my A levels in Autumn can I still go to university?
Results will take time to come through, at the moment exam board have promised to have A level results for exams taken in the Autumn ready by Christmas. This will really depend on your University and what they have in place for people to start late. Universities are being asked to be flexible as we are all facing difficult circumstances. We may also find that start dates for university terms are held back.
Can I defer my place at university?
For a number of reasons you may decide to defer your application to university and go next autumn instead. You can ask your university to defer your place for up to a year, this can be done at any point up until your start date but it is good to be honest with your university and let them know as soon as possible. You will need to be prepared to answer questions as to why you are deferring. Please be aware that your university might not agree to hold your place for you and you might need to withdraw your offer and apply again for the next year when the UCAS system opens again.
Clearing: how does it all work?
If you have changed your mind, do better than you expected to or you don’t get the grades you wanted to get on to your course you can opt to go through clearing. Clearing is how universities fill any spaces they have left on courses, think of it like picking your seat at a concert, you will see all the best spots open to you and you can pick the very spot for you. In response to the special circumstances this year
UCAS have launched Clearing Plus especially for this year, the system will personally match you to courses you may be interested in, using information about you from your application, and what universities and colleges are looking for in a student.
If you’re unplaced or have started a new application, a button will appear in Track – ‘My matches’. This will take you to your top 50 course matches. You’ll then be able to tell universities and colleges that you’re ‘interested’ in their courses. If they still have vacancies and you meet their entry requirements, they may call you.
If you want to apply for something new altogether you can do that using the search function.
IMPORTANT: When you talk to colleges, universities, Clearing and employers, you have more power than you think.
If you are feeling disheartened about all the upheaval around your A levels during the pandemic, the upside is that universities, colleges and employers are very flexible right now. They know you’ve been through a lot, and they want to help. When you talk to them over the phone or by email, remember that personality and a positive attitude goes a long way. You can challenge and persuade them to give you a chance. Emphasise your skills, enthusiam and potential. Re-read your personal statement and see if it needs updating to really put you forward as a great choice who deserves a break!
Are 2020’s A level grades worth having?
Yes. Very much so.
If you’re a student worrying that your results will hold less value because they didn’t involve exams due to Coronavirus, please don’t worry too much. The grades awarded will have equal status to grades in previous years. Your grades should also be treated the same way as they always have been by universities, colleges and employers.
What I Do After Getting Their A level Grades This Summer?
Students will have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to education, training or entering the world of work after they get their A level results.
We’ve included some options below, but please be aware that some of them may be disrupted by social distancing measures due to coronavirus.
You might not be done with studying yet and want to take on further qualifications to get you to your dream job. You can look at BTECs or their equivalents to see if there is something that suits you
Apprenticeships are a way to combine earning a salary, building experience and learning to gain a qualification.
Students might think it’s impossible to do an apprenticeship in times of coronavirus, but Youth Friendly Employers like Coca-Cola European Partners are standing by their apprentices and making sure they can work and study from home, and will still complete their apprenticeship. Talk to a school/college careers advisor or research online to find out more about apprenticeship opportunities during the pandemic.
You might be ready for the world of work and want to get stuck in to building your skills in your dream career. We have some helpful tips to get your CV in order, brush up your Young Professional skills and boss the interview too.
You might want to explore your own business ideas. Don’t let us stop you! Visit our Self-Employment Zone for helpful insights and case studies that show other young people and their journey from school to entrepreneur or freelancer.
Congratulations for getting your results on the big day! You’ve dealt with a really tricky situation, and in spite of the pandemic you have achieved your grades, so a massive well done to you!
Give yourself some much-deserved time to celebrate, whatever your results were, and then you can approach all your options for next steps with an open mind.
Remember that there are a million ways to happiness and a career and future that’s a good fit for you. You don’t have to put yourself on the spot and you have a lot of potential opportunities to explore with our Young Professionalfree skills training, Careers Huband Young People Hub.
CONGRATS! You’ve taken on A levels like a champ and the best is yet to come!