What to Expect on A-Level Results Day


A-Level Results Day is quickly speeding round the corner. Another year, another confusing period. By now we hoped there would be some sort of normality, but alas, we have to stay agile. You might have a lot of questions and misconceptions, so here’s a quick overview with what you should expect on the 10th August 2021. 

A better grading system

Following last year’s chaos, there is a more fluid grading system in place. Ofqual have worked with the exam boards to create a marking scheme that takes online exams, mock exams, coursework and missed learning into consideration. But this time, your teachers will act as the examiner, which can of course pose problems. There is no external marking or assessments. It’s all down to one person! 

All the “evidence” submitted will be graded and assessed according to the detailed descriptors. Hopefully, this will reflect your performance more accurately. Then the exam boards will run a quality assurance test to make sure the process is satisfactory. 

Collecting your results

Contact your school or college, and double check when they will open and close. Most schools will have your A-Level results ready to collect from 8am. But you won’t be able to stay on site and you can not check your results online this year. 

Decide whether you want moral support or privacy when you open your results. Remember to take a deep breath beforehand - where are always options! 

Intense emotions running high

It is completely normal to feel unsettled, disappointed or even a little numb. After all, this is not the day you had planned. Perhaps you were thinking about heading over to the common to celebrate, pop some bubbly or even hug goodbye to your teachers. After 12 years of schooling, you probably hoped for something with a little more oomph...

Alternatively, you might be so completely over excited that the year (and stress) is finally over. A-Level results day couldn’t come sooner – regardless of whether it’s a party or not. Either way, you’ll be getting 3 As: anxiety, adrenaline and appeasement.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

University offers

If you’ve applied for university you’ll start getting a few pings from your firm offers. You’ll be notified about a status update on UCAS (who receive your A-Level results before you do). Don’t be surprised if you get an email at 9am saying “congratulations” and you’ve not even had breakfast yet. 

Now, you’ll want to sit down and run through the list of firm offers. Then accept your top choice and start preparing for university! It’s also worth noting that you might still get an offer even though you’ve not met your predicted grades. So be patient.

University rejections

If you haven’t quite got the grades you need, don’t panic. You can go through university clearing for any university that teaches your course. Clearing works by matching you with a university regardless of your grades and you can do this through UCAS. Clearing, as in 2020, should be ‘generous’ but if you don’t see the right course at the right university for you, don’t go! 

However, you might decide that it’s best to defer the year, retaking A-Levels so you get the grades you want. This means you’ll have a second chance to get into your top choice university and get the grades you deserve.

Applying for A-Level retakes

We know many of you have high aspirations, which is great! Sometimes, despite all the intense revision and endless studying, things don’t go according to plan. In this case, you can either appeal your grades via the exam board and school or apply for A-level retakes. This is why A-Level results day is a bit earlier, giving you a leeway period.

There are a few options to consider: retaking the whole school year, the specific subject or retaking A-levels from home. Depending on your circumstances – like whether you’re deferring for university or applying for jobs – you’ll need to do your research and find what suits your schedule best. Remember you can retake all subjects and all exam boards, but only in the Summer. Take a look at our A-Level retakes brochure or book in a call with our retake expert.

System overload 

As soon as you wake up you’ll be refreshing your emails or UCAS tracker. Even though you’ve been told that updates might not be released until 12pm. But you think “maybe they’ll go live early?” Been there, done that. 

This is the only time when you will not be expected to be punctual. With everyone also having the same objective, the system might crash. So make sure you’re connected to Wi-Fi or 4G, then sit and wait. 


Once all the antics of A-Level results day have settled, you’ll move onto the next phase: closure. This is a chapter that is finally ending. It’s a lot to process, but also so exciting! Start preparing for your gap year, sorting out student accommodation or updating that CV. 

We wish you all the best from Tutor House and a huge congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line of a whirlwind time.

Looking for A-Level retake courses?

Make the process of retaking A-Levels smoother with Tutor House. You will find a course for your subject that you can start from home. This means you won’t have to retake the school year as such, but can learn at your own pace online. We will match you with a bespoke tutor tailored to your needs, learning style and goals. Whether you just missed your predicted grades or want to get As, our expert tutors will support you to the end. Call us on: 020 3950 0320 or email info@tutorhouse.co.uk for more information.

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Naida Allen

Naida is a witty wordsmith with a love for writing and reading. She is a Content Writer and Social Media Executive at Tutor House — the top UK provider of online and in-person tuition. She specialises in topics relating to mental & physical wellbeing and career advice.

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