Students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have received their A-Level results.
The first year to physically sit their exams since 2019, the overall pass rate and the number of A* and A grades have declined against the pandemic years as a result of grade boundary changes.
For those who have suffered as a result of these changes, A-Level Results Day 2022 is probably one you’ll want to forget.
However, there are several options at your disposal if your results fell well below expectations.
So, what are the rules around A-level resits - and how does the process work?
Can you resit A-Levels?
In a word: yes.
Whether it’s the right option or not depends on the grades you got, how close they were to the grade boundaries and what you want to study at university.
For example, if your grades were close to the upper end of the grade boundary, getting your papers re-marked could bump your result up a grade (although your final mark could also go down).
If you wish to appeal your mark, it’s worth talking to your teacher or course supervisor on what next steps you should take.
Exam boards typically have deadlines before which you must lodge any appeals, so you might have to make a quick decision, and they may also ask you to pay a fee.
You must consider things like re-marks first, because retaking your A-Levels is a major commitment that will take up a lot of your time, and possibly a lot of money too.
How do you resit A-Levels?
If you feel you have no other option but to resit your exams, you first have to inform your school or college of your intentions.
They may be able to enrol you again so that you can attend classes in the subject or subjects you want to resit exams for.
You can also opt to study elsewhere by enrolling at another college, school or educational establishment.
If you get a place, you will have to resit all of the exams associated with that subject.
So you will most likely end up having to also sit through most of the lessons or lectures you attended during the academic year.
Your coursework grades may be retained, so you will not necessarily have to retake everything.
If heading back to school or college does not suit you (for example, you may need to get a job to see you through the year), you can hire a private tutor to teach you either in-person or online.
While the intensive learning process is likely to mean you’re in a better position to improve your grades, it is a pricey option.
You will have to pay course fees to cover your tuition and any materials you will need.
The exams you sit will also have to be paid for, with prices usually starting at £175 per subject.
Even if you study online, you will have to sit through a physical exam and may have to book it yourself at a nearby educational establishment.
But you may be able to sit your exam retake sooner than if you opted to sit through a whole year.
Retakes usually take place in October.
How does A-Level clearing work?
If your A-Level grades are lower than you wanted but not so low that you feel you have to retake your exams (or the course you want to do doesn’t need high grades), you can go through clearing.
Run by UCAS, you can see what entry requirements other universities (barring Oxford and Cambridge) have for your course, as well as similar courses you can take that may have lower grade requirements.
Or, you can change direction completely and apply for a totally different subject - although not all universities will necessarily agree to this.
If you think clearing is the way forward for you, it’s worth carefully considering whether the universities or courses on offer meet your needs.
Clearing is open until 18 October and you can use the service if:
- You are applying to university after 30 June
- You either didn’t get or accept any offers of a place
- You didn’t meet the grade requirements of your offers
- You have opted to decline your firm place
- You have paid an application fee of £25
To apply, you should visit the UCAS website.