When is A level results day 2023? What time do exam grades come out in England, Wales, NI - how to check UCAS

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Students will soon be receiving their A-level results - here’s everything you need to know about timings, how to view grades, and what to do if things don’t go as expected

Students across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland will soon be receiving their A-level exam results.

For most of the pupils in this cohort, this year was the first time they ever sat formal exams because their GCSEs did not go ahead as normal due to the pandemic. Therefore, the prospect of an ‘results day’ might sound even more intimidating than usual.

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There always seems to be a lot to know and a lot to think about, and it can be hard to keep a cool head on a stressful day that many sixth formers have spent months waiting for. So, NationalWorld has gathered all the information you need - including timings, how things work, and how to handle all outcomes - and compiled it in a handy guide which you can use to get you through results day.

When is A-level results day?

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, AS and A-level results will be released on Thursday 17 August. Students in Scotland received their results on 8 August.

Vocational and technical qualification students, including BTec Level 3s, T-levels, and Cambridge Technicals will receive their results on or before 17 August.

Alice Shaw and Amelia Cropley react after reading their A-level results at Norwich School, Norwich. Credit: PAAlice Shaw and Amelia Cropley react after reading their A-level results at Norwich School, Norwich. Credit: PA
Alice Shaw and Amelia Cropley react after reading their A-level results at Norwich School, Norwich. Credit: PA | PA

What time will I receive my results?

Usually, students collect their results from their school or college in the morning from 8am - when they are released by exam boards. Your school should have informed you of where exactly you need to go, and who you will be able to collect your results from.

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How do I know if I got into my university?

UCAS receives your A-level results directly and will update UCAS Hub accordingly to let you know if you have received a place. This typically happens around 8am, but there can be a delay as the system will be busy.

When you log into UCAS Hub, you will see one of the following options:

  • Unconditional: this means your place on the course has been confirmed
  • Unsuccessful: you have not been accepted onto the course
  • Unconditional Changed Course: you have not met the grades for your course, but your chosen university has suggested an alternative

If you have been unsuccessful for your firm choice, you may still receive an unconditional offer from your insurance choice.

Remember, you cannot see your A-level results in UCAS - but some students who view their UCAS Hub before receiving their results will be able to estimate their grades based on whether they have been accepted into their university or not.

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Sixth form students receive their A-Level results at Stoke Newington School (Pic: Getty Images)Sixth form students receive their A-Level results at Stoke Newington School (Pic: Getty Images)
Sixth form students receive their A-Level results at Stoke Newington School (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

What if I don’t get the grades I need?

There are plenty of options and possibilities if you don’t get the grades you were hoping for. If you only just miss out on the grades you need to get onto a course, the admissions office might accept you anyway - either directly through UCAS, or retrospectively if you call to ask.

Alternatively, some institutions may offer you a place on a different course - which you can choose whether you want to accept or not.

You should also be sure to check your UCAS for other offers, as if you have not been accepted by your firm choice, you may still have been offered a place by your insurance choice. This happens for a lot of students.

However, if none of these things happen for you, don’t panic. If you still want to go to university, you can enter clearing - a process through which applicants are matched to degree courses which still have vacancies.

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Your school will be able to help you with this, but it’s worth having a your GCSE results and personal statement to hand as, when you speak to institutions, they may ask you a few questions.

Of course, you may decide you no longer want to go to university - either this year or ever. If this is the case, you could apply to an apprenticeship or traineeship, or for an entry-level job if you want to go straight into employment. You may also want to consider taking a gap year to give you more time to decide on your next steps.

If you want to give your A-levels another go, it’s also possible to resit all or some of your exams. You should talk to your school or college if you want to explore this route.

Remember, results are not the only measure of success - and there are plenty of options available!

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What if I think my results are wrong?

Once your exam results have been announced, if your marks don’t seem right, you can request a review of marking or moderation by the exam boards - through their post-results services. Appeals can be made to Ofqual by schools and colleges on behalf of their students, so you’ll need to speak to your institution.

Bear in mind that if you appeal, your grade can go up, down, or stay the same.

If you did not receive a place at your chosen university but plan to appeal your grades, you should let the university know as they may choose to reserve your place, dependent on what the outcome is. In some cases, your place may have already gone to someone else, but if you let the university know it is likely they will give you the option to defer until next year.

What if I get better grades than I expected?

If you managed to exceed the conditions of your firm offer, and you’re happy with that, then that’s great. However, if you’d like to explore the possibility of picking an alternative course or university which requires higher grades, you can do so through Clearing.

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What if I no longer want to go to my chosen university?

If you have received an offer from your chosen university but no longer want to go, you will have to call the institution and ask them to “release” you from your place.

Once you have done this, you are free to do whatever - change your plans, e.g., by opting for a gap year, apprenticeship, or the world of employment, or like above, choose Clearing and try to get into another university or course.

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