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What to Expect on A-Level Results Day in 2023 and Beyond

What to Expect on A-Level Results Day in 2023 and Beyond

5 min Read|September 27 2023
|Written by:

Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa


More students in the UK are taking A-Levels than ever before; entry numbers have gone up from just over 750,000 in 2021to nearly 780,000 in 2022. This means A-Level Results Day is the most stressful day of the year for almost a million 18-year-olds. On this day, students find out what grades they’ve attained in their end-of-year exams – information that will shape their futures.

If you’re anxiously waiting for A-Level Results day, you might be wondering what you to expect. How will you get hold of your grades? Will you meet your university offers? What if you don’t perform as well as you expected?

This article will answer your questions. We’re here to give you priceless advice, top tips, and in-depth information about what you can expect on A-Level Results Day. Question by question, we’ll demystify Results Day, and make sure you’re ready to get your grades.

A-Level Results


What will happen on the day?

Usually, exam boards will release results very early in the morning on A-Level Results Day, at around 6am. However, they will be embargoed until 8am. This gives schools time to invite students to come and collect their grades. However, each school will open at a different time, so make sure you check with yours to see when they’ll let you come in.

Meanwhile, UCAS will receive your results, and update them on their Track system. This is usually finished by 8am. Even though you can see your offers online, it’s still worth coming into school for A-Level Results Day; with hundreds of thousands of students attempting to access the portal, UCAS won’t work as fast as usual. You can’t see your exact A-level results online, either.

Also, coming in will mean you get the good (or bad) news while surrounded by supportive friends and teachers. The atmosphere in school on A-Level Results Day will be buzzing, and you can make some memories that’ll last a lifetime. Don’t forget to take photos!

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I’ve met my offer – now what?

Once your results have been updated online, the UCAS Hub will let you know the status of your offer:

  • Unconditional: This means you have a place at your firm or insurance university. If you’ve achieved the necessary grades, this is how the university lets you know you’ve been accepted. Get out there and celebrate!
  • Unsuccessful: This is the one no student wants to see. You haven’t been accepted by your choice, and are now eligible for Clearing. Don’t panic!
  • Unconditional Changed Course (UCC): This means you haven’t met the necessary grade requirements for your initial offer, but the university is offering you a place on a course with lower requirements instead. This could also mean a deferred offer. You have five days from A-Level Results Day to decide if you want to accept.

If your status has changed to ‘unconditional’, you can confirm your acceptance in the UCAS Hub. You’ll receive details later about what comes next. In the meantime, spend the rest of your A-Level Results Day feeling proud of yourself for achieving your goals. Only 66% of students (on average) receive an offer, and even less manage to meet it!

What if I don’t meet my A-level offer on Results Day??

Firstly, you’re not alone. Over 40,000 students throughout the UK are estimated to miss out on their preferred placement every A-Level Results Day, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Chances are, you won’t even be the only one in your friend group who doesn’t meet their required grades.

The first route you can take from here is talking to your chosen university. If you only missed your required grades by a few marks, they might be open to negotiation. Make sure you keep your phone battery topped up so you can make those crucial calls. Even better, do some research before A-Level Results Day into other relevant courses, and contact details for the universities that offer them.

The second option is remarking your A-Level. If you feel like your grade isn’t right – for example if you’re predicted an A, and receive a D – talk to your teacher about your options for appeal. Schools can make appeals to Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) after A-Level Results Day if they think an examiner has made a mistake, and papers can be remarked.

However, even if your appeal goes through, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a place at your uni of choice. The alternative is to retake your A-Level, usually over a gap year. This can give you valuable time to consider your options, learn from your mistakes, and grow as a person – just because you defer your place, doesn’t mean you’ve failed. And again, you’re not alone: 20% of students took a gap year for 2020-2021.

Lastly, you can accept your results, and go through Clearing. This is a system of matching you with a uni that has an empty space, and over 53,500 students entered it on A-Level Results Day 2022. Contrary to popular belief, Clearing isn’t just for people who fail to meet their offers, and it’s not full of sup-par courses; any course can be found through Clearing if it has spaces, and not everybody going through Clearing failed to meet their offer.

Final Thoughts about A-Level Results Day

A-Level Results Day can be an emotional rollercoaster. If you receive the grade you want and meet your offer, it could be one of the best days of your life. However, if you don’t get the grade you were expecting, it can be one of the worst. Seeing your peers enjoying success that you don’t necessarily share can be heart-breaking, but don’t get despondent. Your teachers, friends, and parents are there to support you, and you still have an exciting future ahead.

If you’re looking to make A-level results day as hassle-free as possible, then we recommend starting with a TutorChase A-level tutor as soon as possible. No matter which subjects you’re taking, we have a high-quality team of tutors ready to guide you to top grades. Be sure to reach out today to schedule your first session.

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Professional tutor and Cambridge University researcher

Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

Written by: Dr Rahil Sachak-Patwa

Oxford University - PhD Mathematics

Rahil spent ten years working as private tutor, teaching students for GCSEs, A-Levels, and university admissions. During his PhD he published papers on modelling infectious disease epidemics and was a tutor to undergraduate and masters students for mathematics courses.

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