A-level Results Day can be daunting. The grades you receive will shape the direction you will take, whether that's going to university, alternative study or straight into a job. Whatever happens, remember that you always have options.

We've put together this guide to help you prepare for the big day.

Quick links

When is A-level Results Day?

This year, Results Day is on 17th August, with results being given out from 8am onwards.

Be prepared for the start of Results Day.

Do universities see my grades before me?

Your firm and preferred choices will have received your grades ahead of Results Day. That means that the status of any offers - conditional or non-conditional - will change fairly quickly and UCAS Track will be updated accordingly. Don't worry if that takes a little while, though!

Universities receive A-level results ahead of students.

Preparing for A-level Results Day

Being organised is one way to reduce your stress and nerves during Results Day. Make sure you have the following with you before you leave the house:

  • Your UCAS ID number and log-in details for UCAS Track.
  • Your phone and phone charger - you'll need it to let people know the good news! Or, you may need it to call universities should you need to go through clearing.
  • Your laptop, so you can check UCAS Track and prepare a personal statement if needed.
  • Notepad and plenty of pens - you'll likely need to note down key information, and lots of it.
  • A calculator to work out your UCAS points (if you don't have one on your phone)

Remember, results will start coming out from 8am, so get a good night's sleep beforehand and plan to collect your results as soon as possible. If you can't be there in person to pick up your results, make sure you have someone that you trust to do it on your behalf.

Make sure you have everything you need for Results Day.

What if I get the results I wanted?

Congratulations! Now you can accept any conditional offers you might have, and start thinking about accommodation, student finance, and other important aspects of university study. Clearing also lets you decline firm offers if your grades are enough to get you a place at a different university or swap your course, but be sure that this is the right move before you do so.

Start planning for university as soon as you have the right offer.

What if I've missed my grades?

The first thing is to try not to panic. Even if you haven't quite reached the right number of UCAS points, you might still be accepted - contact the university to discuss your situation.

It is natural to feel demoralised or upset if your grades aren't what you were hoping for. Take time to process the marks you have before exploring your next steps:

  • UCAS Clearing: Log onto UCAS from your laptop or the mobile app and find out which alternative courses you are eligible for. Clearing Plus can also help make this process straightforward. We also have a guide on understanding Clearing here.
  • Consider an apprenticeship or placement year.
  • Look at resitting the exams. We'll explore this option a bit closer below.
There are still options if you didn't get the right grades.

Can I retake my A-levels?

Retaking your exams is definitely an option, especially if you feel that you could improve your marks with a little extra revision or tutor support. However, it is important to recognise this also means going back through the course and investing considerable time in your studies, so make sure you weigh up all your options.

It is possible to take your A-level resits online, which gives you the flexibility to learn on your schedule, from wherever you feel most comfortable. This could be the perfect solution if you found it difficult being in a classroom the first time around. Online study is also an option for taking alternative courses, such as counselling, healthcare, and even sports.

Retaking your A-levels can improve career prospects.

The next steps after Results Day

Once you've got your results and accepted the right offer, now is the time to start looking at opening a student bank account, choosing your accommodation, and of course, seeing what clubs and societies you can get involved with. On the other hand, if your plans have changed, start researching companies offering placements or apprenticeships, and update your CV and personal statement.

Assess your options in results day.

We're here to help

Whether you're looking at retaking your A-levels, just missed out on getting the UCAS points you needed, or are considering an alternative career path, online learning with Oxbridge can open up a world of opportunities.

As Dr Seuss famously said: “Today you are you. That is truer than true! There is no-one alive that’s you-er than you! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

We are proud of you.

Good luck!