Share this page Twitter RSS Facebook

A-level Results Day 2020

A-level results day is a stressful time for many students, but our comprehensive guide will help calm even the most frayed nerves in the run up to securing a place at university.

When is A-level results day?

A level results are out on Thursday 13th August 2020.

If you're in Scotland, the SQA publishes exam results online on Tuesday 4th August 2020, the same day certificates are sent in the post.

If you're planning on going to university in 2020, then your A-level results will be out on Thursday 13th August 2020.

What time should I collect my results?

Exam boards release results at 6am, but schools and colleges will open at different times to allow students to collect them, so check with your own school/college on when they will be opening.

UCAS will get your results directly, and update your application on their Track system accordingly, usually by around 8am. Remember that the site will be extremely busy with students checking their results, etc. so you may need to be patient if it doesn't load straight away.

If you're a student in Scotland, and you registered for MySQA, you will be emailed your results around 8am on the day they are published. You can also call your school or college to get your results.

If you think you may have to enter Clearing, it's a good idea to look at your options before results day, even though you can't add a Clearing choice until 3pm. This will give you time to look at opportunities and whether there are any courses or universities you like the look of.

Is there anything I need to take with me?

Before you leave to collect your A level results from your school or college, we recommend you take a few things with you:

  • Pen or pencil
  • Notepad
  • Mobile phone (make sure it's fully charged!)
  • AS results
  • UCAS letter (that has your UCAS number on and other important information such as your conditional offer grades)
  • Contact details for both your firm and insurance offers
  • Copy of your personal statement
  • The Telegraph newspaper (for full details of Clearing vacancies), or use the online version on your phone. You can also look for Undergraduate vacancies at UCAS.com.

There are usually thousands of places still available, so it's likely you will find something suitable.

What if I'm away on holiday?

It's always a good idea to be contactable once A-level results come out, so try to avoid booking a holiday or going into work that day, particularly if you hold any conditional offers or you think you may have to go into Clearing.

If you know you're going to be away, make sure that your Track log in has all the correct details in it before you leave.

You can ask someone, such as a parent or other family member, to collect your results for you (a permission slip will be required), and make changes to Track on your behalf. However, these might be time sensitive, so the person you have allocated may need to speak to UCAS or universities about your application within a certain amount of time.

If you're not able to be there in person, but have access to the Internet, you can still log in to your Track to see what your chosen universities have decided to do.

When do universities get my A-level results?

Only exams office staff and headteachers can see A-level results before they are released to candidates on Thursday 13 August 2020.

From 12.01am the day before (the Wednesday, known as restricted release day) results are available from exam boards, including AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) and OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA).

However, at this point, all results are treated as confidential by universities and exam offices.

When will my UCAS Track be updated?

It's important to remember that Track won't show your A-level results - you will be given these by your school/college on results day. The system is 'frozen' in the days leading up to A-level results day, meaning you won't be able to make any changes during this time.

You should contact UCAS directly if you need to update any information.

The system will be available at 8am on results day (not before!). After it's been updated, your Track page won't change again until midday at the earliest.

If decisions have been made by your chosen universities, and UCAS have been notified, you can expect to see the following changes to offers on your Track:

  • Unconditional - your place on the course has been confirmed. This may be your firm or insurance offer, or both.
  • Unsuccessful - you have not been accepted by your universities and you're now eligible to enter Clearing.
  • Unconditional Changed Course (UCC) - you don't have the necessary grades for your offer, but the university has proposed a similar course requiring lower grades. They may also offer an alternative start date, such as deferred entry. You have five days to decide and can discuss the opportunity with the university directly.

I’ve met my firm offer

Many congratulations! Now you can phone your family and friends and tell everyone the great news! However, don’t call up the university to confirm your offer unless they told you to do this in advance – leave the line free for someone who hasn’t met their offer and is worrying.

If your status on UCAS Track isn’t updated yet, don’t panic – it can sometimes take a while. If it hasn’t been updated by the end of Monday, ring the university and check everything is ok.

UCAS will put your AS12 letter in the post the day after UCAS Track has updated your status. This letter confirms your place at the university and your course choice. This means you are now definitely going to university (unless you decide university isn’t the right step for you anymore).

As soon as you receive your AS12 letter, read it through carefully and check whether there is a slip at the bottom that you have to fill out and send back to the university. Some unis ask you to send it back; some don’t, but the instructions will tell you if you need to or not.

Make sure you keep the letter in a safe place, as you will need it to open your student bank account before the start of term, and possibly other things that require you to verify that you have a place at university.

What about the Adjustment Period?

If your results are higher than those required for your firm offer, you are entitled to look around for a university that carries higher entry requirements.

This is called 'Adjustment' and is an optional process.

If you wish to consider this path, you will need to register for Adjustment through UCAS Track.

You will be given 5 days from the date your conditional offer is changed to an unconditional offer in which to find an alternative place.

This time includes weekends, although cannot be extended beyond 31st August anyway.

While you are in the Adjustment process, your original firm choice will be held for you, so don’t worry if you do not find anything suitable within the 5 day time frame.

To find out more, take a look at our UCAS Adjustment guide.

I’ve missed my firm offer

Hopefully you are not too disappointed by this news – it is still possible your university will accept you.

The first thing to do is check your status on UCAS Track – if it says you have been accepted, then great! Go ahead and celebrate and remember to leave the phone lines clear.

If UCAS Track still shows your offer as conditional, phone the university and check whether you have been accepted.

If you cannot find a special Clearing number for the uni, just ring their admissions office.

Some institutions may not allow you to put a case forward to bargain with them and will have already rejected you. If UCAS Track shows you have not been successful, then there isn’t much else you can do.

However, do be prepared for the event of selling yourself to your chosen university by pointing out your good AS grades, and informing them of any mitigating circumstances.

If your firm choice does not accept you with lower grades, try not to dwell on it too much – it’s disappointing and upsetting, but there are still options and you will definitely end up going to university one way or the other.

I’ve met my insurance offer

This is a similar situation to meeting your firm offer – you don’t really need to do anything at the moment, just wait until your AS12 letter arrives through the post.

Again, UCAS Track may take a while to update your status – you can phone the university to check your confirmation if this takes longer than 4 days.

One thing you will need to do in the near future is to use the change of circumstances (CO1) form for your student loan. You can download the form here, but it’s best to wait for your AS12 letter before doing this.

I’ve missed my insurance offer

Check your status on UCAS Track to see if you’ve been accepted with lower grades – if not, then ring up the university and ask for their decision.

If they still accept you, wonderful!

If not, you will enter the Clearing process.

I’ve missed my firm or insurance offer, but the university has accepted me on to another course

If this is the case, you will see 'UCC' on your UCAS Track page (this means 'unconditional changed course'), along with the new course code. You will have a period of 5 days to decide whether to accept this change of course.

You will receive an AS12C letter from UCAS that will explain your options to you, although you can still accept or decline the offer on UCAS Track before you receive the AS12C letter.

If you choose to decline the offer of an alternative course, you will either go to your insurance offer (if applicable and they have accepted you) or go into Clearing.

I want to defer my offer

If you do not already have a deferred offer, you will need to get in touch with the university as soon as your place with them is confirmed and tell them you wish to defer your offer.

You should contact the university as soon as you’ve decided you want to defer your offer, although you can do this any time up until the start date of your course.

It’s a good idea to have your reasons why you want to do this ready in your mind, or written down somewhere, e.g. you want to take a gap year to do some volunteering work, or learn a language, etc.

Most universities will be ok with this, although if they are not, you are probably best off withdrawing from UCAS and reapplying next year.

I’ve decided university isn't the right step for me

Although there are heaps of other choices available through Clearing, it’s possible you may not find a suitable place, or maybe you wish to retake some of your A level units to try and get into a better university.

If you already have an offer for this year, you will need to contact the university and tell them you no longer wish to attend. To do this, simply fill out the appropriate section of your AS12 letter slip, and mail it back to them.

This means you will be withdrawn from UCAS entirely and will not be able to go through Clearing and therefore won’t be able to attend university at all.

If you have a deferred offer for next year, then again, you need to inform the university you no longer wish to keep your place.

You are not allowed to reapply through UCAS if you are currently holding a deferred offer, so if you don’t tell them, you will not be able to go to universityeither this year or next year.

If you have missed both your firm and insurance offers, you will be automatically entered into Clearing (if this is what you want).

However, if you don’t want to go anymore, you don’t have to do anything at all. As long as you don’t apply to any institutions through Clearing, you won’t go anywhere.

Also, you can just withdraw from UCAS completely, either by contacting them by phone or using the Withdraw button on the UCAS Track system.

My results don’t look right – is it worth getting my papers remarked?

Be aware that there is a charge for getting your papers remarked, although sometimes your school will pay for this, so ask them first before writing any cheques.

You will be refunded the money if your grade changes, although it’s important to remember that your grades can go down as well as up.

It’s worth considering talking to your teachers first, as they may feel the results are right and the marks are what you deserved to get.

You'll need to start the review process as soon as possible, which can be done through your school or college. Keep the university informed of your plans, as there's a better chance they'll reserve the place for you. Make sure you send them your results by 31st August.

Even if your remarks are successful, you may still not receive a place on your course. However, it's likely you'll be offered alternatives on similar courses, or be given the option to defer your university place until next year.

If you go down this route, it's important to realise that there is no grade protection for marking reviews, so your marks and subject grades could be lowered, confirmed or raised following the review. Try to be honest with yourself about the likelihood of success, even though your university place may depend on it. Discuss this with your subject teacher before making a final decision.

As mentioned earlier, you may also be liable for a charge, but this depends on whether the review is successful or not. If your subject award grade remains the same following a standard review of marking by AQA, you'll have to pay a fee of £43.45 per unit (as of January 2019).

When time is of the essence in getting your exams reviewed, the priority service allows for the review of marking to be completed within 15 calendar days instead of the usual 20 days. The priority service return fee is currently £51.75 per unit.

You can request a review of your marks up to the Thursday 17 September deadline for 2020 entry, despite universities beginning to confirm places on courses from the end of August. The priority review deadline is Thursday 20 August 2020.

If you're not happy with the outcome of the review, you are welcome to submit an appeal.

For more information on post-results services and fees, please see AQA's post-results services.

Further information

For more tips and advice, please see: