What to do on A level Results Day 2024

Everything you need to know about A level results day and what to expect regarding university offers. Remember, whatever your results, there is always opportunities open to you...

When do A level results come out?

A level results day is Thursday 15 August 2024.

Sitting exams in Scotland?

SQA results in Scotland are out on Tuesday 6 August 2024. Examination results are published online on the same day your certificate will arrive in the post.

When should I collect my A level results?

Exam boards normally release results at 6am, normally, results have been embargoed until 8am. 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 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
  • A copy of your personal statement.

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 application 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 your application 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 account 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 15 August 2024.

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.

What are the A level grade boundaries for 2024?

Each exam is graded on a scale from A* to E. Grade boundaries show the minimum number of marks you need to achieve each grade. They are decided by examiners and published on A level results day.

When will my application be updated on UCAS Hub?

It's important to remember that your application 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 application 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 UCAS application:

  • 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 application status 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.

You will then be sent details of what you need to do and when through your online account or directly from your university or college. 

As soon as you receive instructions, read them through carefully and check whether you need to also confirm your place with your university. Some will ask you to confirm; some don’t, but the instructions will tell you if you need to or not, and how to do this.

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 application status – if it says you have been accepted, then great! Go ahead and celebrate and remember to leave the phone lines clear.

If your application 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 your application 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 just need to wait until you receive your instructions through UCAS or from the university/college.

Again, your applicaition 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 UCAS or university instructions first.

I’ve missed my insurance offer

Check your applicaiton status 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 application (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.

UCAS will explain your options to you through your account, including whether you can still accept or decline the offer.

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 achieved better results than I expected

If you've received better results than you anticipated, congratulations! If you decide you would now like to look for an alternative course requiring higher grades, you can now do this through the UCAS Clearing service.

Here, you can decline your place and change your course and university if you find something else suitable, although it's important to make sure this is want you really want to do before declining your current offer.

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 decline all the offers you currently hold.

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 application system.

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

If you're thinking about getting your exam papers remarked, please be aware that there is a charge for this. 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 31 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 £46.75 per unit.

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 £55.60 per unit.

You can request a review of your marks up to the 29 September deadline for 2024 entry, despite universities beginning to confirm places on courses from the end of August. The priority review deadline is 22 August 2024.

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: