Both parents and students want to know when A Level results day is in 2023, and it's not surprising given that waiting for exam grades can be stressful.
For some students, and many parents, the summer holidays aren't the relaxing six weeks we expect. There's much to do before the new term arrives, from finding the best school shoes and stocking up on back-to-school supplies, to the tense wait for exam results for older children. It can feel like a lot is riding on A Level grades, as many students nervously wait to see if they've secured a place at their chosen university.
Whether it's accepting an offer and getting ready to move away from home, or finding out how to appeal A Level results, it's difficult to know what to expect from A Level results day. Nicola Anderson, Chief Customer Officer at MyTutor, says; "If you don’t get the results you’ve hoped for, it’s important to remember that there are other people who are in the same boat, and that grades aren’t everything."
With this in mind, here's when A Level results day takes place in 2023, plus how to support your child on A Level results day and everything else to know about finding out the grades.
When is A Level results day 2022?
A Level results day 2023 is on Thursday 17 August. This is the same for schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is also the day that results for AS Levels, T Levels and Level 3 VTQs - such as BTECs - are released.
On the day, make sure you have any login details you might need, and you may also need some form of identification - such as a student card - if you're going to pick up your results in person. You'll also need to find out what time the school will close, so you don’t miss out.
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Universities receive A Level results a few days before results day, but they are treated as confidential. This is so they can make a decision on the status of your offer in advance, meaning this can be updated on UCAS Track first thing on results day.
What time will A Level results be released?
A Level results are usually available to collect from schools and colleges from 8am. However, some sites will stagger the times that students can pick up their grades.
Your school or college should let you know in advance what time you can arrive on results day, but if you're not sure it's best to check with them directly.
For those who have applied to university through UCAS, the system will also be available to view from around 8am. In the days leading up to A Level results day UCAS is 'frozen' until the grades are released, so make sure you've made any necessary changes and your details are up to date in advance. If you need to update your information after UCAS has been frozen, you will have to contact them directly.
When you log in to your UCAS Hub on A Level results day, you will be given one of the following offers:
- Unconditional: your place on the course has been confirmed
- Unsuccessful: you’ve not been accepted by your choice(s) and you are eligible to enter clearing
- Unconditional Changed Course (UCC): you haven’t met the grades for your course, but the university has put forward an alternative
If your UCAS Hub doesn't update by mid-morning, try calling the university, as it may mean they haven't made a decision yet.
How do I find out my A Level results?
You can collect your A Level results from your school or college on results day, but you will need to check the exact opening and closing times, as these will vary.
You don't need to open your results on the spot, you can take them home first if you wish, though you may prefer to be around teachers and friends for support.
You will most likely receive the results on a slip, or you might have more than one slip per exam board. Since the changes to examinations, you'll no longer receive a unit per module, but instead an overall mark and grade for each subject. A Levels are graded A* - E, and anything below an E counts as a fail and will be marked with a U, which stands for 'Unclassified'.
Some schools and colleges will allow students to receive their results by email or by post, and they should have already informed you if this is the case. If you're not sure, get in contact with them and make sure you have all the details you need - such as passwords and log-ins - to hand on the day.
Those who have applied to university through UCAS may also get an email informing them if they've secured a place. However, the email will not contain the individual grades, as these can only be obtained through your school or college.
Whether you want to change courses, apply to a different university, or want to take a completely different route. We're here to help if you change your mind on Results Day.Hear from students who have been there and done it: https://t.co/nyo4I81Eox pic.twitter.com/vAu4yNJxc7August 11, 2023
What happens if you miss A Level results day?
If you're not around on A Level results day, you may be able to receive your results via email or post. You will need to check with your school or college whether they can do this, and make sure they have all the right contact details for you.
You may also be able to send someone else in your place to collect your results, but this will need to be arranged in advance. To do this, you will need to provide a signed letter of consent naming the person you have elected to collect your result, and they will need to take along ID.
However, it is best to try and make sure you are available on A Level results day, especially if you have applied to university. UCAS cannot speak to anyone but the student about an application, unless someone else has been given nominated access. You can do this by calling UCAS ahead of results day. Make sure you know your personal ID, as they are likely to ask for it.
You will also want to make yourself available in case things don't go to plan, and you don't get accepted into your chosen university. In this case, you can still get a place by applying to an alternative university or course through clearing. While clearing is open until 18 October, getting a place is dependent on the course having spaces left, so you don't want to leave it too late to apply.
If you’re worried about collecting your results, the best thing to do is contact your school to find out your options.
Will A Level grades be lower this year?
2023 sees a return to pre-pandemic grading arrangements, meaning senior examiners will set ground boundaries to make sure that overall national results are similar to those of 2019.
The Department for Education has said, "Broadly speaking, this means that a student will be just as likely to achieve a particular grade this year as they would have been before the pandemic."
They add, "It’s important to remember there is no limit or cap on the number of students who can achieve each grade. Students will be awarded a grade that reflects their performance."
You can find out more about how exams are graded at the Department for Education's Education Hub.
How to prepare for A Level results day
- If you've applied for university, make sure you have the details of your offers, university contact numbers and your UCAS Track number
- If you're thinking about applying through clearing, research some universities and courses beforehand, and make sure you have the universities' UCAS and Clearing numbers on hand
- Keep your personal statement and GCSE results to hand
- Try to find out some information on appeals in advance, in case you are unhappy with your grades
- Make sure your phone is fully charged
- Take a pen and paper with you to collect your results
- Try to get a good night's sleep the night before
- Remember your results don't define you
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Nicola Anderson from MyTutor says getting organised for results day is a key way to help with nerves. She explains, "It can be easy to only focus on the things you can’t control - like grades - or what you’re going to do if you don’t get into your first choice uni. Worrying about things that have already happened Isn’t helpful because they are out of your control.
"It helps to focus your energy on what you can control– like what you’re having for breakfast, what time you’re going to pick up your results, and what you’re going to do after, always remembering there’s a plan B if things don’t go exactly as you expected."
Nicola also shares some ways students can cope with the pressure of A Level results day, saying: "If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are having trouble relaxing, we suggest trying to get your feelings out on paper. Writing your train of thought is a good way to let go of anxiety, and it can also be a relief to think that in a few weeks, ‘future you’ will be reading that entry back knowing how it all went – especially if you did better than expected."
What happens after A Level results day?
If you've met the requirements, your offer will change to unconditional and you will be contacted with details of what you need to do next. If you don't meet the grades, there are a number of routes you can take.
- Contact the university: If you only missed the grade you needed by a few marks, you can contact the university and they may still be able to offer you a place. If you are unsuccessful with your first choice offer, but meet the conditions of your second choice, you will be accepted there.
- A Level retakes: You may choose to sit retakes to try and achieve higher grades, and delay your university entry for a year until you receive the results.
- Clearing: If you have been turned down for a place at university, you automatically become eligible for clearing. UCAS will send all eligible applicants a Clearing Passport as soon as A Level results are available, which you will need to send off if you are offered a new place. You can search for course vacancies on the UCAS website and apply for a place by contacting the university directly.
- Do an apprenticeship: Getting paid while you learn might sound too good to be true, but as an apprentice you really will get the best of both worlds. If you want to enter the workplace but don't want to stop studying then an apprenticeship could be the answer. There are now over 180 different apprenticeships available across 80 different sectors, and you could go on to an Advanced Apprenticeship and a Foundation Degree.
- Take a gap year: You may decide you want to take a year out to work travel, or pursue other opportunities, and reapply again the following year.
Have you started your Clearing research yet?🔎Whether you're set on applying through Clearing or you're prepping for a 'Plan B' scenario, get prepared and plan ahead UCAS expert Sam's tips on how to pick a course through Clearing ✍️ pic.twitter.com/Izeb5yLRyIJuly 27, 2022
Nicola offers some advice if you find yourself in any of the above situations. She says, "If you don’t get the results you’ve hoped for, it can be a great idea to stay off your phone or check how your friends have done. It’s important to remember that there are other people who are in the same boat, and that grades aren’t everything.
"Once you’ve had a bit of time to take in your results, it helps to have a chat about things that you can do to achieve your goals and have plans in place instead of focusing on the past."
The National Career Service Helpline is the official free service available for both parents and young people alike to seek advice and support following exam results. It can be reached on 0800 100 900 and is available 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and bank holidays.
If you are planning on heading off to university, the next steps are to get your accommodation sorted and make sure your student finance details are up to date. You may also want to start researching the area your university is in if you will be moving away from home.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you take some time to reward yourself for getting through it, no matter the outcome.
In related news, here's everything you need to know about A Level and GCSE retakes. Amid the news that A-Levels will be scrapped, here's everything you need to know about the Advanced British Standard.
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Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.
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