A-Level Results Day 2020: What Are Your Next Steps?

Written on: 13 August 2020

Written by: Frances Hardcastle



Update 18/08/20:

It has been confirmed that The Government have made a major u-turn on the grading of A-Level and GCSE results. Both A-Level and GCSE students can now use the grades which were submitted to exam boards by schools and colleges. Teachers from across the UK have submitted grades which they feel students would have achieved if the coronavirus pandemic had not forced the closure of schools and the cancellation of exams. More updates to follow.

Update 17/08/20:

The Government is expected to announce all A-Level and GCSE pupils will be awarded teacher-assessed grades. The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and exam regulator Ofqual, will make a major announcement at 4pm today. More updates to follow.


In normal times, A-Level Results Day would feature a couple of time-honoured traditions. Refreshing UCAS until it crashes. Taking pictures while jumping into the air holding papers. Attending some form of congratulations/commiserations celebration. But this is Results Day 2020 – and nothing about this situation is normal.

This year, A-Level results are determined by a mixture of teacher recommendations and an algorithm created by Ofqual. If this all feels a bit unsettling, that’s completely understandable. This is something outside of your control, and it’s ok to feel stressed out or uncertain right now.

The important thing to remember is that you are not alone, and you have a lot of options. Universities and employers have prepared for this unprecedented situation, and many have built in extra flexibility to account for the 2020 Factor.

So, what can you do if your results are different from what you hoped?

Try to change your grade

If your mocks were higher than your results, you can appeal and ask to use your mock grade. This is a new announcement, but your school or college should be able to talk you through the process.

You can also choose to re-sit (or, you know, sit) an exam in the autumn. The Government have announced a “triple-lock” on grades. This means you’ll keep whatever grade is highest: your result, your mock, or your resit.

Of course, an appeal or a resit takes time – with no guarantees. So you may want to look into your other options, based on the results you have right now.

Explore university options

If you’re sure you want to go to university this year, clearing is a great opportunity. This year is expected to be one of the busiest ever. Many selective universities are predicted to substantially revise their grade requirements this year - this means opportunity is everywhere.

The key to Clearing is to stay calm, think about what you want, and what each course can offer you, and then pick up the phone. UCAS have a great step-by-step guide to clearing that explains exactly how the system works, and what you’ll need to do.

Kickstart your career

Between the stress of results day, a global pandemic, and continued economic uncertainty, a lot of young people are putting university on hold and looking to build up their skills in the workplace.

Apprenticeships are a smart option for anyone looking to get a head-start in their career. They combine the technical skills that employers need with the professional experience they love to see on a CV.

With an apprenticeship, you’ll work towards a recognised qualification in your specialist subject. You'll also build on the skills that can’t be measured through an exam – such as teamwork, communication, and confidence.

There are well-established apprenticeship routes for just about any industry you can think of. For example, Baltic specialise in the digital and tech sector. We offer apprenticeships in Digital Marketing, Software Development, and IT Support. We work with some amazing employers to create real job opportunities; providing all the training and support you need to start your career.

An apprenticeship gives you options. Some choose to go to university after completing their programme – armed with the experience to give them the edge in the graduate jobs market. Lots of former Baltic apprentices rise through the ranks in the workplace, getting promoted and quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with!

Find an apprenticeship: Find the right programme for you and search for current vacancies

No matter what happens on Results Day, you should be proud of the way you have handled this incredibly stressful time. You’re making it through a completely new situation, showing resilience, adaptability, and maturity. As you discover what’s next for you, and move through your education and career pathway; you’ll realise that these qualities are far more valuable than the ability to cross-reference your sources on your history paper.

Well done, class of 2020!

Update 17/08/20:

The Government is expected to announce all A-Level and GCSE pupils will be awarded teacher-assessed grades. The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and exam regulator Ofqual, will make a major announcement at 4pm today. More updates to follow.

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