A-level results day is one of the most nerve-wracking experiences in a student's life. It's the moment when you find out whether you've secured a place at your chosen university. GCSE students await their turn on August 25.
While you can see which university places you've secured online, you will need to go to your school or college to find out your exact A-level results.
Should things not go to plan, you will be surrounded by teachers who can help you decide your next step.
With A-level results day today, we've got your key questions covered.
What time can students collect their A-level results?
A-level results are released today, Thursday 18 August. UCAS started updating students' records from 8.15am onwards.
What do you need to bring with you on results day?
Make sure you have the following ready on A-level results day:
Your UCAS Track login details;
Your mobile phone (with camera for selfies);
Contact details for your university choices;
If you aren't available on results day, give a nominated person access so they can speak to UCAS on your behalf. Check UCAS for details;
Details of any conditional offers and Clearing phone numbers for universities of interest;
If you suspect you will need to go through Clearing, a contingency list of courses you’ve researched beforehand (Clearing technically opened on 5 July, so you can already see courses available).
What happens on A-level results day?
When Track goes live, you will be able to see your university confirmation, but not your grades. You will have to pick these up from your school or college.
The UCAS social-media team will be online to answer any questions. They close at 6pm.
You met your grades
If you've met your grades, Track will update to tell you if you have got into your firm or insurance university choice. Check for any emails from the universities on whether there is anything additional you need to do (this should be outlined within any conditions of the offer). If your finances are sorted, you can relax and celebrate.
You narrowly missed your grades
Should you just have missed out on your grades, don't panic. If it's only by a narrow margin, you may find that your university still accepts you on your course – just make sure you speak to them first. However, this is exactly what your insurance offer is for - your grades might suit your second choice institution. You can also look into appeals, although you’ll need to do this as soon as possible.
Alternatively, your chosen university may offer you a slightly different course, which you’ll need to accept through Track. If this doesn’t happen, proceed to Clearing, where you can apply for other courses, either at the same university or at a different one.
You completely missed your grades
If you've completely missed your grades, check to see if your insurance option will accept you onto a course - otherwise, you need to start ringing courses in Clearing that are on your contingency list or that catch your eye.
You scored higher than your predicted grades
Congratulations - if your grades are far better than you predicted, you may wish to change your university options.
Unfortunately, Adjustment is no longer feasible as of 2022 - but you can still decline your place and release yourself into Clearing to choose alternative institutions.
What are the different grade boundaries?
Each individual examination board draws up a system to determine what grade a pupil will receive in their A-level exams or coursework.
Grade boundaries are set for each exam after the marking has been completed - this is so that no student is penalised if this year's exams were particularly hard compared to previous years'.
A-level exam pass grades are A*, A, B, C, D and E. Anyone who fails their exam will receive a U (standing for 'ungraded').
There are different examination boards with their own individual grade boundaries. They are as follows:
CCEA grade boundaries
AS and A2 CCEA grade boundaries can be found here.
Pearson Edexcel grade boundaries
A-level Pearson Edexcel grade boundaries can be found here.
OCR grade boundaries
A-level OCR grade boundaries can be found here.
AQA grade boundaries
A-level AQA grade boundaries can be found here.
What if you get different grades but the same number of UCAS points?
It depends on the university and is very much decided on a case-by-case basis.
UCAS points are used by some universities (around a third) when making offers, so instead of asking for a BBC, a university may ask for 112 points. However, not all universities use tariff points. The more traditional the university, the more likely they are to make an offer stipulating grades and not points.
Can I appeal my grades?
Speak to your teacher, exams officer, exam centre or the National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline (0800 100 900) until 20th August 2022, regarding options before making any decisions.
Talk to the university and ask if they are willing to hold the place for you (if possible, get it in writing). It is important to check with your school or college about the deadline for stage one of the appeals process.
The deadlines for a priority appeal (students who weren’t accepted by their firm choice university as a result of their grades) and for stage two of the appeals process – an appeal to the exam board – is determined by your exam board.
Can I defer my place?
If you've changed your mind about going to university or wish to take a gap year between A-levels and further education, you must call your university's admissions team to find out if this is something they can offer.
What if you decide Clearing is not for you?
If you are in England, you may now decide you want to take your exams in October and apply again next year, and that’s absolutely fine – you are under no obligation to go through Clearing.
You can officially withdraw from the UCAS process for this year on UCAS Track, although there’s no need to. If you’re without a place you can just leave your applications. By not withdrawing, you can change your mind in the days that follow.
What is Clearing Plus?
Clearing Plus was introduced in 2020 and offers help to anyone who is unplaced or is applying for the first time through Clearing.
If you’re in Clearing, look for a button in Track marked ‘View Matches’ to see courses which UCAS considers would be good for you, taking into account your original choices and your qualifications and grades.
If you see a course you like, you can hit ‘Interested’ so that university or college can contact you – you can do this for up to five choices at a time.
But remember, courses in Clearing fill up quickly, and you may not always receive a call, so also look for courses in Clearing using the search tool. Saying you’re interested in a course through Clearing Plus does not guarantee an offer.
How long do you have to make a decision about Clearing?
Don’t rush your decision – Clearing only opens at 2pm, giving everyone time to speak to universities and find a place. Only add a Clearing choice once you have permission from the university or college.
While you can only add one choice at a time, if it is not confirmed (you will see in Track and get an email), you can then add another choice and repeat the process if necessary – or decide to reapply next year or pursue other options.
When is BTEC results day 2022?
BTEC National results are usually released to students on or just before A-level results day. The exact dates depends on your school or college.
Some individual unit grades will already be made known to BTEC students, from already completed exams. It is the school or college's responsibility to let pupils know how and when to pick up the remaining results.
This article is kept updated with the latest information.