Guide to A-level results day 2024

student with results concept art

You've done all the hard work; all that's left is to pick up those results. Here's how it all works

By the time A-level results day rolls around in mid-August, all those exams you took back in May and June are a distant memory.

Still, it's worth putting one final bit of legwork into your A-levels by doing some prep for results day. That's especially true if you've got a university application in the mix, where plans can suddenly change on the day. In this guide, find out how to be ready for A-level results day. 

What day and time are A-level results released? 

Circle this date on the calendar. A-level results day is on Thursday 15 August 2024.

Your results can be released to you from 8am on that day.

How to get your A-level results

Exactly how you get your A-level results will depend on your school or college. They should have already told you how - and when - you'll receive your grades. If you're not sure then check their website or call the school office.

Although technology is gradually catching up with the whole exam results process, many schools and colleges will still want you to come and collect your results in person. This isn't just because they're excited to see you one last time - it can also be helpful if you need advice from the teachers who will be there.

For some people, it might not be possible to get into school on results day. If that's the case for you, try to let your school or college know in advance so an alternative plan can be set up. You might be able to get your results over the phone or through the post.

Some more tech-savvy schools (and an increasing number of them) will publish results to a secure online place such as the school's app. 

If you are travelling into school or college, double-check its website to see when it's opening for handing out results - most will be open from around 8.30 or 9am on results day.

Those timings mean that, if you're applying to university, you'll probably already know whether you've got in before you've even picked up your grades. Ucas Hub updates at 8am(ish) on results day. Although it won't show your specific exam grades, Hub will show whether you've got your place at either your firm or insurance choices.

Checking your status on Ucas Hub

So yep, if you're applying to uni this year then checking Hub is definitely the first thing you'll be doing on results day. 

Ucas Hub will update at around about 8am on the morning of A-level results day. Maybe as late as 8.15am, but definitely not any earlier than 8. Every year some people stay up all night just in case the update comes through early. Save your sleep; it really won't.

When you do get to log in, you'll be able to find out whether your firm choice has confirmed your place. If it has, Hub will show your firm as unconditional. If it hasn't - well there are a few scenarios there. More on those a bit further on. 

More like this: is it possible to predict what universities will do on results day? 

What if Ucas Hub hasn't updated for me?

Although university decisions will show up straight away for most people, some decisions can take a little longer to get through the system.

It doesn't necessarily mean you've missed your place, you might just need to wait a few minutes for all the technology to catch up. 

You should see your Hub update sometime in the morning. If it's getting towards lunchtime on results day and you're still waiting, phone the university to find out what's happening. If you're still waiting at this time then it may be they are yet to make a final decision on your application.

A hotline phone number should be listed on the uni's website, or it might have been sent to you in advance. If you haven't got a special number then just phone the uni's normal number and make it clear you are an existing offer holder, not a Clearing applicant.

Sometimes unis can take a long time to make a final decision, but they are not supposed to keep people in limbo. If you think a university is being unreasonable and causing you to miss out on a place that you could get through Clearing then contact Ucas for advice.

More like this: get ready for A-level results day: eight ways The Student Room can help

If your firm offer shows on Hub as unconditional

Congratulations! This is the news you were waiting for - all the hard work's paid off and you've got your place.

You can start getting prepared for university with our guide to Freshers Week

It's possible that when you pick up your results, you get a bit of a shock and find out your grades are lower than your firm offer. It is commonplace for universities to accept students who have missed their offer by one (maybe even two) grades. So don't worry in this situation - it's not that Ucas has made a mistake, just that there's a bit of flex in the system.

But...what if you've had a change of heart? Even if you have been confirmed by your firm, you don't have to go there. If you really want to go somewhere else, you can give up your place and go into Clearing to look for something different. To do this, you'll tap the 'decline my place' button on Hub. 

Think hard about it. Then think about it a bit more. Clearing doesn't even open until 1pm on results day - so even on the day itself you've still got time. Once you decline your place you can't undo it. So make certain that you're sure you want to go into Clearing. 

If your insurance offer shows on Hub as unconditional

You might log onto Hub and see your insurance choice showing as unconditional. In this case, although you missed your firm, you bagged a place at your insurance choice university.

Since you're now going to your insurance choice, you will need to change your student loan details using your online student finance account, but this can wait a few days.

Wait for all the confirmation info to arrive and think about sorting out accommodation at your new university.

Again, you can decline this place if you've changed your mind, and potentially look for another place in Clearing (see the section above). 

If you've got a Clearing number on Hub

If you've missed the offers for your firm and insurance options and not been accepted by either, you'll be entered for Clearing.

This is where some time with your teachers at school or college is a good bet. Your teachers know your circumstances and are there to help you with advice about what to do next. 

Clearing is available as a way to find another course at another university - but you don't have to use it. You might instead decide you're going to retake your A-levels next summer and reapply for next year's entry to uni. Or you might opt for a non-university option - perhaps to get a job, take a non-degree course at college, or do a traineeship or apprenticeship.

You've been offered a different course

In this case, you'll see on Hub that you've been offered a place for a different course at your firm choice (or perhaps both your firm and insurance choices). 

The reason you'd be given this offer would probably be because you didn’t meet the conditions of your original choice, but the university still wants you to attend so it's found an alternative course that you do meet the conditions for.

It could also be offering you a place on the same course that you originally applied to, but with a different start date or on a different campus.

It's up to you whether you want to accept this alternative; you don't have to. Read the course description carefully and be certain that it is a course you want to do. If you have any questions, give the university a call to get more information.

If you are happy with the changed course offer, you'll need to accept it on Hub within five days (or call Ucas, if that's what's shown on Hub).

If both your firm and insurance choices make you an unconditional changed course offer, you can then choose between them or decline both and go into Clearing.

You can self-release into Clearing if you wish to decline any offers you hold.

If you decide to defer for a year

If you don't already hold a deferred offer, once you have had your place confirmed you can contact the uni directly and ask if they can defer you. Have some reasons handy and it should be OK. It's best to do this as soon as you know you want to defer, but theoretically you can do it right up until the start date.

Your university may not agree to this, but most will. If the university won't agree, then you have the option of withdrawing from Ucas for this year and reapplying.

This article goes into detail about the steps you'll need to take in different scenarios to defer entry to university.

If your offer has GCSE conditions

If your offer was reliant on you getting a certain grade in a GCSE retake (typically for English or maths), then the university will wait until that result is known before confirming your place. GCSE results day is on Thursday 22 August 2024.

If your A-level results do not fulfil the terms of your offer, the university can reject you before waiting for any GCSE results.

You can't enter Clearing until your firm and insurance universities have confirmed or rejected your conditional offer(s).

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