didn't get the A-level results you wanted

No need to panic if you didn’t get the A-level results you wanted. Here are our tips..

You’ve opened that dreaded envelope to find you haven’t quite got the A-level results you wanted… far from ideal but don’t worry this is definitely not the end.

We can understand it can be disheartening to not get the grades you wanted, especially as you’ve probably planned to go to the uni of your choice BUT there is always a plan B. There are plenty of other universities that you should consider. So if you fidn’t get the A-level results you wanted don’t panic! Here are Unifresher’s top tips to consider when planning the next step..


You should first consider clearing through UCAS who run a clearing service. Clearing is a service that aids universities in filling any course spaces they might still have available. It’s open to all students but usually students who use the service either haven’t got the grades they needed or changed their mind to the university or course they wanted to do / go to.

Instead of seeing it as a negative you should see it as a great opportunity to apply for another course at your original university choice or a completely different university all together.


There is always the choice of retaking your A-levels if you’ve narrowly missed the grades you needed. You can choose to resit at a different school or college if you wish too and this gives you more time to focus on learning the bits you might have found particularly difficult.

The extra time also gives you a chance to assess the university choices you’ve selected. It also gives you a chance to ask anyone who you know studying at university on their advise and pick their brains on the course they chose. You can also look at alternative options like studying abroad, taking a gap year or even doing an apprenticeship. The world really is your oyster. You’ll soon see this as the best opportunity for you!


If you didn’t get the A-level results you wanted and feel there could have been a mistake, then you can always consider asking for a remark from the exam board. The steps to do this are simple, you’ll just need to speak to your tutor who can organise this for you. There usually will be a small fee involved but you’ll get this back if they remark in your favour.

If you are thinking of doing this then you should do it ASAP. It is also worth considering that they can mark you lower than your original grades if they rule so, so make sure you’re sure there has been a mistake made.

You should try to make this decision with your parents or seek the advise of your tutor who knows you and your quality of work. It is a decision you should think about and be sure of.


If you already know what you want to do as a career and don’t think you need university qualifications to achieve this then you should consider doing an apprenticeship. You’ll be earning money whilst you do it and cuts out the university fees … a huge added bonus.

Usually the process is you would have to apply for a place during the school year as application closing dates vary and can be competitive. But, this gives you more time to think about it and come to the right decision for you. You can find a list of apprenticeships at Gov UK but also try reaching out to companies who you would be interested in working with.

Results helpline

You can get help with your exam results and next steps through The Exam Results Helpline on UCAS. This is open in August and they give you free advice and guidance if you didn’t get the results you were expecting. Specialists are on hand to give you advice with resits, remarks, clearing and more.

Good luck with your next steps.. remember you always have another option… you got this! 

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