Didn’t get the A-Level results you needed? Don’t panic!

Dina Mouhandes on 14 August 2019
Didn’t get the A-Level results you needed? Don’t panic!

So you’ve opened the envelope to those all important A-Level results, and you didn’t quite get the grades you hoped for. Not ideal, we know.

So you’ve opened the envelope to those all important A-Level results, and you didn’t quite get the grades you hoped for. Not ideal, we know. 

It’s disheartening but completely okay that you’d need to sit with your feelings of disappointment right now. But, the main thing to remember is, this is certainly not the end.

Regardless of how much it feels like it, we promise you, it isn’t.

Even if Plan B probably wasn’t on the agenda, there are plenty of other avenues for you to consider. So don’t panic! Student Hut has compiled a list of options for you to consider so you can plan your next steps.


UCAS run a Clearing service, which is one of the first options you’ll want to consider. For anyone who hasn’t heard of Clearing, it’s a service that helps universities fill their courses if there are still places available. 

It’s open to students who haven’t received the A-Level results they needed, or to students who change their mind about a course or even their university choice.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for you to apply for another course at one of your original university choices, or find a similar course you wanted to study at a different but just-as-great university. (See, we really meant it when we said this isn’t the end!)


Narrowly missed the grades you needed by making a few frustrating mistakes? Retaking your A-Levels is a second chance for you to learn from your mistakes and secure your desired grades.

Also, aren’t we always wishing for more time? Think about all the valuable time you’ll now have to focus on the parts of the exam and topics you found the most difficult. You can even choose to resit at a different school or college. 

With all that extra time under your belt, you can also reassess your university choices. So if you know someone who is in the middle of their course at your chosen university, you can pick their brains on what it’s really like to study there. You can also use this time to explore all your options. Studying abroad, taking a gap year, looking into apprenticeships, the world is your oyster.


You might actually feel that your results aren’t quite right, and that maybe a mistake has been made by the exam board. If that's the case, you could consider applying for your exam paper to be remarked. 

The steps to do this are fairly simple, you’ll just need to speak to your tutor who can arrange it for you. There may be a small fee involved, which you’ll get back if your grades end up being higher after the remark. 

If you are considering this, you should definitely apply for remarks ASAP, but we would also advise you only do this if you believe there is a genuine mistake. The downside of this is that there is a possibility your results could come back lower than your original grade.

Try and make this decision with a parent or tutor as results day can make you feel a little more irrational than usual. We would advise thinking this decision through as much as you can. 


If you’re already set on a career path, you could consider doing an apprenticeship. It’s a great Plan B option, and the best part is, you’ll be earning money at the same time. 

Usually you’d need to apply for an apprenticeship during the school year as application closing dates vary and they can be quite competitive. But, this will give you plenty of time to scope out the right one for you. 

Try looking on the Gov UK, you’ll find a great list of apprenticeships to apply for!

Exam results helplines

The Exam Results Helpline will be open once again in August to help you with free advice and guidance if you didn’t get the A-Level results you wanted. The team is full of career advice specialists and are on call to give you advice on anything to do with resits, remarks, Clearing and more.

We hope you’re feeling a bit more settled now you know how many options are available to you. This is just a short list of what you could do- the possibilities are endless. Just remember you don't need to beat yourself up too much, it's important to be kind to yourself, A-Levels are really stressful and difficult. Good luck!

Dina Mouhandes
Dina Mouhandes on 14 August 2019