A-Level Results; Advice For Parents

Posted on: 13 August 2020

What’s changed?


Below is a summary of the alterations to A-Level results given to us through August 2020 (updated 12th August). The result you get will be the highest from your child’s ‘calculated grades’, including a mock and an written exam (optional) this autumn.



If your child’s mock results are higher than the ‘calculated grade’ the will be an appeal process available through the school If the schools feels the past history of grades were applied inaccurately or unfairly, they can challenge the result head on. Students can launch an appeal their regarding their awarded grade on technical grounds of process, including evidence of discrimination or bias.



When will I know if my child got in to their chosen University?


The best option here is to check the UCAS ‘Track’ to find out if your child’s place has been accepted. This will take off some of the pressure, and give you an indication of the grade itself. upon confirmation, UCAS will send you your AS12 letter via email which explains the next steps to take.





If my child acquires the results of their’firm' University offer, what then?


Well done! The hard work came good. Firstly, celebrate with your son or daughter. Don’t be concerned about contacting their first-choice university to clarify their results, as UCAS ‘Track’ will update not long after results are given to clarify they have got in to their chosen university.

If you still don’t know after a few days, contact the university in question directly. Post results day, you’ll receive an ‘AS12’ letter. Make sure your child follows the instructions and retains the letter for safekeeping.





What if my child doesn’t meet the results of their ‘firm’ university offer?


Always keep positive even when you’re disappointed. There’s always lots of options if they’ve not got the grades for their ‘firm’ choice. Whatever you do resist panicking. Because of the situation with Covid, universities are being asked to be more flexible, so be calm, focussed and keep options open. 


Keep an eye on UCAS ‘Track’. There’s always a chance they’ve been accepted onto the course. If the offer still says ‘Conditional’, your son or daughter should get in touch with the university admissions office and put forward a case for having a place on the course even with the lower grades. 


Make sure your child received an ‘Unconditional Changed Course’ offer. Their first choice university could of offered a place on a different type of course. If they are offered, accept a place with their ‘backup’ university. In this scenario, you don’t need to take action come results day. 


If your their mock exam results are better than the ‘calculated grade’ you can appeal through their school. If their results don’t reflect the effort put in and general attainment throughout the year,  have a conversation with the school about appealing (universities are being told to keep open offers until the UCAS deadline for applicants to meet their academic offer conditions  – 7th September). 





What happens if my child hasn’t met the results for their chosen ‘insurance’ university offer?



If this is the scenario you’re facing they may be able to get a place through UCAS ‘Clearing’. Every year, The Telegraph and UCAS website, provide a full listing of ‘Clearing’ openings for you to check out. 





How does clearing work?


The majority of the ‘Clearing’ process takes place over the phone and your son or daughter will need to contact the university admissions departments. 



Firstly they’ll need to provide their ‘Clearing Number’, found on UCAS, which will help the university get their results and UCAS application. They might then have to put a case forward as to why they think the department should accept them, so it prepare and rehearse your approach beforehand. 


They could be asked why they’ve chosen that university and course, or to highlight good results and the strong areas of their personal statement Try to not rush the ‘Clearing’ process. It’s a decision that decides the course for the next 3 years. 


Your child can contact multiple ‘Clearing’ universities in order to give themselves the best chance of getting in and weigh up their options. Once they a verbal offer has come through over the phone, they must enter the course and institution codes into UCAS Track. 


If the ‘insurance’ or ‘Clearing’ universities aren’t the best way forward for your son or daughter, consider retaking their A levels and reapplying to University for the next academic year. In 2020, all students are being given a chance to re-take their A-Level’s if not completely happy with their ‘calculated grade’. 


A-Level exams can be taken between October 5th and October 23rd and students can sit the exam in only one subject if they want, however all exam papers need to be sat. The deadline for entry for re-takes is the 4th of September and must be submitted via your child’s school as soon as possible. 



A ‘gap year’ could additionally give your child an chance to broaden their horizons, maybe travel, doing some volunteer work, or other pursuits and projects. Despite the current situation, if your child decides to go for the gap year option, they’ll need to explain the point of doing so in their personal statements and in any interviews (for university and future employment). 





If my child exceeds the requirements of their university, what then?


After registering on the UCAS website for ‘Adjustment’, your child will need to look at individual universities online before getting in touch with the respective admission office, who will let them know of any upcoming vacancies. 


Any offers they wish to take cannot be done so over the phone; the university will automatically update their UCAS account. When your child has registered with ‘Adjustment’, you have five separate 24 hour slots between results day or your offer on the UCAS website changing from ‘CF’ (Conditional firm) to ‘UF’ (Unconditional firm) and the 1st September to find a place.


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