A-level results 2023: What to do if you didn't get the grades you need

If you didn't get the A-level results you were expecting, don't panic - there are plenty of things you can do Credit: PA

Students up and down the country will be receiving their A-level results today - an experience that can be nerve-wracking for everyone.

While many will be celebrating as they open the envelope containing their A-level, BTec or T-level results, this might not be the case for everyone.

But if your results aren't what you expected, don't panic - there are plenty of things you can do. Here are some of the options available if you didn't get the grades you expected.

Check with your university

If you've just missed out on the grades you needed to get in to your chosen university, you may still be offered a place on your course or a similar one.

It's worth checking with the admissions office at the university to see if this would be an option for you.


However, if you are not offered a place, clearing is always an option. On the UCAS website, there will be a list of all the universities and colleges where there are spaces.

Applicants going through Clearing can click the ‘My matches’ button in their application, to see a list of courses they’ve been personally matched to.

If you are interested in a clearing course, call the university or college directly. You may have a short interview over the phone, so be prepared to talk about why you want a place on that course and have your grades in front of you.

If the provider has a place for your, they’ll be in touch. It's important to check about accommodation, as not all clearing places will be able to offer it.

This year, clearing is open until 17 October - you won't be able to apply through clearing after this date.


It may also be possible for you to re-sit your exams. If this is something you're considering, you should talking to your teachers about whether they think this is a good idea.

Appealing your results

If you feel you have been unfairly graded, you should talk to your school or college.

Your school can contact the exam board on your behalf and ask for your marks to be reviewed. The exam board can consider re-marking your exam if your school appeals.

If you're still not satisfied with your mark, you can request a review from the exams regulator, Ofqual.

Gap year

If you want to take some time to think more about your options and what you want to do, it might be worth taking a gap year.

Gap years don't have to be about travelling the world - you can instead take this time to apply for jobs, or gain work experience in the field you want to work in.

If you still want to go to university, you can also use this time to re-apply for the next academic year and work on making your application even stronger through jobs, work experience, or volunteer work.


If you're re-considering whether you want to go to university, apprenticeships are another way you can gain professional qualifications and work experience, while being paid.There apprenticeships for over 1,500 job roles in Wales, and you must be 16 or over, living in Wales and not in full-time education to apply for one.

In Wales, there are four types or levels of apprenticeship available:

  • Foundation apprenticeships (Level 2)

  • Apprenticeships (Level 3) 

  • Higher apprenticeships (Level 4 and 5)

  • Degree apprenticeships  (Levels 6 — 7) 

Alternative degree pathway

In Wales, you can apply for Network75 - a combined work placement and part-time study route to a degree.As part of the scheme, you will spend three days a week on a work placement, and two days studying at university. You won't be a paid employee, but you receive a tax-free bursary.

To be eligible, you must be living in Wales and be 18 before 31st August on your year of entry to the scheme.