What to do if you didn't get the results you were hoping for?

The experience of not getting the grades you were hoping for on results day can be very disappointing and in some cases even shocking. However, although it can take some time to adjust to the disappointment you should remember that all is not lost – there are still many options available to you even if you did not get the results you wanted. In fact, think of it as more of a hurdle to climb before reaching your eventual goals. You just need to pick yourself up, look at your new options and don’t let it knock your confidence too much, this happens to thousands of students every year!

What to do if you have failed

On results day, if you have applied for a university place you will be able to check and see whether you have been accepted. You will be able to check this from 8am through UCAS Track. However, at this point UCAS will not release your actual grades, only the status of your university application.

Your results will be released to you by an exam centre. In order to pick up your exam results you will require a valid form of ID. Your results will show you the breakdown of your grades for each unit – this is important as you may only need to resit some units.

If you have received your exam results and they are not what you needed, expected or wanted there are a number of options available to you.

Potential routes/next steps

Resits with ICS Learn

Studying for your A-Levels online is a very different way of studying than when you were back at school – in fact it’s more like university. You are in complete control of your study habits and timetable. There are a great variety of subjects that you can study for with ICS Learn online and you can retake the subjects you didn’t do well in or even find a new topic that might be of more interest to you. Studying online with ICS Learn can help you gain the qualifications you need to get into university or college on your terms. The flexibility of online learning gives you the opportunity to gain some life experience with a part-time job or voluntary work in addition to your online studies.

Studying online with ICS Learn means you'll get access to the online student community which hosts all your learning materials. All online learning materials have been developed by industry experts in your chosen field of study and are, therefore, of exceptionally high quality and designed to get you the results you need to meet your goals.

Also, even though you may not have achieved the qualifications necessary for a place at University, the door to a professional career is not closed. There are professional accountancy and human resources qualifications which can pave the way to exciting careers. See our AAT courses, CIPD courses or various other online qualifications for example.


Check Your Back-Up Choices

When you check your account on UCAS Track, you will also be able to see whether any of your insurance choices have accepted you. If you have been accepted onto one of these courses you can contact them and begin the process of induction.

Look for Clearing Courses

If you are now in the situation where you have not been accepted onto any of your course choices, but you are determined to begin university this year, you may be able to be matched with places through clearing. Whilst you may be able to find a course that you are interested in, it is important that you consider whether this is really the subject for you – it’s your career after all! You shouldn’t do a course just because you want to go to university this year, it might be better to explore your other options.

Clearing is open during August and September; it is a very rushed process as you will have to act quickly to secure a place before other clearing applicants do. Normally you will be required to phone the relevant department of the university you want to attend and may have to attend an interview.

Appeal Your Exam Results

If you know you didn’t do as well as you could have, or feel that your exam results are not a true reflection of your knowledge or ability, you may be able to challenge them. In order to do so, you must raise your concerns with the centre where you sat your exams, i.e. the school or college.  You will be charged for the remarking of your exam. However, if your exam result is changed, the fee will be refunded. You should be aware though that revised exam results do not always result in a higher mark being awarded and you may in fact end up with a lower result.

Resit Units You Failed

When you get your exam results, you will be able to see how you did in each unit as well as your overall grade. It might be the case that you have done reasonably well in most of your units and only one or two units are bringing your grades down. In this circumstance you could take some individual units to improve your overall grade.

Look into Vocational Training

If you found your A-levels particularly difficult and struggled throughout, you may wish to consider a vocational route of studies. A lot of vocational courses do not require you to sit an exam at the end and may permit you to skip the first two years of a relevant university course. You could undertake a modern apprenticeship and you will be paid whilst you are learning. Many top employers now run apprenticeship schemes including PwC, Virgin Media,Microsoft and P&G.

Retake your A-Levels

Although it may be difficult to accept you will have to go through it all again, one of the best avenues open to you is to resit your A-Levels and get on to the course you really want to do. You can resit your A-Levels to improve your grades and make an application to the university of your choice next year.

You should be aware that some universities do not accept resits, and so should check this before you make any applications. However, there should still be plenty of choice. Undertaking resits of your exams demonstrates that you truly want to do the course you are applying for and shows commitment and determination. This could actually help your application as it shows a degree of maturity and diligence. You can even study for resitting your A-Levels online.

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