The lead up to A level results day can feel like a never-ending wait, with nothing to do but worry. Don't panic - whatever happens on the day, you'll have lots of options to choose from.
What do I need to know?
What you do next after getting your A level results will depend on whether you got the grades you expected. Before results day, make sure you know your UCAS Track log in details if you've applied for uni.
UCAS Track is available from 8am on results day for you to check your status and see if you've been accepted to uni. BUT you won't know all your options until you've got your results, so it's best to wait until after you've collected them.
I got the results I expected
Congratulations! You don't need to do anything. Your university will have received your results and confirmed your place, so you don't need to contact them.
I didn't get the grades I expected
- If you've received an offer, contact the admissions team at your preferred university or college to see if they'll still accept you, or check on UCAS Track.
- Not been offered a place? See what your options are through UCAS Clearing.
The video on the right explains the Clearing process and how it works.
- Stay calm. Take time to look through your options and make sure you're happy with whatever you choose to do.
- Get on the phone! The best way to decide whether a different uni or course is right for you is to speak to someone, whether that's the university or someone at UCAS. It has to be you who calls. They want to speak to you, not your parents!
My results are better than I expected
- You could go through UCAS Adjustment to choose an alternative course or university.
- You can keep hold of your confirmed offer, while browsing alternatives to see if there are any you like more that will accept your grades!
- Call the UCAS helpline on 0808 100 8000 to go through your options with someone.
Going to uni to study a subject that's new to you?
It might help to take a look at doing a free online course to learn more about the subject area before starting uni. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are gaining popularity, and offer an easy way to get clued up quickly.
Future Learn offer a big range of short online courses for free, including business, creative arts and media, health, psychology, languages, law, literature, politics, science and more! Why not see what you could learn by checking out Future Learn's courses.
Find out more by watching Introduction to Future Learn.
Remember, you need to stay in learning until you're 18
If you're 17 and just finished your AS levels, you still need to remain in learning because of the Raising of the Participation Age (RPA) to 18 years old. If you decided that A levels aren't for you, you'll need to look at other options like a different course or college, or an apprenticeship.
To find out more about RPA and how it affects you, read our page of Frequently Asked Questions.
Have you thought about an Apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’. Higher apprenticeships (level 4 and 5) are equivalent to a higher education certificate, diploma or a foundation degree, and a level 6 is equivalent to a bachelor degree.
If you're not sure what's involved or want to find out more, contact the Apprenticeships Team at Suffolk County Council for advice and a chat about your options. Call on 01473 260922, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also look for current apprenticeship opportunities with our apprenticeship vacancy search.
Want to take a break from education?
If you feel like you need a break from education, you could think about a gap year. You could work, travel or volunteer, but it needs to be properly planned. For help and advice, take a look at our page on planning a gap year.