A-level results 2021: When will you get grades? And how to appeal or go through clearing

10 August 2021, 07:04 | Updated: 11 August 2021, 05:26

Students across the country are receiving their A-level results on Tuesday
Students across the country are receiving their A-level results on Tuesday. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Students across the country woke up to their A-level grades this morning - but when did they get their results and how can they appeal or go through clearing?

Like last year, students' grades for 2021 have been determined by teachers after the summer's exams were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In England, results have been based on a range of evidence, such as mock exams, coursework and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards.

Pupils who miss out on the grades needed to meet their university offers are likely to face greater competition for a place at leading institutions as there could be fewer courses on offer in clearing.

So when did students receive their A-level results for 2021? When does university clearing open for 2021? And how to appeal A-level results.

When will students receive their A-level results for 2021?

Schoolchildren in England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their A-level and AS level results on Tuesday 10 August.

Pupils were able to collect them at school from 8am or they received an email at roughly the same time. Grades were also sent by post.

Students were advised to check with their school or college whether they needed to pick up their results in person in the morning, or whether they were sent out by email or post instead.

The Scottish Highers grades were also released on A-level results day, while GCSE results day is Thursday 12 August.

Read more: Students to receive A-level results determined by teachers due to Covid

Read more: Too many people are going to university, education charity chief says

Pupils did not sit exams in the same way this year due to the coronavirus pandemic
Pupils did not sit exams in the same way this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Alamy

When does university clearing open for 2021?

Clearing is already open, with the service this year running from 5 July to 19 October.

However, it was temporarily frozen before students received their grades and resumed at around 8:30am on A-level results day, giving students a chance to check their grades.

Competition for clearing places is likely to be higher in 2021 due to uncertainty on teacher-assessed grades, according to the head of Ucas - the admissions service.

As of Monday afternoon, 14 of the 24 Russell Group universities had vacancies on courses for English residents - around 2,390 courses between them - on the Ucas clearing site.

At the same point last year, the day before results day, 17 of the Russell Group institutions had around 4,485 undergraduate courses listed on clearing with potential availability for students in England.

Read more: Student fury as universities plan to continue online teaching into 2022

Read more: Exeter Uni offers students £10k and free housing for deferring medicine course

How to appeal A-level results

Students wanting to appeal against their A-level grades must first request that their school or college reviews whether an administrative or procedural error was made.

Each institution will set its own deadlines by which pupils must ask them to review a grade.

If the school or college rules no error was made, then students can escalate the appeal to the exam boards, which their school or college is expected to submit on their behalf.

In England, the deadline to send an appeal to the exam board is 17 September.

There is an earlier deadline of 23 August for priority appeals, for example, if a student has not got their first choice of university place confirmed.

Can students sit an exam if they do not like their results?

Students in England who are unhappy with their A-level or GCSE grades will have the opportunity to take exams in the autumn.

AS and A-level exams will be held in October, while GCSE exams will take place in November and December.

The higher grade will count for applicants who wish to take an autumn exam.