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A Level results 2021: How to decide if you should appeal

A-Level results
These guidelines will help you gain a clearer picture of what to do after getting A-Level results this month. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

A Level results are due on Aug. 10, 2021. With this day just around the corner, a major concern would undoubtedly be: Will my grades be good enough to get into my university of choice, and what if they are not? While the answer to this depends on your individual situation, there are a few guidelines that could help you gain a clearer picture of what to do after getting A Level results.

Thankfully, you can still request a review or appeal of your exam grades — the earlier, the better. If you get a higher grade, you should submit it for your chosen universities to review by September 7. Here’s what to know about appealing A Level results in the UK; bear in mind, students in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland would follow a similar process but appeal to different exam boards.

Consult with a school official first

You will only be allowed to appeal the results under certain circumstances. One: Your school made an error when communicating information to the exam board. Two: You have evidence of wrongdoing against you, believed to directly influence your exam grade. Three: Your school believes the results are incorrect and deserves a review.

According to UCAS, your first step towards appealing is talking to someone at your school. They would be able to advise you on whether you should appeal, considering factors such as your previous academic performance and university goals. Your appeal would rest on the third reason mentioned above, that is your school believes the result is incorrect.

You must appeal your A Level results within 15 days of being granted a review. Good news: You will not need to pay a fee.

Your school should help you appeal A Level results

You will need to submit a request with Ofqual (Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation) to review your grade(s), but you cannot do this alone. Your school or college must support you in appealing this decision, and help you apply for the review. Independent test takers may check with the exam centre that submitted their results.

A-Level results

Results not as expected? Don’t worry, that dream university may still be within reach. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Here’s why you need your school’s support: the exam board will not remark your paper when conducting a reassessment. Instead, it will base its decision on the evidence your school submits. A good track record will therefore convince the board to bump up your grade. That dream university may still be within reach.

If you decide to appeal, tell your university

Undergoing an appeal might require adjusting your application deadline with your university or choice. If they agree to hold your place, keep them posted on the progress. If your university will not wait, it’s time to move on to the next course of action: reevaluate your course or university, or resit your exam.

As UCAS reminds us, students based in England may resit their exams this autumn and get the results in December — in time for January intake. So if you don’t get to appeal in time and are fixed on a firm choice, you could defer and apply again. Remember, though: there are several other universities and courses that you may qualify for with your current A Level results.

Explore your options on UCAS before making any decisions. UCAS Clearing is running until October 19.