A-level results: what if I haven’t got the grades I need for university?

If you haven’t got the A-level grades you were hoping for on results day, it can feel devastating. Take a deep breath and stay calm. We’ve put together a guide to help you consider your next steps. 

Check UCAS


If you’ve applied to university and missed your required grades, it’s worth checking UCAS before jumping to any conclusions. You may be offered a place at your firm choice if you’ve only just missed your grades, or you could be offered an alternative course at your preferred university.  

If you’ve only just missed your required grades, you should talk to the university. There’s no guarantee but they may be able to help, especially if you have any plans to appeal your grades. 

Consider your options

If you haven’t got into your firm or insurance options, there are still lots of options available to you – you just need to work out what suits you best.

Your options could include: 

If you decide to resit your A-levels or take a different level 3 qualification you can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan.

The Complete University Guide has a range of resources for results day. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it’s the right decision for you.

Make sure you look after yourself


If things haven’t gone to plan, it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions, including grief, sadness, anger and anxiety. It’s important to look after yourself and your mental health. Talk to a friend or relative you can trust, and don’t be afraid to access further support if you need it 

Organisations such as Student Minds, Open Your Mind, The Nest (if you’re in Southwark) and Kooth provide mental health support for students and young people.