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AS and A Level results released: what can you do if you didn't make the grade?

AS and A Level results released: what can you do if you didn't make the grade?

This week in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, hundreds of thousands of teenagers received their AS and A Level results. Despite a marginal fall in A* and A grades for the fifth year running, there have been a record number of places offered at UK universities. Indeed, the UCAS clearing service have confirmed that 424,000 places have been offered to UK students, a figure that is up by 3% on last year's results.

If you happen to have been unlucky enough not to get the grades you were aiming for, the impact upon your intended career and indeed on the rest of your life can be significant. If you don't intend to go forward into higher education, these results will be part of what determines the job you now take; if you do hope to study further, your A Level results will decide which University you're able to attend. In either case, poor results could make a world of difference.

Although it can be a very upsetting time for students whose grades are not what they hoped for or were expecting, it's important to remember that it’s not the end of the world - there are still options that might get you back on track or, on another equally desirable track. The first set of options available entail you challenging the result you have been given.

Mounting a special considerations challenge

If you feel that your poor examination results were affected adversely by circumstances beyond your control, you must appeal immediately to the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ). Before you do so, it is imperative that you collect together any evidence that will support your claim. 

These are known as special consideration requests and must be made to the JCQ by the school or college you attend as soon as possible after the result is received.

Submitting an official enquiry into your results

The JCQ notes that there are four different types of possible Enquiries about Results (EAR) that you can make:

  • a clerical check
  • a review of original moderation
  • a review of the original marking
  • access to scripts

For more detailed guidance, you should refer to the specific procedures of your relevant examining board.

Appeal the outcome of the above challenges

If you have launched a special considerations challenge or an EAR enquiry and the outcome of that challenge has not gone your way, all is not lost. You may still appeal that outcome as long as you do so within two weeks. There are two stages to the appeal process, the second stage of which sees your case taken before an Appeals Panel.

Other available options

Although you might not have gained grades you were hoping for, you could still pursue other options, such as the following:

  • Re-sits. In certain cases, you may be allowed to re-sit your exams, or even certain elements of your exam.
  • Deferral. If you have an offer of a place at university, you may be allowed to defer the place until the following academic year.
  • Appeal to the university. You may wish to appeal directly to the university at which you have a conditional place.
  • Clearing. You also have the option of using UCAS to help you find an alternative course of study.

Whichever course or courses of action you choose to take, it is crucially important that you prepare your case and any evidence you have diligently. Match Solicitors have a dedicated team of education specialists trained to help you in exactly these kinds of situation.

So if your results were not what you'd hoped for and you're not entirely sure what to do next, give us a call today at Match Solicitors.


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