You’ve got your A-Level results – what now?

Published: 15 August 2019

Person reading A level results

This is such an exciting time in your life; you need to decide on the path that’s right for you.

If you’ve received your A-Level results, and you didn’t get the results you’d hoped for, or maybe you’ve just not yet decided what you want to do, we’ve got some advice to help you on your way.

This is such an exciting time in your life; you need to decide on the path that’s right for you.

We have put together some information to point you in the right direction…


For many people, going to university is a natural progression from school or college.

Once you’ve had your results through, make sure you check the conditions of your university offer, and that your results match the requirements.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to formally accept your place at the university of your choice on the UCAS website.

You don’t have to accept your place right away.

The space is yours, and it isn’t going anywhere. Though you’ll be tempted, take a few days to think about the options available to you, and then accept your chosen course.


Not all careers have to start with university. Apprenticeships are an increasingly popular way of kick-starting careers.

Anyone over 16 can apply for an apprenticeship scheme. You will balance real world working experience with theory, all whilst gaining qualifications and earning money.

There are thousands of apprenticeships across the UK, which you can browse on the .gov website. Another tip is to search employer websites, who tend to advertise directly on their sites.

Check out the latest opportunities right here in Derby. 

Deferred entry

It may be that you want to go to university or college, but you don’t want to go just yet. That’s OK – loads of people do just that.

It’s possible to make a deferred entry application, so that, provided you are accepted, you can take a year out between school, college or university and be guaranteed a place the next academic year.

There are two ways to defer entry:

  1. When applying – you can select a ‘deferred’ start date for your chosen course.
  2. After you’ve applied – contact your chosen university or college and ask if they’d be happy to change your course start date to the following year.

Gap year

If you’ve decided to take a gap year, great; enjoy! Once you’re ready to go on to whatever you have planned, we know you’ll ace it.

During your gap year, keep in mind that at the end of it, you will be going on to work or study, so there are a few options to consider when you’re planning your year..

  1. Travel

More people than ever are choosing to travel during their gap year. It’s an amazing thing to do, and you will come away with some amazing friends, experiences and tales.

But… it’s expensive to travel. So planning is key. You could work in the UK for six months, and travel for six months. Both activities will look great on your CV too, so it’s a win-win.

2. Volunteering

Volunteering either abroad or in the UK is a brilliant way to enhance your CV, and gain valuable ‘real life’ experience.

Taking the time to volunteer is also a great way to ‘test-drive’ different types of work. Often, volunteering projects are short-term, so it is likely that you will have the opportunity to volunteer at a variety of places over the year.

Whatever you decide to do next, the coming years will be exciting, nerve-wracking, amazing and terrifying all at the same time. Don’t rush into anything; be sure you are making informed decisions based on what you want to do. Most importantly: have fun!

Other useful links:

If your results weren’t what you were expecting…

Though everyone has worked hard over the last two years to achieve their grades, a small number of students may be disappointed with their results.

Five things to do if you didn’t get the A-Level results you’d hoped for.

It’s totally normal to feel upset or disappointed, but what do you do next?

  1. Time out

Take time to process your results, but try not to dwell on them. This may sound silly, but it’s important to remember that feeling upset and maybe a bit unsure about what to do next is totally normal. Make sure you talk to your friends and family about how you are feeling; remember, they only want the best for you, so try to keep them in the loop.

2. Focus

Once you’ve taken a few days to come to terms with your results, you need to re-focus. Have a serious look at what went wrong with your results, and start thinking about whether or not you want to re-sit.

3. Plan B?

Think forward. What are your options? Do you have a plan B?

If you were hoping to go to university, but are now unable to, think about looking at Clearing courses on UCAS. You might find a course you hadn’t thought of taking before, but that sounds right up your street.

Remember, while some jobs require a degree, there are plenty that don’t. Apprenticeships, volunteering and getting straight into work are all options available to you

4. Ask for advice

Speak to people who know what they’re talking about.

It’s probably a daunting prospect, but speaking to a teacher you trust is a great start. They have had pupils in exactly the same exactly situation as you, and can advise you on where to go

5. Still not sure?

If you’re still feeling unsure, there are loads of places that you can look to for help and guidance.

You’ve got some big decisions to make, so think about your options carefully, and try not to rush into anything. It may not seem like it, but this is a great opportunity to stop and really think about what you want to do now.

The National Careers Service offers a wealth of advice, from career advice, to help with your CV, to interview tips, training, and loads more. You can call them (0800 100 900), or talk to them online.

The Exam Results Helpline offers free advice, and will be open at 8.00am on the day your results are released. Contact the hotline on 0808 100 8000.

Other useful links:

Remember, you are not your results. 

Some of the most successful people in the UK didn’t go to university – Sir Alan Sugar and Richard Branson, for example.

Think positive. The world’s your oyster!

Share this article…
FB   LI   TW   WA   EM