A Level Results 2020 – Next Steps

From the moment 2020 exams were cancelled due to Covid 19 I’ve worried about year 11 and year 13 kids. I’m SO relieved that neither of my children have been affected, but the rug has been pulled out from under these teenagers’ feet so many times that I’m surprised any of them still have the energy to get up, never mind to move forward with their lives. But they must, and every new development in the A Level saga brings new processes to navigate, and new decisions to make.

I’ve been chatting with Jemma from The Education Hotel, who is helping students to decide on their next steps after A Levels. This isn’t a sponsored post, but I thought this advice for students was super clear, and might help now that teacher predicted grades have changed goalposts. Here’s what Jemma advises:


Students celebrate getting A Level predicted grades


What to do now that you have your A Level predicted grades

So the government has finally come to its senses and has now deemed fit to award CAG’s (centre assessed grades, teacher assessment grades. These were what schools submitted back in March) instead of OFQUAL marks. This has led to celebration as many students who originally had their CAG’s downgraded, get their original teacher assigned grades. But what do you need to know if you are still confused about how to move forward?

1) What about my University place? 

Many students last Thursday were dismayed to find that, due to their downgrades by OFQUAL, they had lost out on their university places. Now, with CAG’s replacing the ‘old’ OFQUAL grades – many students are re-eligible for their firm or insurance offers. If you are one of these students what happens next? Get hold of the universities – all of them. Contact firm, insurance and also clearing (if you took it) and tell them what your CAG’s were. Many firm choices have also offered places in adjustment/clearing and are now struggling with having over-offered. Their 2 options will be (to successful candidates): to enter university this year, or to defer. Work out which you want and try to work with the universities to get it.

2) Shall I use Clearing?

On Thursday many students did not get their offers. This led to ‘panic clearing’ where students grabbed whatever courses were on offer. As students who now meet their firm and insurance offers ad start to take these places, we expect to see them releasing their clearing places back into the pot with lots of great courses being re-released – get ready for clearing #2.

3) What if I think I’ve been Under CAGed

Sadly this is not the end for some students who have been ‘under-CAGed’ and who will need to appeal to their schools or resit their A levels. If you are appealing you will need a clear case of bias and discrimination – not just that you think the school mis-estimated you. Otherwise it will be a resit.

4) Shall I do Resits for A levels?

There are 2 options – October (which will still count as this year’s sitting) or next May (which is a resit) – consider this wisely. If you are needing to get higher grades for a competitive course such as Medicine, Dentistry or Law – be careful. Often universities don’t look kindly to re-sits for these courses. On the other hand there are only 8 weeks left until the October sitting of exams – will you be able to study enough in time? – The Education Hotel are offering resit packages of 10, 30 and 40 hours PLUS online mocks contact us for more information

4) Should I consider a gap year?

If your CAG’s have come back and are better than you expected, you may be considering a gap year and (re)applying to different universities. Maybe you decided that medicine is actually for you? Or that you changed your mind and you would like to go to Imperial University instead of Leeds? This will mean a whole new UCAS application but you will be applying with your CAG grades/October grades (if you are sitting). Would you consider trying again for the university you have always wanted to go to? The Education Hotel helps students to apply to top UK universities for competitive courses via our university placement courses. Past students have entered Oxford Cambridge, LSE, UCL, Durham, Imperial and more for subjects across the board.


EXTRA EXTRA ! What about GCSE’s?

These have also been returned to teacher assessed grades (CAG’s) which has led to a collective sigh of relief from parents and students everywhere. For those students looking to improve upon those grades – October sittings will impact less on your AS level studies and I expect many students will not be wanting to think about GCSE’s once they have passed. However May exams will still be taking place if you want an extra year to focus on Math GCSE.

The Education Hotel offers advice, mentoring and tuition to students based all around the world. Our expert tutors all come from top UK universities and many are qualified teachers or lecturers. Our team is well versed in top UK school and university requirements. We help students who are taking GCSE’s, iGCSE’s, A levels and IB exams. We help our students to achieve top UK school and university places, to gain confidence and to achieve their academic goals. Find out more at www.educationhotel.co.uk or email info@educationhotel.co.uk to ask the friendly team a question.

2 thoughts on “A Level Results 2020 – Next Steps”

  1. This is a really valuable post Helen and even though mine did not take final exams this year my youngest is now going back into her A’level year so there are still some tips that will be useful.

    • Oh I’m glad! I think there are so many teens in flux at the moment. Anything that helps to clarify the confusion is going to be useful for a while yet.


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