This post was updated on 19 August 2022 to provide advice to VTQ students who haven't yet received results
This month, students up and down the country will be getting results for their A Levels, T Levels and Level 3 vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs) which are used for progression in the same way.
Here we answer some of your key questions.
When will people get their A Level, T Level and VTQ results?
A Level and T Level results day is on Thursday 18th August. Results for Level 3 VTQs (like Business and Technology Education Council qualifications (BTECs) and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs)) used for progression in the same way as A Levels will be issued on or before this date.
Schools and colleges will let pupils know how to collect their results. In most instances pupils will be able to go to their school or college and collect their results in person and get advice and support from their teachers if necessary.
Alternatively, they can make arrangements to receive them via email or another means by speaking to their school.
What is different about results this year?
This year young people have taken summer exams and assessments in A Levels, T Levels and other post 16 qualifications for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.
We want to return to a system where results are easily comparable between years but given that students who took exams this year have suffered disruption it is only fair that we do this in stages.
For AS and A level, Ofqual's approach to grading in 2022 will reflect a midway point between summer 2019 and 2021. Results in summer 2022 will be higher than when summer exams were last sat, but lower than in 2021, when grades were awarded by teacher assessment.
VTQs are regulated in a different way to GCSEs and A Levels so awarding organisations (AOs) set their own grading scales. Ofqual's regulatory framework requires AOs to secure, as far as it is possible, that VTQ learners are not disadvantaged compared with their GCSE and A Level peers. To do this we expect them to take account of the approach for GCSEs and A Levels when setting standards in their own qualifications.
Does this mean it will be harder to get into university?
Following Ofqual's September announcement on grading, universities have been excellent at making sure the way they set entry requirements and make offers to students will reflect the grades students will receive this summer. So, despite grades being overall lower this year, this shouldn't affect anyone's chances of getting into university.
Are there fewer places at universities this year than last year? And is this because people deferred entry last year because of the pandemic?
Competition for places at the top universities has always been high and this year is no different.
It is the case every year that some students choose to defer their higher education place, often to take up work or travel opportunities which are important for building skills and experiences.
But it's not accurate to say a high number of deferrals from last year has caused a squeeze on places this year. In 2021, 6.5% of all accepted applicants deferred their place. This is up by just 0.9 percentage points compared to 2019 and 0.3 percentage points compared to 2020.
What if I don't get the grades I expected?
It's important to be clear that although we expect grades to be lower overall, this does not determine the number of places on courses available to students.
UCAS' advice to students is to be confident, but we always recommend they have a back-up plan and spend some time over the summer researching alternatives in the scenario they are not placed at their firm or insurance choice.
If students do not get the grades they need, their preferred university may still offer them a place.
In the first instance, we encourage students to talk to their school or college, or to their preferred university, who may be able to offer some flexibility.
Students can also seek advice from the Exam Results Helpline run by the National Careers Service, or the Get the Jump for other study options.
Just as they do in any normal year, UCAS will help thousands of students to find places through Clearing if you need or choose to explore other options once you have received your grades.
Some VTQ students haven't received their grades - what should they do?
We are aware of a small number of students who have not received their results due to issues with finalising grades. Students should be reassured that universities will hold offered places and that, if students are not holding a university offer, they can still start the Clearing process with UCAS. We are monitoring the situation and Ofqual, as the regulator, is continuing to work closely with the awarding organisations concerned to make sure final grades are awarded as quickly as possible
- Anyone who is concerned that they have not received their grades should contact their school or college in the first instance for the latest information.
- For help with Btec results Pearson (@PearsonBTEC) have posted information here: https://twitter.com/PearsonBTEC/status/1560357631709134851
- OCR are also posting updates on social media (@ocrexams): https://twitter.com/ocrexams/status/1560567318681354240