2020 Exam results advice

You will still receive results this year even though you have not been able to sit exams. If you feel uncertain about your future, you can use our information and advice to help you plan your next steps.


2020 exam results dates

  • BTEC: Wednesday 12 August
  • A level and AS level: Thursday 13 August
  • GCSE: Thursday 20 August

How your results have been decided

Your teachers have made an assessment of your grades. It’s based on things like:

  • coursework
  • essays
  • homework
  • tests
  • mock exam results

Schools and colleges have been advised on how to grade fairly and have followed the same standards. Your school or college will have taken any difficult personal circumstances into account when coming up with your grade, for example if you were ill during the course.


Preparing for results day

Look out for emails and messages from your school or college that will let you know how you can get your results.

You may be able to get your results:

  • online
  • over the telephone
  • through the post
  • in person at your school, following social distancing rules

Some schools may have arrangements for providing help to plan your next steps after results day. Check your school website for more information.

To help you prepare for results day, you could:

  • check your contact details are up to date for your university application in UCAS Track
  • make sure you have the contact information for your sixth form, college, apprenticeship or university offers ready
  • contact an adviser from the National Careers Service

What to do on the day

Try to stay calm and make sure you have:

  • the contact details of your planned next steps offer
  • some identifying information, like a passport or driving licence if you’re collecting results in person
  • pen and paper or a mobile phone to make notes on

If you are not happy with your results

It can be disappointing when you don’t get the results you think you deserve but you do have some options. You could:

  • choose to take exams in autumn 2020 or in the summer 2021 and use the best results as your final, official grades. Talk to the school or college where you were due to sit exams this summer
  • appeal your results - this is only if you have evidence that procedures were not applied consistently or followed properly and fairly, ask your school or college for more advice as they will have to appeal on your behalf

If you do not get the grades you need

You may be upset and find it difficult to think straight. It’s okay to feel sad. Remember there are always other ways to get you to where you want to go.

Be kind to yourself, you've come through a very challenging year. Though it may not be as you had planned, there will be lots of opportunities ahead. Talk to your friends and family for reassurance and get careers advice from a trained expert if you need it.

Practical things you can do to take control of the situation include:

  • contact your offers first to see what they can do - colleges, apprenticeships and universities may still accept you if you’re a few marks away from what you had hoped to achieve or may be able to offer you an alternative course or training
  • If you’re planning to go to university, check out your options in UCAS clearing
  • Think about a ‘plan B’ - there may be another route to where you see yourself in the future. See our advice on post 16 options, post 18 options or our job profiles to see different routes into a career
  • speak to your school careers leader or a National Careers Service adviser to get expert advice
  • talk to your school or college about re-sitting exams later in the year to improve your grades
  • make a plan for what to do next - consider what you have learned about yourself, your experience and what you might do differently in the future