Bad A-Level Results: What to Do Now

If you’re unhappy with your A-Level results, you’re not alone.

It seems like thousands of students were disappointed when they saw their results last week. And after being marked down for exams that you didn’t even sit, it’s no wonder that the question on everyone’s mind is: what now?

All is not lost. There are still things that you can do to improve your chances of getting into university or landing your dream job.

What to do if your A-Level results are bad

Don’t Panic

Life is always unpredictable. There is no right path, no future plan – and that’s okay. It’s easy to throw yourself into a pit of blame and despair but please try not to panic.

You’re not alone: there are thousands of disappointed students. The latest news is that the government is following Scotland with a U-turn in results, basing them on teacher-assessed grades instead.

It’s so important to reach out to your classmates, friends and family in times like these. Coronavirus has hit us all really hard so make sure that you’re not blaming yourself. Just completing something in these times is an achievement.


I know it’s confusing but you don’t have to worry about appealing your grades anymore as the government has decided to ditch the algorithm.

If you’re still worried, remember that resitting your exams online or a few months down the line is a perfectly normal thing, too.


If you didn’t get the grades to get into your favourite uni there is still hope! Being rejected can really hurt, but try to pick yourself up and maybe apply for clearing.

Clearing is where you can apply for courses that haven’t got enough students. There will be 25,000 places available in clearing this year, 4,500 of those will be from Russel Groups. Universities need the right amount of students to get funding, so odds are they will let you in even if your grades are a little low.

You might end up doing a slightly different course in a place you didn’t even know existed, but if you know that university is for you, the gamble is worth it.

Don’t be afraid to call different universities, talk to their admissions teams and reach out to UCAS for help.

Take a gap year

Many students take a gap year after university, but Lucy Smith, our founder took a gap year after her A-levels. Why? Because she didn’t have the predicted grades to get into a uni to do a course that she wanted to do. So to avoid the hassle and heartache of going through clearing, she decided to wait a year and see what options she had once she had her final grades and then applied the following year and got 6 offers!

Then you just need to decide what to do with your gap year? You could go travelling or you could try your hand at a job and save up some money for uni. Remember there are always multiple options for you to consider!


If university just isn’t in the cards for you this year, all is not lost. Be sure to apply for as many apprenticeships, internships and traineeships as you can through DigitalGrads. We’re graduate recruitment experts and we’re constantly advertising new roles, so be sure to sign up quick.

By getting a job you prove your resilience – this is a skill that all companies and universities love to see. If it’s just not for you, you can always apply to university next year.

In your spare time, remember to keep learning. There are hundreds of free training programmes for college graduates that will make your CV shine. If you want to take a trusted, valuable course, check out the DigitalGrads Academy. Our programmes will give you the practical skills you need for your career, so check them out today!

About post author

Hi, I'm Daisy. I'm using my passion for writing to work with DigitalGrads on their content and social media campaigns.
Posted in It's A Grad's Life