Hundreds of thousands of students set to receive exam results

Hundreds of thousands of students will collect exam results today (18 August) after sitting exams for the first time since 2019.

Marking a significant milestone in returning to normality post pandemic, today’s results day includes students who sat A and AS levels, level 3 vocational and technical qualifications, and for the first time ever – T Levels – paving the way for pupils’ next steps to university, further training or the world of work.

As part of a transition period put in place by Ofqual to return to pre-pandemic grading, students will receive higher grades this year than in 2019. This recognises the disruption that students have faced over their exam years due to the pandemic. Students were given an unprecedented level of support to mitigate the impact of covid, including a range of adaptations to exams and assessments. Those adaptations included advance information on exam content for the vast majority of A levels, and longer assessment windows for vocational and technical qualifications.

Today’s grades will be lower than 2021 when exams didn’t take place as schools remained closed to most pupils until March, and covid cases and isolation rates remained high in schools. Students’ grades were determined by their teachers after being assessed internally.

UCAS expect that the majority of students will gain a place at their firm choice university today. As with every year, there will be competition for places at selective institutions, but record numbers of students, including high numbers of disadvantaged students, are still expected to start university in September.

Around 1,000 students will receive T Level results for the first time – the exciting new technical qualification to help young people progress onto skilled employment, university or apprenticeships.

T Levels combine study with a substantial industry placement so that students gain the skills and valuable workplace experience they need to progress into a job, further study or an apprenticeship. From this September there will be 16 T Levels available in a range of in demand subjects including digital, construction, health, science, accounting and engineering, with over 175 schools and further education providers across England offering them. More courses will be rolled out in 2023 and 2024 including legal, media and agriculture, with plans to introduce a T Level for marketing in 2025 also in train.

Education Secretary, James Cleverly said:

Every single student collecting their results today should be proud of their achievements. Not only have they studied throughout the pandemic, but they are the first group in three years to sit exams. For that, I want to congratulate them and say a huge thank you to those who helped them get to this point.

Today is also a really exciting time for our pioneering T Level students, as the first ever group to take this qualification will pick up their results. I have no doubt they will be the first of many and embark on successful careers.

Despite the nerves that people will feel, I want to reassure anyone collecting their results that whatever your grades, there has never been a better range of opportunities available. Whether going on to one of our world-leading universities, a high-quality apprenticeship, or the world of work, students have exciting options as they prepare to take their next steps.

Universities, as well as UCAS, have excellent support systems in place for young people to guide them through the application process and will be on hand throughout this time, just as they have been in every other year. Universities will be flexible in their decision-making and ensure offers made are reflective of the grades students receive.

There are a huge range of exciting options available to young people including opportunities to earn while you learn via an apprenticeship, taking a higher technical qualification, attending university or landing your first job. Students can explore their options through our Get The Jump website or through Clearing.

For students taking exams in the future, the department is driving forward a stream of recovery activity by investing almost £5 billion to help children and young people recover from the impact of the pandemic, including £1.5 billion for a national tutoring revolution in schools and colleges.

Over two million courses have now started through the National Tutoring Programme, including 1.8 million so far this academic year across an estimated 80% of schools – helping children to catch up with learning loss.

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