Sixth form results day and university applications - 2021

Updated: Sep 14

It’s nearly time! On 10 August 2021, sixth form results will be revealed. This is about two weeks earlier than usual to allow more time for appeals because grades have been awarded by assessment and not examination. If your teen’s applied to university and received a conditional offer, these are three possible outcomes:


Male students receiving A level results on Results day 2021

Achieving the desired results

Celebrations ahead! If your child has a conditional offer and meets the grades, that offer will switch to “unconditional” and they should receive a confirmation letter from UCAS with details of next steps (it varies from university to university). Congratulations, they have their place!


If they’ve matched their offer but no longer want to go to that university or take that subject, they can reject the offer and go through Clearing to try something else. Don’t forget, there is no guarantee that they will get the course they want through Clearing, and they will lose the place they’ve been offered if they reject it. However, it does provide options if they realise they’ve made a mistake in the application process and don’t want to wait to reapply next year.



Surpassing the desired results

Having researched thoroughly, most students are happy to accept the university place they have been offered even if they have got better grades than predicted. However, it may be the case that they did not feel sufficiently confident to apply to a course with very high entry standards and now feel they may have missed out. In this case, they can use Adjustment to make the application and they will need to wait to see if they are accepted in advance. Don’t forget, acceptance is not automatic, even if their grades are much higher than the stated minimum entry requirements. This can be for a variety of reasons, but often because the course is already fully subscribed with those who applied originally. In the meantime, they can keep their offered place open for five days while they’re seeking a place elsewhere.



Failing to get a place

Yes, it’s disappointing, but there are still plenty of options available and it’s all important to keep your child motivated and not let them feel like a failure. This can be difficult if you feel they ignored warnings and did not put in enough effort, but this is a significant learning experience and may put them on a more productive path in the future. Options will vary depending on the gap between their predicted grades and what they were awarded. If they missed by a small margin, it’s possible to speak to the university and see if they will make an exception. Alternatively, they can apply for another place by going through Clearing. If they need time to refocus, a gap year could be an option.



Unconditional offers – reminder!

If your teen has accepted an unconditional offer, they already have a guaranteed place at university, so there’s not much to worry about other than whether the results show if they achieved their potential.



Want to know more?

Find out step-by-step how to prepare your teen for results day, full details on Clearing and Adjustment, and preparations to make if they are heading off to university in The Parents’ Guide to Results Day 2021.