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How to appeal your A Level exam results

You may want to appeal your A Level, BTEC or other exam results this year. Read our advice on what you can do and how universities are reacting to the current situation.

exam papers for students

As reported on Monday 17 August, students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow Scotland and receive whichever A Level, AS Level and GCSE grades are higher – their teacher-assessed grades or their moderated grades.

The ‘triple lock’ system

The government last week laid out a ‘triple lock’ system to help students get the best grades possible.

This means students can:

  • Accept their calculated grades
  • Appeal their grades based on a 'valid' mock exam result
  • Retake exams in the autumn

The appeals process

Ofqual, the exam regulator in charge of the appeals process, have yet to determine how the appeals process will work, but were expected to do so by Monday 17 August – the day the appeals process was supposed to start.

However, as of Monday morning, no guidelines have yet been published. This page will be updated as soon as more information is available. 

Ofqual are also expected to set out what constitutes a 'valid' mock result.

How it works

You’ll have to appeal through your school – you can’t appeal your results individually. 

Your school can appeal on your behalf if they can show the overall grades awarded are lower than expected. This might be because your school has improved on historical results or performance, and so previous results are no longer representative of this year’s students. 

The Education Minister has said there will be no charge to appeal any results this year. 

How long will it take?

Until then, there’s no indication of how long the appeals process will take, but schools have until Monday 21 September (the deadline for 2020 entry) to appeal against their marks.

However, if your grades don’t reach your university choice by 7 September, they may offer you a deferred place for 2021 instead.

The government say every effort will be made to complete the process by 7 September. 

How have universities reacted?

Universities in England have been told to keep courses open for pupils who are appealing, but each university is responding differently.

Some, such as City, University of London, are accepting applications based on current results and will consider appealed grades for places that are still available when they’re received.

Others, including Edge Hill and Wolverhampton, are offering places based on a successful appeal, or even based on predicted and mock grades. So far, three colleges at Oxford (Worcester, Wadham and St Edmund Hall) have said they will honour all offers.

It’s best to contact universities you’re interested in directly and as soon as possible. 

Explain to them:

  • What your plans are (if you’re appealing)
  • What your awarded grades are
  • What your mock grades were (if applicable)
  • What you expect the result of your appeal to be (if you're appealing) 

What about in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?

  • Northern Ireland is following the same rules as England, but have said that, for GCSE results, they will accept teacher-assessed grades
  • Scottish students have had their SQA results upgraded from the original grades
  • In Wales, students will be awarded the predicted results given to them by teachers

Read more about appeals


Northern Ireland



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