A-Level results day 2021 LATEST – Record A* results in two-year high, plus Clearing and free food advice

BRITAIN's students are finding out their eagerly awaited A-level results TODAY – in turn shaping the course of their futures for years to come.

Tens of thousands of teenagers woke up to receive the important news on "results day", which will determine their university placement.

Students have scored record A-Level results this year after the number of top grades almost doubled under teacher-assessment.

A whopping 44% of grades were at A* and A this year, sky-rocketing from the 25% registered when exams were last held in 2019.

And to celebrate, restaurants such as Nandos, Pizza Express and Taco Bell are offering free food to A-level students.

Read our A-level results blog below for the latest news, updates and details of how to claim free food…

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    HOW ARE GRADES BEING AWARDED THIS YEAR?

    GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled for 2021, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and third lockdown that saw schools closed.

    The government decided to axe this summer’s testing regime with a Department for Education spokesperson saying in early January: “The Government position is that we will not be asking students to sit GCSE and A-Levels.”

    On January 6, 2021, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said GCSE, AS and A-level exams in England will be replaced by school-based assessments. The Department for Education and England’s exams regulator Ofqual says teachers can draw on a range of evidence when determining grades.

    This includes mock exams, coursework or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests. Pupils will only be assessed on what they have been taught after months of school and college closures.

    Schools and colleges will submit their grades to exam boards by June 18 to maximise teaching time.

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    WHAT DO UNCONDITIONAL, CONDITIONAL AND WITHDRAWN UNIVERSITY OFFERS MEAN?

    A conditional offer means you still need to meet certain requirements – usually specific exam results.

    For example, this could be that a student needs to achieve ABB to be accepted onto a specific course at a particularly university.

    Certain courses may also be required – for example, an A in chemistry and at least two other sciences or mathematics.

    Conditional offers can also be made for a certain number of UCAS Tariff points, including BTECs, as well as International Baccalaureate Diploma and Scottish Higher grades.

    An unconditional offer means you've already met the entry requirements so the place is yours if you want it, although there might still be a few things to arrange.

    For example, to begin the course you might need to get a DBS or PVG check or meet some financial or medical requirements.

    An unsuccessful application means the university has chosen not to offer you a place, while a withdrawn choice means a course has been withdrawn by either you or the university or college.

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    A-LEVEL RESULTS DAY 2021: 45% OF ENTRIES GET A OR A* AS TOP GRADES NEARLY DOUBLE IN 2 YEARS

    Nervous students open their A-level and final exam results on live TV

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    TAKE TIME OUT WITH A GAP YEAR

    A GAP year is always a good option. Employers look for life skills – and you will get plenty of those once you leave school and navigate your own path.

    But have a plan, whether it is getting work experience, paid work, more studying or travelling.

    If you have a university place for this year, and you want to defer, they will ask what you intend to do with the time – so have your answers ready.

    If you plan to study maths and physics courses, they will want you to keep your hand in learning during your gap year.

    You can keep studying with hundreds of short, free, online courses from Future Learn, futurelearn.com/courses.

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    ALMOST 50% OF ENGLISH A-LEVEL PUPILS SCORE A GRADES

    Students have scored record A-Level results this year after the number of top grades almost doubled under teacher-assessment.

    A whopping 44% of grades were at A* and A this year, sky-rocketing from the 25% registered when exams were last held in 2019.

    The number of pupils getting a B and above has also risen sharply to 70% with pupils at private schools and in London the biggest winners.

    But while the proportion of top grades has grown, the percentage of those at C to EU has remained “relatively stable”.

    Officials admitted that the discrepancy is partly down to teachers giving their pupils “some benefit of the doubt”.

    Just under one in five (19%) of all grades awarded was at the top A* level.

    And a massive 12,945 students in England registered three A*s compared to 7,774 last year and just 2,664 in 2018.

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    BTEC RESULTS EXPLAINED

    While tens of thousands of young people will be celebrating getting their results today not all of them will clutching a new set of A-Levels.

    BTEC grades are also out today and generally vocational qualifications which are worth the same as A-Levels.

    BTEC qualifications are usually graded from a pass (P) up to a distinction* (D*).

    Each mark is equivalent to a letter grade at A-Level and a certain number of UCAS points.

    Distinction* is the highest grade you can achieve, which indicates outstanding performance and is similar to an 8+ at GCSE level and an A* at A-Level.

    Below that is a distinction (an A), merit (a C), and a pass (E).

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    PM CONGRATULATES A-LEVEL STUDENTS – BUT TELLS THEM TO GET A JAB

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has congratulated all the pupils who got their A-level results today saying they should be “very proud” of what they had achieved in “an extremely challenging year”.

    But he warned any teenager about to embark on the next phase of life to get their Covid vaccine first.

    All over 18-year-olds are now able to book a vaccine appointment in England.

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    EXPLAINED: HOW TO APPEAL A GRADE

    Students will be able to appeal to the exam board via their school if there has been an error made in their grade calculation.

    Students who are applying to higher education who did not attain the offer they accepted as their first choice, must appeal by August 16.

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    WHERE CAN STUDENTS GET FREE FOOD TODAY?

    Students picking up A-Level results today can get their hands on free food from some of their favourite restaurants.

    If you’re celebrating after opening that all-important letter, make sure you keep hold of it to show staff and cash in on the freebies.

    With offers at major high street brands such as Nando’s, Pizza Express and Frankie & Benny’s make sure to nab a bargain as you celebrate (or commiserate) with friends.

    Read more about where to find the best deals here

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    POSSIBLE RISE IN STUDENTS GAINING TOP RESULTS NOT A ‘DEVALUING OF GRADES’

    A possible rise in the number of students achieving top A-level results does not represent a “devaluing of grades”, a school leaders’ union has said.

    Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said this year’s students have suffered more disruption than any cohort and their results should be “celebrated”.

    His comments came ahead of students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland receiving their A-level results on Tuesday after exams were cancelled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

    Teachers in England submitted their decisions on pupils’ grades after drawing on a range of evidence, including mock exams, coursework and in-class assessments using questions by exam boards.

    Concerns have been raised that “inflated grades” will become the new norm, making it more difficult for universities to “select accurately and fairly”.

  • [email protected]

    TAKE TIME OUT WITH A GAP YEAR

    A GAP year is always a good option. Employers look for life skills – and you will get plenty of those once you leave school and navigate your own path.

    But have a plan, whether it is getting work experience, paid work, more studying or travelling.

    If you have a university place for this year, and you want to defer, they will ask what you intend to do with the time – so have your answers ready.

    If you plan to study maths and physics courses, they will want you to keep your hand in learning during your gap year.

    You can keep studying with hundreds of short, free, online courses from Future Learn, futurelearn.com/courses.

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    EXAMS THIS YEAR REPLACED BY SCHOOL BASED ASSESSMENTS

    On January 6, 2021, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said GCSE, AS and A-level exams in England will be replaced by school-based assessments.

    The Department for Education and England’s exams regulator Ofqual says teachers can draw on a range of evidence when determining grades.

    This includes mock exams, coursework or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests.

    Pupils will only be assessed on what they have been taught after months of school and college closures.

    Schools and colleges will submit their grades to exam boards by June 18 to maximise teaching time.

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    HOW MANY UCAS POINTS DO YOU GET FOR EACH A-LEVEL GRADE

    Some universities and courses will make offers based on the total number of points you earn.

    • A* – 56
    • A – 48
    • B – 40
    • C – 32
    • D – 24
    • E – 16

    JEREMY DOING WHAT JEREMY DOES BEST

    A LEVEL STUDENTS SHARE HILARIOUS MEMES AS THEY CELEBRATE RECORD RESULTS

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      MORE THAN 200,000 STUDENTS HEADING TO UNIVERSITY

      More than 210,000 students have had their university places confirmed with 192,000 getting their first choice, the Department of Education has said.

      Its data shows more than 695,000 A levels have been awarded along with 340,000 vocational and technical qualifications.

      The Department of Education also says the number of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university had increased proportionally by 11%.

      It report: 19% of entries are at grade A*, with 44.3% at grade A or above – up 4.6% and 6% on 2020 respectively.

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      WHAT IS CLEARING?

      Clearing offers you a chance to find a full time undergraduate course to start this September.

      Thousands of students find their university place through Clearing every year, so you won’t be alone in exploring your options, says Birmingham City.

      A university will publish a list of the courses which have places available to start in the coming September.

      As soon as you have your results, you can apply for the course either online (from July until mid August) or by calling the university’s Clearing hotline which opens on A Level/BTEC Results Day – Tuesday August 10.

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      WHAT IS CLEARING PLUS?

      Clearing Plus is a new personalised matching service that matches courses you may be interested in via your application to universities and colleges.

      The service began in 2020 and works by looking at the original choices you applied for, combined with your qualifications and grades.

      It then makes suggestions based on courses that universities have already specifically made available for Clearing Plus.

      If you are unplaced or have started a new application, a button will appear in Track under “My matches”.

      This will take you to your top 50 course matches, allowing you to easily indicate that you’re “interested” in universities courses.

      If they still have vacancies and you meet their entry requirements, they may call you, but the call isn’t guaranteed so it’s best to get on it as soon as you can and use it alongside the traditional Clearing process.

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      HOW DOES CLEARING WORK THIS YEAR? (CONTINUED…)

      There will be around 90,000 students aiming to join different courses, with many trying to switch after doing better than expected thanks to teacher-graded A-levels.

      Applications chief Clare ­Marchant reckons a record number of students will take up places through clearing, but there will be highly sought-after “hotspots”.

      She warned that “for those most selective courses at the most selective institutions, it is likely to be more competitive”.

      Ms Marchant urged students to make a decision about courses “in a matter of days” rather than waiting weeks as she expects the system to be “active”.

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      HOW DOES CLEARING WORK THIS YEAR?

      The official university applications body last week said competition for places is tougher than ever thanks to inflated grades and a lack of courses.

      UCAS said students going through clearing – which helps people find courses with places remaining – are likely to find it harder to get onto the courses they want.

      Hopefuls are able to search for a course against the subject they are interested in, or the university they would like to attend.

      Clearing is a way for universities to fill any places they still have empty, while applicants who did not receive an offer have another chance at getting into higher education.

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      HEIRY CLEVER: HOW DID THE ROYALS FAIR IN THEIR A-LEVELS?

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      BEST GRADE PLANS

      Students have scored record A-Level results this year after the number of top grades almost doubled under teacher-assessment.

      A whopping 45% of grades were at A* and A this year, sky-rocketing from the 25% registered when exams were last held in 2019.

      A staggering 44.3% of 18-year-olds achieved A-A* grades, whereas 44.8% of all students regardless of age got A-A*.

      The number of pupils getting a B and above has also risen sharply to 70% with those at private schools and in London among the biggest winners.

      But while the proportion of top grades has grown, the percentage of those at C to E has remained "relatively stable".

      A massive 44% of grades were at A* and A this year Credit: SWNS

       

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      WHERE CAN STUDENTS GET FREE FOOD TODAY?

      Students picking up A-Level results today can get their hands on free food from some of their favourite restaurants.

      If you’re celebrating after opening that all-important letter, make sure you keep hold of it to show staff and cash in on the freebies.

      With offers at major high street brands such as Nando’s, Pizza Express and Frankie & Benny’s make sure to nab a bargain as you celebrate (or commiserate) with friends.

      Read more about where to find the best deals here

    • [email protected]

      HOW ARE GRADES BEING AWARDED THIS YEAR?

      GCSE and A-level exams have been cancelled for 2021, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and third lockdown that saw schools closed.

      The government decided to axe this summer’s testing regime with a Department for Education spokesperson saying in early January: “The Government position is that we will not be asking students to sit GCSE and A-Levels.”

      On January 6, 2021, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said GCSE, AS and A-level exams in England will be replaced by school-based assessments. The Department for Education and England’s exams regulator Ofqual says teachers can draw on a range of evidence when determining grades.

      This includes mock exams, coursework or other work completed as part of a pupil’s course, such as essays or in-class tests. Pupils will only be assessed on what they have been taught after months of school and college closures.

      Schools and colleges will submit their grades to exam boards by June 18 to maximise teaching time.

    • [email protected]

      HOW DOES CLEARING WORK THIS YEAR?

      The official university applications body last week said competition for places is tougher than ever thanks to inflated grades and a lack of courses.

      UCAS said students going through clearing – which helps people find courses with places remaining – are likely to find it harder to get onto the courses they want.

      Hopefuls are able to search for a course against the subject they are interested in, or the university they would like to attend.

      Clearing is a way for universities to fill any places they still have empty, while applicants who did not receive an offer have another chance at getting into higher education.

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