A Levels and GCSEs 2020, what are my options?

August 13, 2020

This year has been a difficult year for everyone. We’ve never experienced anything like this before so if you have just received your A Level results or are awaiting your GCSEs, we can understand it may be an even more anxious time for you. Due to the pandemic, all exams were cancelled and this year, instead of results from exams, you will have received a predicted grade based on your work already submitted. 

If you have received your results and you didn’t quite get what you had hoped for, please don’t despair, there are still plenty of other options for you and it’s important you consider everything before making a decision.

A Levels and GCSEs aren’t the be-all and end-all and there are so many different routes you can go down to prepare for your future. If you didn’t get the results you wanted this year, here are your options. 


With the coronavirus outbreak and the recent disappointment of Scotland’s results, the government has introduced a ‘triple lock’ system. This is added security for your grades, and this means that if the grade you receive isn’t what you had hoped for, you can now appeal your grades. The appeal will be based on any grades from mock exams you may have taken.

Although mock exams are taken mid year, there are students that will have taken these as the real thing and may have performed well. With this option, if your mock exam grade was higher than your predicted grade, you will be awarded this grade instead.

This acts as an extra back up for those who may have had a low predicted grade.

Take exams in autumn

Exams aren’t for everyone, but as they are one of the best forms of assessment, sometimes you might perform much better when put under pressure. No one ever anticipated an event so huge that exams are cancelled, which means that at the start of your studies, you would have the exam as your end goal.  

This may mean that the grade you have now been awarded based on your submitted work throughout the year, might not actually reflect what you know you are capable of.  

Now the restrictions due to the pandemic are slowly easing off, exams are due to be held at your chosen school, college or centre in the autumn. This means you can sit the exam as planned at the start of your studies.  

For some, this might be the best option but for those who don’t really fancy cramming in lots of last minute revision and restarting your work again, there are still so many more options. 

Retake your A Levels or GCSE’s

Since the pandemic, every student studying will have now been introduced to the concept of distance learning. This is learning without having to attend the school or college and it’s what Open Study College are experts in!  

With this option, it means you can receive your study materials and an expert tutor, and simply study your courses again. If you were due to go to university and your grades are stopping you, there is no need to rush to get to university this year.  

As it stands, most universities are going to have a mixture of online and blended learning but university won’t be back to normal immediately. For those hoping to enjoy the social side of the university, it might be worth considering delaying a year and going to university when there is more of a sense of normality for university student life – when bars, clubs and restaurants will all be open as normal. 

You can enrol onto distance learning courses now for next year and take the pressure off yourself completely. This way, you can study again, with an expert tutor on hand to support you and get yourself where you want to be!  

Reflection time, and now looking for a change 

For many of us taking our GCSE’s and A Levels at school and college, we don’t  always consider our options properly. We are too young and are encouraged to either take the subjects that look appealing on applications or to choose core subjects we’re not particularly interested in. 

This pandemic has been a time of reflection for many and you may have had chance to reconsider your future. Did you pick the right subjects? Are there other courses you wish you had taken? Maybe the industry you wanted to work in has been severely impacted by the pandemic? 

If you have decided on a different path, there is no rush. Choose subjects that will guide you into your new future. Pick subjects you enjoy, the courses you are passionate about – you will end up loving your studies! 

Remember to consider all your options first. Although the next few days might feel panicked, this is your future and you shouldn’t rush into a decision. Feel free to call our student advisers on 03304332747 who can explain how distance learning works with A Levels and GCSEs, and talk you through your options.  

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Open Study College (OSC) have been leading the way in distance learning since 2007. Our team comprises of expert tutors, knowledgeable student advisers and a friendly student support team. Between us we have decades upon decades of experience in education and remote learning. Our blog is designed to help and guide you along the right path for you, by providing information, helpful tips and inspirational student success stories.

A Levels and GCSEs 2020, what are my options?
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