Results 2021 and the way forward

a level results 2021

As students all around the country will know, Results Day 2021 will be a little different. Instead of traditional assessments, your teacher will have provided you with a TAG (teacher assessed grade).

Tuesday 10th August for AS and A Level and Thursday 12th August for GCSE

The grade you’re awarded will have been signed off by two teachers – one of them being the subject lead. The TAG awarded will be based on a wide range of evidence taken from tests, assessments and work completed during your course. Schools will also have rigorously reviewed and moderated your results to ensure they’re fair and an accurate reflection of your hard work.

Samples of student work have also been sent to exam boards to check that schools have moderated work to the standards set. Plus, as a final precaution, grades will be compared with historic results to ensure they are broadly in line with previous marks according to each exam centre.

With all this in mind, the grade you receive for each subject shouldn’t be too unexpected, but here’s what you can do if it’s not quite the result you were hoping for.

What happens if I am unhappy with my results?

If you open your results, and they aren’t what you’d hoped, don’t worry, you still have a number of options.

If you’re really unhappy with the grade you’ve been given, speak to your subject teacher or your head of sixth form – you can find out more about what to do to appeal your grade in our previous blog.

If the grades you get aren’t quite what you need for sixth form or university, don’t assume you won’t be able to continue down the path you originally set out. Instead, call them to discuss your options and then think about next steps.

You can also resit your exams – Ofqual (the exam watchdog) has already announced that in addition to the usual Maths and English GCSE resit exams it will be possible to resit AS, A level and GCSE exams  in most subjects. Resits usually take place in October and November and this year, they’re expected to follow the usual exam format with the same adaptations in place as for the Summer Assessments .  

If you decide to resit your exams, remember that for many students, it can be a really positive experience. Not only does it reinforce the knowledge you’ve learned, it demonstrates your commitment to achieving your goals and shows you aren’t afraid to work hard.

How can I prepare for my resit exams?

The first step is to check that your school or college will enter you for the resit, which needs to be done by September. If they won’t but you want to, you’ll need to sit the exam as a private candidate.

Resitting as a private candidate does come with a cost but you should be able to find a list of your local exam centres, which you can then clarify costs with. If you don’t know where to start, your teacher should be able to help, or you can check exam centres with your local council. You can even check with the exam board itself.

Preparing for resits can be doubly nerve-wracking but preparation is the key to ensuring you do the very best you can. If you think you need extra help in certain subjects, The Community Schools provides a dedicated GCSE exam resit course which focuses on both the subject you’ve chosen to retake, as well as exam technique.

Our popular summer school is another option. This takes place in the last two weeks of August and is ideal for filling in knowledge gaps or just for getting a good grip on topics before term starts again.

You can also sign up for one-to-one tutoring (either online or face-to-face) to really hone your exam skills and subject knowledge. To explore all your options, send us a message using our contact form, call us on 07747 037441 or drop us an email at


Last Updated on January 11, 2024

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