Results day for students
Read about what to expect on results days, what results documents you receive and when, what you need to know about grade boundaries, and where to go for advice and guidance.
On results day
You will need to collect your results from your school or college. Please don't contact us about your results. We are unable to discuss them with you or your parents directly, even if your school or college is closed. Please check with your exams officer or teachers.
What you'll get
On results day, you'll receive a results slip showing your provisional results – officially called a Candidate Statement of Provisional Results. See our results slips and certificates pages to see samples.
You might get one results slip per exam board, or a single slip created by your school or college showing the results from all the exam boards you took exams with.
Results are provisional in case there is a change; for example, your grade could go up or down if your exam paper is reviewed.
Quality of marking is at the heart of what we do to make sure results are reliable, and accurately reflect a student's performance on the day of the exam. Read about how we do this on our Getting the right result pages.
Understanding your results
What is the Uniform Mark Scale?
The Uniform Mark Scale (UMS) helps us set grade boundaries accurately.
- It turns the raw marks from one exam into marks that help us compare what is achieved in other exams in that subject.
- It's a way to make sure all students get the correct grade, no matter when they took a particular unit.
UMS marks from all your units are added together to give you your overall mark for the subject.
Your results slip already shows UMS marks, but if you have a copy of your marked exam paper with the raw marks, you can use the UMS converter to convert your raw marks to UMS marks.
What are grade boundaries?
Grade boundaries are the minimum raw marks you need to achieve each grade and are published on our website on results day.
- UMS/points grade boundaries tables relate to the UMS marks on your results slip, and show how many UMS marks you need to achieve each grade. They are the same for each series and so can be found on our website throughout the year. You won't get these for the new AS specifications nor GCSE Mathematics (Linear) B because these grades are awarded at subject level.
- Use raw mark grade boundaries if your school or college have given you your exam paper mark.
Watch our Making the grades video to find out how grade boundaries are set.
This information is also summarised in our quick guide to understanding your results flowchart.
About results slips
- GCSE results will show a single UMS mark and grade for each subject.
- Speaking and Listening for English/English Language will be shown as an endorsement with grades being shown as 5-1 (5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest and students below this level will be graded U [unclassified]).
- New, reformed AS qualifications and GCSE Maths (Linear) B will only show the overall grade for the subject.
- AS and A-level plus some GCSE subjects will continue to show a UMS mark and grade for each unit, and an overall UMS mark and grade for the subject.
Symbols used in results slips
- No result (X) indicates a result is not being issued because you were absent for all parts of the exam, or because of a decision not to issue a result for another reason. The subject will not appear on a certificate.
- Pending (Q) indicates that no result has been issued as the marks for one or more components of the exam are not available.
- # indicates that you were absent for part of the exam in the subject and awarded a zero mark for this part.
- + indicates that you were exempt from part of the assessment.
For further information, you can:
- read about the changes to GCSEs, AS and A-levels
- see how grades and levels are reported for most qualifications
- read our quick guide to A-level A* grades.
For the AQA Certificate in Further Maths Level 2 qualification, an A* with distinction is reported as A^.
If you're unhappy about your results
Please talk to your teacher or exams officer as they will be best placed to help you.
- An Exam Results advice helpline (call 0808 100 8000) opens before summer results days.
- A-level students can use the online UCAS Track Service or ring 0371 468 0468 for information about applications, specific offers, clearing, and university places.
- UCAS social media accounts offer regular updates.
We send results to UCAS but we don't hold any information on whether you have a university place.
International university applications
Some students may need their results or certificates earlier to apply for, or confirm, international university or college places. If you plan to apply for an international place, you will need to find out:
- what the university or college needs from you
- when they need the information by.
This is important because international university and college deadlines and timescales may differ from our results and certificate release dates.
What we can do to help you
You, or your exams officer on your behalf, can apply for a 'Confirmation of results letter to a third party' while you wait for your certificate. If you apply directly, please read the instructions on our Past results and lost certificates page and use the application form provided. There is no fee for this service if you are applying for results from the current results series.
Sometimes we can release certificates to schools and colleges early, but only if your school or college wants to receive all certificates early. Please speak to your exams officer about this.
We can't release results earlier than results days and are unable to offer language translations.
Your certificate is an important document so keep it in a safe place. You will need it for future employers and/or further education. We charge for any replacement documents.
We'll send your certificate to your school/college about three months after results day. See our Results slips and certificates page for more information.