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Qualifications and Next Steps 2021

Qualifications are being awarded differently in summer 2021.  This page gives you info about different qualifications.  You can also find out how to get support if you’re feeling unsure or worried.

GCSEs and A Levels

This year there are not exams in the usual way. Instead your school or college is working out your grade.  There is more detailed info and updates for learners here:

Qualifications Wales / Information for learners

Timeline for GCSEs and A Levels – 

By Easter – Your school or college will tell you how you will be assessed

In June – You will receive your provisional Centre Determined Grades.  You can ask for your grades to be reviewed. Your school or college will explain how they’ll do this, and tell you the outcome of any review.

10 Aug – AS and A Level Results Day

10 Aug – 7 Sept – You will have the opportunity to appeal your AS/A level results with WJEC

12 Aug – GCSE Results Day

Appeals for GCSEs and A Levels

You can ask for your school or college to review your provisional grades.  After results day you can also appeal your results with WJEC or Qualifications Wales.  More info about appeals is here:

Qualifications Wales / Awarding in 2021

Vocational Qualifications

If your qualification is similar to A levels or GCSEs then your grades will be determined by your school or college.  These types of qualifications include BTECs, WJEC Vocational Awards and Applied Certificates and Diplomas or Health and Social Care: Principles and Contexts qualifications.

Your school or college will ensure that the assessment is on topics that you’ve been able to cover.

You should receive your result no later than learners who are studying A levels and GCSEs. A level results will be published on 10 August and GCSE results on 12 August.

Some qualifications are not similar to A Levels or GCSEs.  For example, you may need to demonstrate practical skills such as plumbing, construction, hairdressing or performing arts.  For these qualifications there are different arrangements for different qualifications. You should ask your school or college for info about your assessment.  You can also check with the organisation that awards your qualification or search for the approach to your qualification here:

Summer 2021 Qualification Explainer Tool

Updates and more info about vocational qualifications are available here:

Qualifications Wales / Information for learners

What if I’m not at a school or college?

You can still progress with GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in summer 2021 if you’re not at an education setting, for example, if you’re home educated. Info about how to do this is here:


This also includes a list of exam centres where you can take your qualifications if you don’t already have a link to a school or college:


Going to University

If you’re doing A Levels this year you might have applied to uni for next year.  On results day on 10th August you will find out if you have been accepted to a course.  If you don’t get a place at one of your chosen universities then there is a process called ‘clearing’.  This means you can consider other university courses that might suit you.

This year you will receive your provisional grades in June.  These grades may change by results day. If your provisional grades are not what you hoped for you might be worried that you won’t be able to join the course you want.  If you are worried, talk to your teachers or lecturers. You still may be accepted onto your top choice course and if not, there are always other courses available through clearing. You might even find something that suits you better.

Revision guides

The Welsh Government has published revision guides on Hwb to help young people.

A Level

The revision guides cover the following subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • History
  • Sociology
  • English Literature
  • Religious Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Physical Education
  • Art & Design
  • Welsh
  • Computer Science
  • Government and Politics


Year 11

If you are in year 11 you are likely to be thinking about what to do in September. This page will help you to think about the next stage of your learning.


Getting ready for University

Going to University?

This page will help you to prepare for the next step in your education.


Getting support

Because this year is different to usual some young people may feel worried or unsure.  There are lots of people and organisations that can help and support you.


Meic can listen to you if you’re feeling worried and help you to feel better.

You can call them or chat to them online.

This is how their service works.



Childline can listen to your worries and help you to cope with them.

Here’s how their service works.



Papyrus is a national charity preventing young suicide across the UK. They provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person.



The mental health charity mind has made a page for young people who are worried about coronavirus and want to know how to cope with changes to their lives.


Mental Health – Local Counselling Services

If you need help with your mental health, here is a list of all local authorities’ counselling services.

Thanks to Welsh Government for putting this list together.