Thousands of A-level, BTEC and GCSE students in Hertfordshire will head back to school over the next fortnight to collect their exam results.

Students throughout the country took their final exams in May and June, after having spent months and years preparing coursework and revision notes.

As results day nears, school leavers throughout the county have been offered warm wishes.

Councillor Terry Douris is responsible for education at Hertfordshire County Council.

He said: "I would like to wish all the students good luck for results day.

"We at the council also wish them well in whatever their next steps are, whether they are going into the world of work, apprenticeships, further education or higher education.

"We also know that our services for young people will be there to support and advise them, whatever the outcome of their results."

Rhiannon Ellis, who is president of Hertfordshire Students' Union in Hatfield, also offered warm wishes to students receiving their results.

%image(14495792, type="article-full", alt="Rhiannon Ellis, president of the students' union at University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, wished good luck to students receiving their results")

Rhiannon said: "Good luck to everyone who is receiving their results!

"Results day is always going to feel really daunting, but please try not to stress (I know that is easier said than done!), because no matter what grades you receive there are always options for you, and that is the most important thing to remember.

"For those that are coming to university this year, there truly is so much to look forward to."

Here is everything you need to know about results day:

When are A-level, BTEC and GCSE results released?

%image(14495793, type="article-full", alt="Students in Hertfordshire are due to receive their A-level results on August 18, with GCSE results due out on August 25 (File picture)")

A-level and BTEC Nationals results day is on Thursday, August 18.

Schools and colleges are allowed to release grades from most exam boards at 8am, but collection times depend on each school and college.

GCSE and BTEC First, Technical and Tech Awards are due out the following week on Thursday, August 25.

When will they update UCAS Track?

Students waiting for updates on a course which they have applied for on UCAS will find that the website is frozen before results day.

A UCAS statement reads: "We start updating records from 8.15am on A-level results day (August 18) for all applicants."

The Track portal does not reveal examination results, but it will let students know whether they have been accepted onto their courses.

"Hopefully you'll get the exam grades you need, but if you just miss out, the university or college might accept you anyway," a UCAS statement reads.

"You might get a place on either your firm or insurance choice, depending how well your exams go.

"You might be offered an alternative by the university or college – a 'changed course offer' (which you'll need to accept or decline).

"You might not get a place, but you can search through our Clearing service to see what courses still have vacancies.

"If no decisions are showing, give your universities or colleges a call to find out more."

UCAS Track is online:

Will exam boards take into account Covid-19 disruption in schools?

National lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic mean schools in Hertfordshire and throughout England have had to close for extended periods of time since March 2020.

Dr Jo Saxton, the chief regulator at Ofqual, and Clare Marchant, UCAS chief executive, co-signed a letter to A-level students receiving their results on Thursday, August 18.

%image(14495794, type="article-full", alt="UCAS and qualifications regulator Ofqual: "We are confident that with the right support you will continue to rise above any obstacles in your way and progress onto your next step" (File picture)")

They said: "This year we have returned to summer exams, with all students being assessed on the same basis.

"Your grade will be determined solely on the basis of your work.

"Whatever your results, you can be confident that it’s no harder or easier to achieve a particular grade no matter which exam board’s specification you took.

"When marking and grading your work, examiners do not know your name, which school or college you attended, or where in the country you live.

"Ofqual makes sure that the rules are the same for everyone.

"Don’t worry if you don’t get your predicted grades. This happens very often.

"In 2019 only 21 per cent of accepted applicants achieved or exceeded their predicted grades, but 86pc of UK 18-year-olds applying to UCAS took up a higher education place.

"Universities understood what grades will look like overall this year and took this into account when making offers.

"It’s not meaningful to compare this year’s results to those in 2021, because it was a different form of assessment"

They added: "We are confident that with the right support you will continue to rise above any obstacles in your way and progress onto your next step."

The document - "A letter to students from Ofqual and UCAS" - is on the website.

Can I resit exams or appeal my grades?

%image(14495795, type="article-full", alt="It is possible to appeal examination grades, with information on the website (File picture)")

Students who feel their grades ought to be changed can ask A-level and GCSE exam boards to review their results.

Schools, colleges and training providers can review BTEC results themselves before students make an appeal to their "awarding organisation".

Some exam centres offer resits, but this is usually up to each individual school or college.

Information about appealing results is online: