GCSE Resits: Don’t Panic – you can go again.

Today’s the day; up and down the country 16yr old’s are opening their GCSE Results envelopes and either sighing with relieved triumph or screwing it up in a rage – or more usually experiencing a range of emotions between the two.
If you got the GCSE results you needed – Well Done! Move along, nothing to see here, you know your next steps.
But you, over at the back there with the disappointed face on. If your results weren’t quite what you wanted? Don’t fret. There are so many options open to you.

unhappy with GCSE results By Antonio Guillem | Shutterstock

What if I didn’t get the GCSE grade I need?

First important thing is don’t panic. This is not the end of your story.
If your place at sixth form or college depends on you achieving those grades – give them a call. there’s often some flexibility, and they’re often the best place to advise you on your next steps.

Can I request a re-mark?

If you’ve only just missed out, or your actual grade is way off your predicted, then speak to your school – they will make this request for you.
There’s no guarantees of course; your mark could stay the same, or even go down if you genuinely just just mess up on the day. It happens.

Must I do a GCSE resit?

well… maybe. For Maths and English, if you got a grade 4 then no, no one’s going to make you do it again. Students with a grade 3 are required to retake the qualification until they get a grade 4.

Students with a grade 2 or below can either resit a GCSE or take a Functional Skills Level 2 qualification.

Studying at home By Dean Drobot | Shutterstock

Can I do a GCSE resit?

Of course you can! For GCSE English, English Language or Maths, resits are usually done around November – not masses of time, but when you’ve already studied the course, you’re already familiar with half the contents. And a GCSE course is only 120hrs of study all together; put the time in, and there’s no reason why you can’t do excellently in just a couple of months time.
For other GCSE subjects, you’ll probably have to wait until next summer, though some exam boards offer January sits too. Your school probably won’t provide you with the teaching and lessons for other subjects (unless you scored a 3 or below, in which case they’re obliged to offer Maths & English), so if you wish to re-take these, then you’ll need to set yourself some extra home study.
But honestly – it’s not impossible – you just need to be motivated to put in the extra work. Keep an eye on your end goal – if you really want that Uni place, and the entry requirement is a 9 in your GCSE, then you’ll put the work in to make it happen.

Disclaimer – ICS Learn have provided my son with GCSE courses in return for sharing his progress with you. All course decisions, opinions & reviews are my own. 

How do I organise a GCSE resit?

Anything other than Maths & English you’ll need to study at home yourself. Don’t fret, that’s not as dramatic or awful as it sounds – thousands of people do it every year (our now-20yr old did it, and our 16yr old is doing his GCSEs on a fast track right now). It actually gives you huge flexibility to work to your own timetable, at a pace that suits you. It’s possible to learn it all with just course study books, but a lot of people do what we do, and use an online tutor-supported system like ICS Learn. And there’s no reason it should hold you back – you can continue to study for your A Levels online alongside your resits, and it’s well-known that a Uni entrant who has the drive and determination and self-discipline for self-study shines amongst a sea of similar-looking candidates.

As a private candidate, you’ll still sit your exam in person at the same time as all other GCSE students; however, you’ll be responsible for arranging them yourself. 

exam season By fizkes | Shutterstock

About six months before you want to sit your exam, contact your local schools and colleges to see if they’ll allow you to sit the exam there as a private candidate – some state schools will happily oblige if you’re studying the same board as they use; if you can, use them as they tend to be the cheapest and easiest option, and if the exam officer is friendly, they’ll really help you out. Private schools are well used to offering spaces to private candidates – but do tend to charge more, up to £200 per exam. Your final option is to make contact with a local Home Ed group or the national Home Education UK Exams & Alternatives Facebook group – it’s an absolute treasure of information and help, including a list of exam centres across the country which run for private candidates.

Ultimately – Ask For Help on the GCSE Resits

There are a lot of people out there with knowledge and wisdom who are willing to share their help and advice. Sit and think about what your problem is, what you need to fix it – and then get out there and make it happen. You got this!

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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