GCSEs – Results Day Guidance
Are you unhappy with your GCSE results? Collecting your GCSE results is a nerve-wracking time. You’ll probably find yourself surrounded by grinning mates who have aced their exams – but there’s always likely to be a few people frowning over some less-than-ideal results.
If you find you’re among them, you should find the following advice helpful as you plan your next move.
Have a read and then head into the GCSEs forum with any more specific questions. Good luck!
I haven’t passed maths/English language!
The first thing to do if you find you haven’t passed maths or English language is to speak immediately to the head of the sixth form or college that you wish to attend.
It is often the case that colleges offer classes to prepare you to retake these GCSEs, so it would be best to check that this is available for you.
If classes are not available, it may be worth checking with other local colleges to see if they offer additional classes. For further information on retaking maths or English language, please refer to the Retakes and Remarks section below.
I don’t have the grades I need for my college course!
Again, the best course of action is to speak to the head of the sixth form or college you have applied to. Many colleges give you an offer where you’ll need certain grades to be able to enrol.
In some cases the entry requirements may be ‘informal’, and so you may be let onto the course regardless. However, please note that this does not always apply.
If you have missed your college requirements, there are a number of different paths you can take. You may retake one or more subjects to help boost your overall grade, or if you think there was an error with the marking of your paper you may apply for a remark.
If you think either of these apply to you, take a look at the Retakes and Remarks section below, although it is important to discuss your options with your subject teachers.
I don’t think further education is for me…
Not sure you fancy going into further education? If you decide to take an alternative route, there are a number of different options for you to explore.
You might plump for a vocational course (such as construction, childcare or engineering) rather than completing A-levels. Alternatively, you may want to go straight into the world of work and would rather get an apprenticeship or seek employment.
You can get some great advice on Apprenticeships and Careers and Employment in the forums.
If you find some of your results are lower than you were expecting on GCSE results day, you might want to either get your paper remarked or retake exams.
What are retakes and remarks?
Retaking exams or getting your paper remarked are two methods to potentially improve a GCSE grade you’re not happy with.
In the past, it used to be that you could retake only one modular exam. However, this will no longer be the case from now on due to the new 100% terminal rule. The new terminal rule states that to get a certificate in a subject, you must take all the exams in one sitting.
This means that, if you retake, you have to retake all units in the next exam season in order to be awarded a new certificate in that subject.
The only exception to this is controlled assessments, where you can forward your controlled assessment mark from one exam season to the next.
GCSE exam retakes usually take place in the next available exam season. For most subjects, this will be next summer. For English and Maths, you will have an opportunity to retake in November.
A common question asked by many users is: which retake mark will count? Due to the new terminal rule, you will receive more than one certificate and so will be perfectly entitled to say that you achieved whatever your highest grade was in the subject.
However, you will have to declare all marks to universities via UCAS as you will need to declare all certificates. If you choose to retake a controlled assessment, however, it will always be the retake mark that will count for the controlled assessment, even if it is lower than the original.
Remarks are available for a short period of time after you have received your GCSE results – please note however that once you have received a grade from a remark, it is final. Your original grade will not count, even if it is higher than that of the remark.
Does it matter which one I pick?
Whether or not you apply for a remark or to be entered for retake should depend on a number of different factors.
It is important to remember that subjects such as English and history are marked subjectively, where examiners award marks at their own discretion (as opposed to something like maths, where there is usually a strict mark scheme and therefore little room for confusion).
This means that there may possibly be a big difference between what one examiner considers A-grade material and what another does.
Because of this, it is often more advisable (though not out of the question) to apply for a remark if you have received a lower grade than you were expecting in an essay-based subject rather than if you had taken a non-essay based subject.
However, due to the subjective nature of these papers it is possible that your marks may be lowered rather than increased. Perhaps as a result of this, retakes are the popular option for many students.
So which one should I choose?
It is hard to say which course of action is best if you aren’t happy with your results. Your first port of call should be your subject teacher, who will be able to give you the best advice possible. However, here are a few possible scenarios below along with the suggested actions:
· I didn’t perform as well as I could have done in my exams due to outside circumstances
A retake is likely to be the best option for you, providing you feel that studying for the exam would not have a negative impact upon any other studies.
· I found my original exam extremely difficult, and I didn’t understand the content very well
In this case it is especially important to speak to your subject teacher. They may advise you to focus on your other exams rather than retaking or they may be able to offer you extra sessions to prepare you for a resit.
Do I have to pay?
You usually have to pay a fee to either retake an exam or to have your paper remarked, although your centre may choose to pay these fees for you. The cost of retaking or remarking is dependent on the exam board in question, so you should speak to your examinations officer to make sure you have all of the information you need. You can find further information about fees direct from the exam boards at the following links:
Where can I get further information?
The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) has published its guide to post-results services valid for the June 2014, November 2014 and January 2015 exam seasons. It contains comprehensive information on the possible actions that can be taken once you have received your results and can be found on the JCQ post-results services page.
Date: 21 August 2015
Venue: Hounslow Youth Centre Kingsley Road TW3 1NX
Time: 7pm to 9pm