What to Expect on GCSE Results Day

Posted on the 21st July

GCSE Results Day is finally here, and many students are wondering what to expect. 


  • What to do on the Eve of GCSE Results Day?
  • What to Carry With You on the Day
  • How Do GCSE Grades Work?
  • What to Do if You Don't Get the Grades You Wanted?
  • Can You Retake GCSE?
  • How to Resit for a GCSE
  • What Next After Passing Your GCSE?


Did their hard work pay off? What if you didn't do as well as expected? It's natural to feel nervous, but it will be okay! Here are a few tips to help ease your mind - take a look, and good luck on results day!


What To Do on the Eve of GCSE Results Day?


As a parent, you might want to prepare breakfast for everyone and offer some cheerful conversation about what they did this year at school.

It can be a good idea to plan some activities for afterward that the whole family can enjoy, such as going out to eat or getting together with friends.


You might want to prepare emotionally by talking about your own experiences of receiving GCSE results and what kind of feelings you felt then.

When the day arrives, you may want to leave your children or students some space and time on their own first. Then, you can support them by checking in with them later about how they're feeling - there's no right or wrong way of reacting, so it is best just to listen to begin with.



Suppose your child or student is feeling anxious. In that case, it might be a good idea to ask them what they're worried about and whether there's anything specific - such as not getting into their desired university course - that may be causing them stress in the lead up to results day. You can also offer some advice on how to cope with these feelings.





What To Carry With You on the Day?


Just as you would for any other occasion, it's essential to carry a few essentials with you on the day. Firstly, make sure that your school gives you the results slip in advance so if there are problems, they can sort them out straight away—it could save hours of stress and worry. 


Secondly, don't forget to carry a pen with you, and keep it close by so that if your results slip is lost or misplaced, then the person presenting can write down what grade they need from you.

Finally, don’t forget about breakfast! If time permits, make sure that you have something to eat beforehand—it will help prepare for any long waits and hunger pangs in the waiting room.


How Do GCSE Grades Work?


GCSEs nowadays do not use the grade system that your parents may be familiar with. The new numbers based system offers more specific grading brackets so that your final grade is more accurate to your performance throughout the year. 


What to Do if You Don't Get the Grades You Wanted?


The first thing to do is not panic. Everyone feels this way, including your teachers and parents. Instead, try to take a deep breath and calm yourself down as however important it may feel to you now, it is not the end of the world. Writing down what you're feeling can also help calm you down.


If you don't want to retake your exams, there are other options available that might be suitable for you. You could:


  • Go to a sixth form or college and enroll in a course that is at the right level of difficulty for you GCSE.
  • Get an apprenticeship or traineeship programme



Can You Retake GCSE?


One of the main questions on GCSE Results Day is whether you can retake your exams. If you have done significantly worse in one subject than the others, it may be worth retaking that exam to get a higher grade and boost your overall mark. You cannot retake an entire set of GCSEs as this would be far too much work when completing your next level of study. However, you can do repeated tries on individual subjects. 


How to Resit for a GCSE


In the UK, people take GCSEs at age 15-16. However, if you feel that your exam had terrible results, and you didn't try as hard as possible in some subjects, then there is an option to resit for them. A lot of people think that they don't have this opportunity, but it's not true. You can resit for a GCSE up until you have left school. If needed, most people will do this as soon as possible so that the content is still fresh in their mind. 


What Next After Passing Your GCSE?


The best thing to do after passing any exams is to take a deep breath and relax. That's not to say there isn't work ahead of you. Your options are about to widen out considerably. So here are some tips for what to do next.


  • Set goals - It's worth thinking about what the next step is for you after these exams; it could be staying on at school or looking for colleges that specialise in the subject you are looking for.
  • Celebrate - It's been a long time coming, but you've done it! Congratulations and enjoy the occasion.


GCSE and A-level Exams
A-level Choices

Sebastian Owen

21st July

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