GCSE results day is a nerve-wracking experience for students after months of anxious waiting over the summer.
Have you got the grades you need for what you want to do next? What happens if you don’t? The important thing to remember is that there is no need to panic. Whatever the situation, there is always an answer.
To prepare you for whatever happens, we’ve put together a guide on everything you need to know about results day – including what to bring and how to get your badge re-marked.
When is GCSE results day?
GCSE results day is Thursday 25 August.
However, members of Unison who work for AQA have announced they will take part in a 72-hour strike in protest over pay, which could affect A-Level and GCSE results.
When can I find out my results?
All students will be able to collect their results from 08.00 on 25 August.
If you cannot go to your school, you can ask to receive your results by post or email. You can also arrange for a relative or friend to collect your results for you. They must bring in a signed letter from you and some form of ID for themselves.
What should I bring with me?
Mobile phone (so you can contact family and friends);
A relative or trusted adult for moral support;
A pen, a piece of paper and a calculator – just in case. With so many different grades and numbers to get your head around, the results can be confusing;
A camera (for that results day selfie).
What can parents do?
It’s not just a nerve-wracking day for the students – parents can feel the pressure too. After many days of revision, mood swings and the exams themselves, the parents are largely part of the day.
According to Bernadette John, the director of the Good Schools Guide, the best thing a parent or guardian can do is to follow the child to school to find out the results.
“Quite often children may want to go alone or with friends. But I would say go with them – and if something has gone wrong, go in and fix it right away,” she advises.
What is the GCSE grade limit system?
The number system that was first introduced in 2017 continues this year, with grades from one to nine in each subject.
Scores of 9, 8 and 7 equate to an A* and A, while scores of 4 and 5 equate to a C. Meanwhile, a score of 1 equates to a G.
Numerical grades were first used in 2017 for English literature, English language and maths – while other subjects were awarded typical A* to G grades. A further 20 subjects introduced the system in 2018, followed by a further 25 in 2019, and all subjects in 2020.
The new grading system was designed by Michael Gove, the former education secretary, as a way of countering grade inflation at the top.
It was part of a package of reforms that included tightening the curriculum and abolishing courses in many subjects.
In 2021, after the disruption caused by Covid and exams being cancelled, students were given grades set by their teachers.
Mock exams and other work done as part of a student’s course — such as coursework, essays, or in-class tests — were used as evidence of their grades.
Students resumed classes as normal in 2022, meaning the GCSE exams and results process reverted to the pre-pandemic format.
Is it possible to comment?
If there is any doubt about the grade given, students can ask their schools and colleges to check for administrative errors and mistakes.
So if you think your grade might be wrong, talk to your school as soon as possible and ask them to check for you.
The deadline for school inquiries about results for GCSEs is Friday the 3rd September 2021.
What can I do if I’m still unhappy with my grade?
If you are still dissatisfied after making inquiries at the school, the teachers can submit a complaint to the examination board on your behalf.
Complaints can be made if procedures were not followed correctly, the awarding organization made an administrative error or the school made an unreasonable exercise of academic discretion in the selection of evidence used to support your grades.
The deadline for non-prioritized examination board appeals is September 17.
If you are still unhappy with the outcome of an appeal, you can contact the Examination Procedures Review Service (EPRS), which is provided by the examination board regulator, Ofqual.
Alternatively, the students will also be offered to sit for a new exam in the autumn.
How does the continuation exam work?
If you do not achieve at least a grade 4 or 5 (formerly C) in maths and English, you will not be able to progress to A-levels.
But re-sits, which take place in the autumn, give you a chance to rectify this, as well as improve your choice of sixth form institutions, further education and even career choices.
Be sure to check with your school for exact re-sit options.
What if I have to change schools for sixth form?
If you missed the grades to get into your chosen sixth form or college, contact them as soon as possible to find out if they will still accept you.
Even if they won’t take you for the A-levels you wanted to take, they may offer you other subjects instead.
If they still won’t offer you a place, take a look at other institutions with lower entry requirements.
This article is kept up to date with the latest information.