Aug 24

GCSE results

What To Do If Your GCSE Results Aren’t What You Need

We hope that everyone gets the GCSE grades they want but just in case you don’t get the results you hoped for, here is a quick rundown of the various options that are now available. Be aware that resits are only allowed in maths and English now. In all other subjects you have two choices; remarks or repeat the year, but there are ways to do this without too much disruption to your child’s educational journey. Assess the options below to help you choose the right next steps for your child.


A remark is when the paper is submitted by the school to the exam board to have the marks checked (sometimes there is an adding up mistake even today). They can also ask for a copy of the script first and then if they discover an adding up error the school can request a remark. The regulations have been tightened up significantly this year and only a school is able to request the remark on a child’s behalf. There is a cost for this and it has to be requested within two weeks of the results.

Remarks are usually worthwhile if you are within one or two marks of an important grade boundary. If a place at Sixth Form or college depends on the mark, make sure you keep them informed. Remarks can take up to four weeks so you need to try and get them to hold the place. Your school should be able to help, particularly if the actual grade is very different to the predicted grade and performance of your child.


Resits can be done for maths and English in November only. Students are only allowed to resit these two subjects now. This may be a good option if you feel that your child didn’t quite perform to their potential on the day or if the results are close to a grade boundary that was needed to get on a course, for example you need a B grade in Mathematics to take A levels in certain subjects. Some schools and colleges will support you in providing materials and entering you for the resits. You need to decide whether this fits in with the next steps on the educational journey and how it will be done. Find out if the school supports this option. If they don’t then look to an intensive programme of study with a private tutor out of school hours.


If your child doesn’t get a grade C in maths and English, then they will have to retake these until they do. All FE and some HE institutions have to offer maths and English courses if they accept a student onto their course without grade C in these subjects. This puts added pressure on them as they need to combine this study with their chosen subjects. All students are expected to carry on studying maths and English GCSE until they gain a C grade (or equivalent in the new GCSES), if your grade is very low you may do a stepping stone course in the first year and then progress to GCSE when you are ready.

You may decide to take an interim year mixing Level 3 qualifications with GCSE subjects and as part of that repeat a subject you have studied previously. In this case you will be treated as a new student in this subject and be required to take all the papers at the end of the course, but will have the advantage of higher levels of knowledge than someone starting the subject for the first time. If this is the case think about your own personality, will that help your confidence or will you get bored and frustrated repeating areas that you have studied previously.

Repeating other subjects may mean delaying education by a year. Remember, some students start university at 19 or 20 after a gap year so repeating a year will put you at the same age as them. Students will soon make up this time and get to study the subject that most interests them so give this some serious thought. However, the university will know that you have taken resits or started courses again and may as a result ask for higher grades than if it was your first entry.

Private Tutors

Our tutors are available to work with a student alongside their mainstream education to help them retake an important subject the following year. A private tutor will fit in with your current routine of study and will be able to target areas of weakness as well as completely revise the requirements of the specific GCSE.