GCSE results day 2024: when it is and how to be prepared

results day concept art

Your guide to GCSE results day 2024

GCSE results are released on Thursday 22 August 2024. You can usually collect them around 10am, depending on your school.

Want to feel ready for the big day? Here's our advice, including where to open your results and how to prepare for any outcome.

Deciding where to open your GCSE results

Some students nip off to a toilet cubicle to open their results, others rip them open in front of their friends and teachers. Everyone's different, so make sure you're not peer-pressured into opening your results with friends if you're not feeling confident.

It's best to be somewhere at school to open your results, so you can get advice from your teachers if you need it. But you can always take them home to open them if you prefer.

You might find there's a photographer from the local newspaper wanting to get snaps of celebrating students. If you're camera shy, you might want to avoid the hustle and bustle. If not, go and get your face in the paper!

If you haven't got the grades you need for college

When you open your results, GCSE English and GCSE Maths are the key qualifications to look out for. In the GCSE number grading system a 4 is likely to be requested as a minimum by schools and colleges if you want to move on to study at a higher level. 

If you miss your college requirements (especially if it's by a narrow margin) the first thing to do is to speak to the head of the sixth form or college you've applied for.

You might want to consider applying for a review of marking, otherwise most schools and colleges will require you to resit your exams alongside your post-16 studies.

Most schools and colleges will offer classes to prepare you to retake these GCSEs or they will offer alternative courses. 

How much do GCSE grades matter?

People often find there are one or two subjects where their GCSE grades have slipped a little. If that happens to you, try to focus on the positive grades you've got. English and maths aside, having one or two lower GCSE grades is unlikely to restrict you in the future.

You shouldn't worry if you perform below your expectations overall. As long as you get into the courses and sixth form of your choice, you're all good!

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What are retakes and reviews of marking?

Retaking exams or getting your paper reviewed are two ways to potentially improve a GCSE grade you're not happy with. 

You can retake English and maths in November but will have to wait until the next summer to resit any other GCSEs. 

Reviews of marking are available for a short period of time after you have received your results – and any reviews will be your final grade; your original grade won't count, even if it's higher.

Should you choose a retake or a review?

Whether or not you apply for a review of marking or to be entered for retake should depend on a few things.

Opting for a review is expensive and may result in your mark going down instead of up. Also, the marks will only be adjusted if there’s a 'significant error' by the original marker. 

Because of this, reviews are best used when you feel you did much better in the exam than your mark suggests; have a chat with your subject teacher, they'll be able to give you the best advice.

Here are a few possible scenarios 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 probably the best option for you, providing you feel that studying for the exam wouldn't 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 definitely important to speak to your subject teacher. They may recommend focusing on other exams rather than retaking or they may be able to offer you extra sessions to prepare you for a resit.

Paying for retakes and reviews

You usually have to pay a fee to either retake an exam or to have your paper reviewed, although your centre may choose to pay these fees for you. 

The cost of retaking or reviewing is dependent on the exam board, so you should speak to your examinations officer to make sure you have all of the information. 

The Joint Council for Qualifications have a guide with everything you can do after getting your results. You can find it on the JCQ post-results services page.

And if you don't think further education is for you

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. 

Here's our guide to all of the post-GCSE routes and options, from academic to vocational and job-related qualifications.

You can also get some great advice on apprenticeships and careers and employment in the forums.

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