GCSE Results Day: Didn't do as well as you hoped?Watch
Don't panic though! All is not lost, and we'll be around all day to help you with any questions you might have.
Other GCSE discussions:
Retake and remark information
Didn't do as well as you hoped thread
Chat/countdown thread GCSE
Chat/countdown thread iGCSE
Post your results
"Are my GCSEs good enough for...?"
(please use these to chat so that this thread can be used for helping others )
To be extremely clear: a 4 is a pass in the numbered grade system - it's at the bottom of what was a C. A 5 is a 'strong' pass, which will also be reported in league tables and similar, and might also appear in entry requirements.
If you didn't get a grade 4 the first thing you need to do is talk to your school, and also the college or wherever you want to go in September. It might be that they'll still accept you and allow you to retake next year, or you could go back to your current school and do it there. If you don't plan on going on to further education it is still advisable for you to retake to keep your options open for jobs and later in life.
Also, do be careful if there are particular requirements about having a 4 in English Language rather than a different kind of English GCSE. If it isn't specified then you're probably safe, but keep it in mind.
If you did get a grade 4 you might also want to retake next year, but this is also something you'll need to talk to your school and college about. If you were very close to the next grade boundary in either case it might be worth you looking into getting your marks reviewed- see the remarks thread for more information.
If you only just missed the grades they required, they may let you in regardless, or even if you were further away. Or they could ask you if you'd like to go there to do a different course(s), or to come back in a few days and they'll let you know.
If the answer is no you haven't got in, all is not lost! Have a look at other colleges in your area- it's fairly likely that one of them might have slightly lower entry grades, or be prepared to accept you anyway. You could also look into retaking or getting a marking review of one or more of your subjects, which there's more information on here. Finally, you might decide that A levels or the other course you wanted to do aren't for you, in which case there are more options below.
First, you need to think about why you didn't get the grades?
Is it that you weren't actually very interested in the subject? Or didn't put the work in or didn't understand it? Was the exam just a bad day? Did something else affect your results? The answers to these will affect your course of action.
A levels or other level 3 courses are a lot of work and a big step up from GCSE, which is going to be all the harder if you don't already have enough of a grasp of the subject. Schools set entry requirements for a reason, and you're going to need to be interested and willing to put the effort in to catch up and to carry on afterwards. This isn't to say don't do it, just something to think about if you're unsure whether the subject is for you. You can ask more questions about what particular A-Levels are like using the Study Help sub forums.
If you do decide you'd still like to go ahead, the process is similar to in the question above. Give the college a ring, explain what's happened and why you would still like to give the subject a go. They might ask to see some of your work to see if they think you're capable, or to talk to your school or a teacher you've had previously. (This is especially true if you feel like there were other factors affecting your results that you would like them to take into account.) If they still say no then ask around some other colleges and also talk to your current school to see what they'd advise.
The other option is to self teach the subject, but this is very expensive, difficult and definitely not a decision to be taken lightly. You would also still need to find somewhere willing to let you sit the exams as a private candidate nearer the time.
Please see this thread.
I don't think I want to do A levels any more...
Whatever your grades, remember that just getting them is an achievement in itself. You never have to go to school again! Everyone is different and there is always another way to do things, whatever it feels like at the time.
If you have any questions about your situation there'll be people around all day and beyond to help- just look for those of us with red adviser titles and the Community Staff, Volunteers and Forum Helpers.