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What happens if you didn't get the GCSE results you were expecting?

Date Published: 24 August 2017
Young girl writing notes for studies

First of all – do not panic, there are plenty of options to consider.

If you were planning to take A-levels, check with your chosen sixth form or college. They may still be able to offer the courses you had planned for or suggest alternative options. If this does not work out, then try contacting other local sixth forms and colleges - they may be able to offer you a place on the A-level courses you are considering.

Another alternative to consider is re-sitting the exams. If you think this is the option you would like to choose then talk to your school about this and see what they can suggest.  Your teachers will be able to talk you through the process for this.  If you need to re-sit GCSE maths, English, or English language, these exams are available in November.  If you need to re-sit several subjects, you may have to wait until the following June. If the resit isn’t a subject that is required for your chosen courses, you may be able to start your A-levels in the meantime. Each sixth form and college will be able to advise you.

If you have just missed out on a grade, or you feel strongly that your grade doesn’t reflect your ability, you can ask for your paper to be remarked.  This can be set up through your school, but you will have to pay a fee which is only reimbursed if there is a grade change.  

Also, remember that A-levels are not the only option. There are several post-16 routes to travel, some of which arrive at the same destination anyway. These include:

  • BTECs – there are over 2000 BTEC vocational qualifications which give you skills to enter higher education or employment. The skills are obtained through practical, work-related activities
  • Apprenticeships - Apprenticeships combine practical training in a job with study to achieve a qualification. You will be working alongside experienced staff in a real working environment, and will be paid during your apprenticeship. Apprenticeships work really well for many young people, who never look back once having started, even if they were initially hesitant. If this is of interest to you contact www.rals.org.uk who have success rates in both placements and success significantly above the national averages.
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