GCSE results day can be a super-stressful time. Your GCSEs determine which A Levels you can take, which sixth form you can go to, and often which university course you can enrol on, so they’re undoubtedly important - but if you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for, don’t panic! All isn’t lost.

There are still plenty of options open to you with less-than-expected grades, whether it’s through doing something new or resitting GCSEs or IGCSEs next year. If you’ve got a place at school or college at stake, or have a specific university course in mind, it’s important to take action sooner rather than later so you can get back on track.

So what should you do next?

Talk to your teachers about re-marking

On results day, you’ll likely be at school to pick up your exam results. At this point, if your grades aren’t what you’d expected and you believe there’s been a mistake, speak to your teachers about re-marking your results. They’ll be able to advise you on whether it’s the right thing to do, and you’ll need to make re-marking requests through your school.

There’s a charge for re-marking which’ll only be refunded if your grades are changed. Remember, your grades could go down as well as up.

If you’ve requested that your exams be re-marked, some sixth forms and colleges might allow you to start your studies pending the outcome of your request – call them and explain the situation as soon as possible.

Talk to your sixth form or college

Even if you didn’t get the grades required, they might be able to accept you anyway or offer you a place on a different course. They may also recommend colleges elsewhere which have entry requirements that would suit you.

Resit your GCSEs 

While you might find it difficult to come to terms with doing the work you've completed all over again, if you need certain grades to get the job or university place you want, your best option could be to resit your GCSEs.

This doesn’t have to mean redoing them in school. You can take online GCSE and IGCSE courses from home that’ll allow you to fit them around work, A Levels, or other commitments. There are several online GCSE and IGCSE courses, but bear in mind that some have strict deadlines like you’d have in school. If you’re planning on working or taking A Levels at the same time as studying for GCSEs, it’s best to find a flexible course with no deadlines (like ours – we’re #1 for a reason). This allows you to work at your own pace, and makes sure you won’t get overwhelmed and give up!

Redoing your exams will demonstrate how dedicated you are, and this can actually be beneficial to any future applications you make. However, if you have a particular university or course in mind, you should check that they’ll accept resits, and if the entry requirements are higher when resits are involved.

Look at vocational courses

If you found your exams particularly difficult, it could be that an academic career isn’t for you. Taking a vocational or professional qualification could suit you better, as it’ll prepare you for work in a more practical way.

And they don’t have to involve hands-on experience, which can be limiting if you’d like to work at the same time as studying. We provide loads of accredited professional qualifications completely online, including HR, accounting, marketing, and management and leadership. These allow you to fit your study around work, family commitments, sixth form, or travel.

Think about an apprenticeship

Many rewarding and well-paid careers can come out of apprenticeships. They allow you to study for your qualification while gaining valuable practical experience working in your chose industry. Usually, you’d work four days and study one.

Some require certain grades at GCSE, so you should check which apprenticeships you’re eligible for. You can find vacancies on the National Apprenticeships Service website.

With so many amazing possibilities at your fingertips, missing out on your expected GCSE grades doesn’t have to be a disaster. Whether you’re resitting your exams to get back on track or taking a completely new route, you’re bound to find something that suits you.

And you never know – you might find you like your new path better!

To find out more about taking your GCSEs or IGCSEs with us, have a look at the subjects we do, then get in touch. You can chat online to our expert GCSE course advisors using the red button at the top of the page, or by phone or email. We'll be happy to help!

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