How to Retake GCSE Science Online | GCSEs for Adults & Teens
GCSE Science can be more important for your future than you might think. Don’t let failing it on your first attempt hold you back.
If you failed GCSE Science at school, you might find that you need resit it so you can move on to the next stage of your career (like Lindsay and Sam), or if you want to move into an entirely different profession.
The good news is that it’s now easier than ever to resit as you can now study your GCSE Science 100% online - making it a great option, even if you have the busiest of schedules.
It doesn’t matter if you’re resitting straight after your first attempt or coming back to your studies years later, online learning can be your key to bagging the grade you need.
So, how do you go about resitting online?
Do you choose a GCSE or an IGCSE?
One of the first things you’ll be confronted with when preparing to resit GCSE Science is whether you want to study it as a GCSE or an IGCSE. Don’t panic, it’s not a huge choice to make as the end qualifications are internationally recognised as the same (the ‘I’ in IGCSE actually stands for International).
The difference comes down to coursework which is a requirement of most GCSEs but is not required at all for IGCSEs. This means that IGCSEs are more suited to being taught online, so you might find that most online providers only offer the IGCSE.
Should you study a Single or Double Award?
You’ll also come across a choice between Single, Double or Triple awards. It can be difficult to remember what each means so here’s a quick rundown to keep you right.
Single Award Science combines the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and results in one overall grade after completing the course and sitting the exam. It covers a broad Science syllabus and still results in a GCSE/IGCSE qualification but is not recommended for anyone looking to go on to study Science at a higher level such as A Level.
Double Award Science is more in-depth but still covers the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. If you choose this option, you’ll study one course but receive two GCSE/IGCSEs after sitting your exam. This means that if you need a certain number of GCSEs, this is the ideal course for you.
If one of the requirements for the course or career you’re looking to pursue is a GCSE in any Science subject, you can choose to study an individual course such as GCSE Biology, GCSE Physics, or GCSE Human Biology instead of the combined course. Remember, you should always double check what you need before enrolling so you can be sure you’re meeting the requirements correctly.
Find the right course provider
Picking the right course provider is a crucial part of resitting your GCSE Science. Enrolling on quality course with excellent support will make the world of difference and could affect whether you get the grade you need.
The first thing to do is make sure that the course is accredited by a recognised exam board - look for awarding bodies such as Pearson Edexcel, AQA or OCR. This ensures that the course materials will be high quality and that the course syllabus has been specifically designed to prepare you for your exam.
The next thing you’ll need to find out is whether the course comes with a personal Science tutor that can be on hand to help when you run into difficulty. The support a tutor provides is invaluable as they’ll not only answer your questions when you get stuck but also provide feedback on your progress and reassurance when you need it.
Take note of the other support on offer such as student forums, practice tests and mock exams. You should compare what each provider offers and make sure you get the most for your money.
The last thing to check out is the structure of the course. Some courses can only be started at set times of the year, some require a set amount of study hours logged every week and some are a lot more flexible and leave the pace at which you work in your hands.
Each person is different in how they like to study so you should have a think about what your other commitments are and how much flexibility you’ll need and find a course that works for your needs.
Create a plan for your studies
Get your studies off to the best start possible by getting organised and coming up with a clear plan of how you're going to achieve your goals.
The first thing to do is pick a good study spot. As you’re studying online, you’ll need to make sure your space has a reliable Wi-Fi connection. You should also choose somewhere that doesn’t have too many distractions so that you can fully concentrate on the task at hand.
Now you can start making your study plan. Starting off with a clear plan is a much better approach than going ad hoc as you’re much more likely to keep going if you have a plan to keep you on track.
Studying GCSE Science online allows you much more freedom to plan your studies around the other things in your life such as work and family. Just remember to be realistic about what you can achieve in any given week or month - setting yourself unrealistic goals is just setting yourself up for failure!
Why not use a study planner to get yourself started? Ours is totally free and can be downloaded here. Or, if your more of a digital guy or gal why not try out some study apps to keep you on top of your study game?
Get ready for the exam with past papers
Past papers are so important for your revision as they help you understand the format of the paper, practice your timing and spot gaps in your knowledge.
Which papers you’ll need will depend on which awarding body the course you’ve opted to study is accredited by so make sure you’re using the right papers.
Most GCSE Science exams, including the Pearson Edexcel IGCSE Science Double Award, are made up of 3 papers sat on different dates. These cover your core subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
When you’re revising, set aside the same amount of time that you'll have in the real exam and complete a paper without looking at your notes. You'll immediately know which areas need work and can ask your tutor to explain anything you're struggling with.
Book your exam
When you study online you’ll still need to sit your exam in person on the same day as all other candidates.
You’ll need to book your exam yourself and can do this by contacting your local exam centre. Exam centres are usually schools or colleges that also have their own students sitting exams. It’s best that you book your exam about six months in advance, so you can be sure you’ll get a place.
If you’re sitting a Pearson Edexcel exam, you can use this search tool to find exam centres near you; however, this won’t cover every centre, so we recommend getting in touch with local schools and colleges to check if they accept private candidates. AQA has a similar tool if you’re sitting their exam.
You’ll have to pay an additional admin fee to sit your exam which won’t be covered in the cost of your course as you’ll need to pay this directly to the exam centre. The cost of this will vary as each centre has different rates.
Once you’ve retaken your GCSE Science exam all that’s left to do it sit back and impatiently await your results!
Ready to resit Science online? Find out more about our flexible online IGCSE Science courses with unlimited 1:1 tutor support.