GCSE Resits 2020: Can I retake my GCSEs?

August 20, 2020

It has been a strange and difficult year for pupils and students across the world with schools and colleges closing and exams getting cancelled. This year, your GCSE grades will be based on centre-based predicted grades. This means that teachers will have submitted a predicted grade based on work and assessments submitted throughout the year. Your school or centre will then have moderated these grades against the entire years’ grades.

If you have received your grade and you didn’t get what you’d hoped for, don’t panic and certainly don’t be hard on yourself. There will be many factors contributing to this and no one predicted a pandemic and it’s been unpleasant for everyone!

For many, the last few months leading up to exams would have been time to revise and improve on your subject knowledge. If your grades weren’t what you had hoped for, don’t worry, there are plenty of options to resit!

How do I decide whether I should resit?

There are many reasons why you should think about resitting your GCSEs. Most importantly, if you want to progress onto further education, training, or skilled employment you will need a GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C) in both maths and English. This includes apprenticeships. We’re not saying if you don’t get these grades you won’t progress, but your teachers don’t drill this into you for no good reason! If you did not receive the grades, it’s essential to retake Maths and English GCSEs as it’s important for your future.  

Again, don’t be hard on yourself! You’re probably feeling disappointed, especially if this year has been a struggle for you, but take this as a fresh start and a second chance! The good news is that you have the option to try again, it isn’t the be all or end all!

If you didn’t do as well in another subject such as geography or art and design, this probably isn’t as important. Unless you wanted to go on and study these at A level or college, you can probably get away with not having done as well as you’d hoped. There is no requirement to retake this and it’s up to you to decide whether you can do without that GCSE.

If you need a certain number of GCSEs to get into a particular training course, you might want to consider taking a completely different GCSE. Perhaps one that wasn’t available in your school such as GCSE psychology course or GCSE Economics. This might be particularly useful if you have had time to think through lockdown and have maybe reconsidered your future.

What are my options?

If you’ve decided to resit one or more of your GCSEs, you now need to consider the options you have. Many schools will allow you to appeal your grades or get a remark, however with the current situation, it’s still unclear if appeals can be made at this stage.

If you need to completely resit one or two exams (particularly maths or English), most sixth forms or colleges will allow you to resit your GCSEs alongside your other courses.

You can also resit your GCSE’s online or through distance learning. This is becoming a more popular choice as many prefer to study on their own timetable.

Resit at school or college

If you are still able to get into college or sixth form, your school may allow you If you did not get a grade 4 or above in GCSE maths or English and you are under 18, you must still resit this at a school or college.

Resit GCSE online or through distance learning

If studying in a classroom isn’t for you, you can retake your GCSEs by studying online.

This can give you greater flexibility as you’re not tied to a set timetable. So, if you want to work or have a hectic family or social life, you can easily schedule your studies around your other commitments. You can even study for alongside your resits.

Online courses give you the freedom to study at your own pace. You can move through the topics as quickly as you like and spend more time on the areas you struggle with than you’d be able to in a class with other students.

Plus, you’ll have a personal tutor, so you’ll get plenty of 1:1 support rather than competing for attention in a classroom.

Remember that if you’ve failed English or Maths, however, you’ll still need to take these in school until you’re 18; you can’t sit them online unless you’re 18+ or have already achieved a pass and are looking to get an even better grade.

Whichever you decide, it needs to be an option best suited to you. If you’re still unsure about which route to take, talk to one of our friendly and helpful students advisers on 03300 563100 and they can help you find the best path.

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Libby Barrett

As Digital Content Executive for OSC, I'm currently studying my IDM Digital Marketing qualification through distance learning. I absolutely love all things creative and when I'm not at Open Study College, I'm being a complete theatre nerd, performing in panto or amateur productions!

GCSE Resits 2020: Can I retake my GCSEs?
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