GCSE Results Day 2021 | What You Need to Know

Waiting for GCSE results day 2021 can be extremely stressful, especially this year, given the current COVID-19 pandemic. But, your final grades aren’t the end of the world, although it may feel like it now. There are plenty of opportunities that enable you to still get into your dream career without the perfect results. 

Remember you’re not alone this results day and this is an exciting start to your professional life. We’ve created a guide filled with everything you need to know to put your mind at ease. You have plenty of options. Not only now, but also in the future, don’t panic! 

When is GCSE Results Day 2021?

GCSE Results Day 2021 date is Thursday 12th August for England and Wales students. For students in Scotland, results day 2021 is on Tuesday the 10th of August. Students can normally receive their exam results from around 10am, although this may vary.

UK schools have witnessed exams being scrapped because of coronavirus, for the second consecutive year, and many pupils are uncertain about what this means for their futures. If you’re impacted by this then don’t worry. Final GCSE grades will not hinder your future opportunities. Many pupils are wondering whether their GCSE exam results for 2021 will be treated as equal to previous years when applying for apprenticeships and college. Let us reassure you that they will. Employers and college admission teams recognise the hard work you’ve put in despite exam cancellations and will treat your grades as though you had sat the exams. 

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How to get GCSE Results?

You can pick your GCSE results up from your school at around 10 am. Alternatively, if you’re not going to be in the UK on results day then you can arrange in advance to receive them via email. To do this you will need to speak to your school. 

When you go to get your exam results it’s advisable for you to bring with you the following:

How Do GCSE Grades Work?

This is the fourth year since we first saw the numerical grading system introduced. Previously, the grading system was A* to U. Now as part of the new GCSE exams reform, grades range from 9 to 1, and a U grade for papers too low to be classed.

Here is a table explaining the new grading system:

A grade 9 is the highest you can receive and an A* in between the 8 and 9 grade. A 7 is an A grade and a grade 4 is a C.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, GCSE results will be graded differently to previous years. All exams across the UK have been cancelled. Ofqual is working closely with schools and exam boards to ensure pupils get a fair grade which reflects your potential.They will take into account a mixture of data and evidence including, mocks, coursework, homework, non exam assessments and teacher judgement to award students GCSE grades this year rather than a formal exam assessment.

“I Didn’t Get the Grades I Wanted, Now What?”

Exam results aren’t everything. Don’t let them get you down too much, it’s what you do now that matters. You still have so many options! Due to exams being cancelled this year, you will still be given the opportunitiy to sit them when schools reopen, if you don’t feel your grade reflects your potential. 

Usually, if you need a specific grade to be accepted to college, sixth form or university, you can consider having your paper remarked. However, this year exams have been cancelled so this isn’t possible. We wouldn’t advise this anyway if you were only a few marks off the lower grade boundaries as it’s highly unlikely to make much difference or worse it could bring your grade down! However, if you were only a few marks off a higher grade then pupils previously would have considered having their GCSE results remarked. 

What previously used to be known as ‘remarks’ is now called Reviews of Results (RoR). To get your paper remarked, this would have needed to be discussed with your school and teachers who will be doing all the paperwork alongside the exam board. Each exam board has a different procedure.

You may have been scheduled to sit exams for a number of qualification providers before exam cancellations. If you’re not happy with your results and think you could do better, you can sit your exams when schools reopen. Check with your school to see which ones were used for each of your exams/qualifications:

Can You Retake GCSEs?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all exams have been cancelled. If you’re not happy with your final result then you will be able to sit the exam when schools reopen. GCSE resits are common amongst young people who didn’t get the results they need. Your best bet is to discuss this with your teacher, who will be able to advise you based on whether they think you could achieve a better grade.

The Department of Education, Ofqual, exam boards, schools and colleges are all making it their top priority to ensure pupil progression opportunities are not hindered amid exam cancellations. No one wants to see your exam results act as a barrier to your further education options or employment. Everyone wants the best possible outcome for you. Speak with your teachers if you’re considering contesting your calculated GCSE grade, get advice and support but remember, the decision is in your hands. 

How to Resit GCSE

If you still want to take the same path but you didn’t make the grades you need, it may be worth resitting your GCSE. 

Wondering how to resit GCSE? Certain grades are a necessity to be accepted onto the A Level or university course you’re interested in. 

If your maths results weren’t what you expected and you’re looking for a career in accounting then it’s highly likely that you’ll need to consider retaking GCSEs. Don’t know where to start? You’re always best speaking to your teachers about this to see whether you can resit your GCSEs straight away. Likewise, if you’re seeking a career in writing then good grades in English Language and English Literature would be extremely beneficial.

Normally, to retake a GCSE you would be charged around £35. However, given the current situation and the fact that exams have been cancelled, it is still unknown whether you will have to pay to sit your exams. It’s always best to check with your school regarding your resit options as these can vary depending on the examining board. 

Don’t want to resit? What about thinking about a career change? Or a different pathway into the career. You might not have the results you need to apply for A Levels but you may still be able to apply for an apprenticeship or BTEC. 

A level 2 apprenticeship is equal to GCSEs and a level 3 is equivalent to 2 A Level results. You could be surprised to hear that you can actually do a degree apprenticeship. This means you can get a debt-free degree while you earn a real wage and gain real-life work experience!

What If I Do Better Than Expected?

If you’ve done better than expected then a big well done! It’s time to celebrate your top grades! Likewise, you might want to rethink your career aspirations or start confirming places on a college course. Maybe you’re considering an alternative college course or a different route into further education?

There are many post 16 options available to young people. These can include:

The word really is your oyster and what you choose to do next is entirely up to you. Try to stay open-minded to the options available to you and make sure you discuss with teachers, career advisers, friends and family what you think is the right path for you! 

Good luck this GCSE results day 2021!

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