Can you resit your GCSE exams?

Uni Compare  · Jul 10th 2024  · 2 min

In England, students are required to have at least a grade 4 in English and Maths. If you missed out on the grades needed, resitting is available.


On GCSE Results Day, you may feel disappointed with your results and need higher grades to go to college. You're not alone! If you missed out on the grades, one option is to retake your GCSEs.

Do I need to retake my GCSE exams?

In the UK, it is now required that you retake English and Maths if you didn't receive at least a grade 4 in both of these subjects, and you're under 18.

Whether you're going onto a BTEC, apprenticeship or A-Levels, the sixth-form college or employer will likely want you to have at least a grade 4 across your GCSEs.

Which subjects can you resit?

You can typically resit any of the GCSEs you want - your school will have guidance on what you can retake and how.

You'll want to consider if it affects your place at college. If you received a grade 6 but wished for a grade 7, it can be upsetting knowing you could have done better but you still did great and will likely have secured your spot at college!

Options for resitting

If it's retaking your GCSE Maths or English and you're looking to study at a sixth-form college, most will give you the option to retake the exams alongside your next year of study.

This will mean you're not held back a year and can continue to move up with your friends. However, it does mean if you're studying a BTEC or A-Levels at college, it might be a bit intense in the first year while you study your new modules and revise for your resit.

If you're not going on to a college, your school can help you find where best to retake your exams - this could be through a college or an assessment centre.

When are GCSE resit exams?

GCSE English and Maths resits are in the autumn of each year, typically in November. This will be different to your usual exam period which is in the summer.

How many times can you retake your GCSEs?

There is no limit on the number of times you can take your GCSEs. Exams aren't easy and it can be difficult to know the best way to approach them. If you find you're struggling to pass your GCSEs but need your GCSE English and Maths, you could explore other accepted Level 2 qualifications - many universities will accept this as an alternative to GCSEs if that's something you're looking to go onto.

Can only 16-year-olds resit their GCSEs?

You can retake your GCSEs at any age! Even if you're returning to education later in life, there are adult colleges that support you through retaking your GCSEs, though the course may cover more information as it won't be fresh in your mind and the curriculum may have changed.

How much does it cost to retake GCSEs?

For many retaking GCSEs the year after getting your results, it is free. But, it will depend on the grade you got, the subject you want to take and your school or college's policy. Each exam board will have a different cost for the exam so talk to your school about costs before you decide to move forward.

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