Skip to main content


GCSE results day

GCSE Results Day 2017Performance at GCSE is the key that unlocks entry to A level, BTec and university courses. Most sixth forms and FE colleges will have indicated the GCSE grades a student must obtain to study a particular subject at A level – it’s usually grade 4 or above, but sometimes a higher grade will be stipulated.

Whatever subject(s) you want to study, GCSEs in maths and English language at grade 4 (the new equivalent of a grade C) or above, are a baseline requirement. 

New GCSE grades

The new numerical grading system (1-9, with 9 being the equivalent of an A*) is now used for most subjects.

So, what’s the plan if things don’t go as expected?

Back to school.
You may have received your results on-line or via text, but going in to school means that you can get advice and discuss options with teachers straight away.

Not made the grade for sixth form or FE college? Talk to course leaders – some colleges are flexible or will allow you to start your chosen course and study for retakes at the same time. For students with few GCSEs, advisors may suggest level 2 vocational courses.

Schools can arrange for papers to be looked at again – usually only for those candidates who missed predicted grades by one or two marks. There is a charge for this if the exam board leaves the grade unchanged.

The government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency confirmed that candidates with 3s in maths and/or English language must enrol on the GCSE course(s) again and ‘continue to study the subject(s) in both years until they achieve at least a grade 4 in each subject.’ This will be alongside the A level or BTec courses they are taking. Those with 2 or less can study 'stepping stone' qualifiations instead.

Students wishing to resit maths or English GCSE  may be able to do so in November of the same year, but must wait till June of the following year to resit other subjects. Some schools and colleges will arrange for students to do this but if not, exams can be taken through a tutorial agency or as private entrants at the nearest exam centre. See individual exam board websites for information about this.

Results day crisis? Need to rethink sixth form options fast? The experts at The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants are on hand to help. Click to find out more



No comments received for GCSE results day

Please login to post a comment.

Most popular Good Schools Guide articles

  • Moving the desks won’t make the results better

    Bernadette John, our Director of Special Educational Needs, despairs at yet another pointless idea from The Department of Education. The school admissions system is, apparently, now taking the blame for the lack of social mobility which is blighting opportunities and depriving the nation of much-needed talent.

  • About the number one UK trusted school guide.

    The Good Schools Guide is the UK’s number one school guide, helping parents in every aspect of choosing the best education for their children. Trusted by parents for over 30 years, the guide includes unbiased and candid school reviews and in-depth articles on education-related issues. It is available in print, online to subscribers or through GSG’s expert consultants. Uniquely, each school is selected on merit alone. No one can buy their way into the GSG’s good books. And from famous names to local treasures, their writers visit every single school, interview the head, speak to pupils and parents, analyse academic…

  • For 'Grammar Schools' read 'Fee-Paying Schools'

    One criticism of grammar schools is that they take a disproportionate number of children from privileged backgrounds. A far smaller number of grammar school pupils receive the pupil premium than pupils in comprehensive schools.

  • Sad stories of wasted opportunities for children in need

    Buttle UK is a charity which supports disadvantaged children. One of its more imaginative and bolder initiatives has been to fund places at boarding schools for children who are thought likely to benefit from the opportunities this would provide. The project has been sensitively designed so as not to create divisions between children and their own families and social milieu.

  • Time and places

    The initial furore over National Offer Day is over - although, of course, the next one - Primary School Offer Day - is only six weeks away and we'll have to go through the whole miserable experience again. We, at The Good Schools Guide, along with everyone else, get worked up on behalf of children who are not allocated their first choice school or, far more worrying, children who get offered none of their six choices. It isn't good enough and shouldn't be happening.

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
 Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
 Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
 Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

The Good Schools Guide subscription

GSG Blog >    In the news >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

The Good Schools Guide Newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.

1986 and all that: a brief history of The Good Schools Guide


National School Offer Day 16th April 2019. Didn't get the school you wanted? 'Don't panic': download our helpful pdf. Click here