It’s that time of year again and here is some advice to help you to navigate GCSE results.
- Keep Calm! For some unknown reason (!) results days tend to imbue a certain sense of anxiety or even panic. If you find yourself like this it is important to locate a quiet spot, take a few minutes to calm down and put your more pragmatic thinking cap back on!
- Focus on yourself: Emotions often run high on results day; no doubt you’ll be surrounded by friends and the temptation to compare results will be high. Make sure you focus on your results and don’t be distracted by others.
- Speak to someone: If you have any doubts or questions prompted by your results discuss them with a parent or your teachers. Teachers are likely to be on hand, both at school or via email/phone, to provide you with advice, particularly with respect to Sixth Form options (e.g. with these GCSE results should I change my A Level options or opt for the IB or Pre U courses? etc.
- Take your time: On receipt of your results remember that there is plenty of time for you to consider your options.
But what if you received an unexpected grade?
Well, you essentially have two options. Before deciding on either make sure that you seek advice from your teachers.
- What can I retake? Unfortunately you are unable to retake a particular unit or exam within a single subject anymore. Instead you have to retake the entire subject. That said, you may be able to use the same controlled assessments.
- When can I retake? For most subjects it’s June 2017, but for Maths and English you may be able to retake in November of this year. Remember there are no January retakes any more.
- Which grade stands? Because of the fact you need to retake all exams in a given subject your will receive another certificate for your retake. As such you are then entitled to say that you achieved whatever your highest grade was in the subject.
- How will universities view retakes? When applying for university in the future, you will need to declare all of the grades you got, including retakes. For highly selective courses universities may take GCSEs and particularly retakes into consideration when assessing an application.
- When's the Deadline? The deadline for asking for a remark is 20th September 2016.
- What if the remark is worse than the original? The remark is the final grade that counts.
- Why can’t I see a copy of my exam scripts to help me to decide about a remark? At GCSE level if you request to see your exam script you'll be unable to ask for a remark.
- How likely is it that my grade will change? As a general rule, grades are more likely to change when remarked in those subjects where marking is subjective (e.g. English and History) as opposed those with strict mark schemes (e.g. Science and Maths). Remember, if you go down the remark route your grade can go up or down. Importantly, make sure you take advice from your teacher before opting for a remark.
If you are still bemused and befuddled after discussing your results and options with your school you might like to seek independent advice. Keystone has a wealth of experience in this area and would be delighted to advise students and parents on results and the likely next steps.