Adults GCSE: How To Take Them & Why It’s Never ‘Too Late’

There are plenty of reasons why an adult might wish to retake one or a number of their GCSE exams – like resitting GCSE Maths.


Whether it's to get better qualifications for higher education, creating more avenues for a career, or simply for self-improvement, resitting your GCSEs in adulthood is always a fantastic way to gain new skills and bolster your CV. Learn more about how in this blog.



Can adults take GCSEs?


Yes. While children are required to take GCSEs during high school, there is nothing that prohibits any person, at any age from taking a GCSE course or exam. How you study is also up to, there are also no requirements to attend GCSE class lessons or formal teaching, you can learn using online courses and text books in a way that fits with your life.


Why retake a GCSE as an adult?


There are plenty of reasons why an adult might wish to take a GCSE subject. Below are just a few of them:


It Makes You More Appealing To Employers


The biggest reason for the majority of adult learners taking GCSEs is to improve their career. Most jobs require a number of ‘passing’ grades in GCSE subjects, and there is a particular emphasis on the core subjects: Maths, English and Science.


Having a wide range of GCSEs shows that you are capable and well-rounded. It offers you more opportunities in different roles, and demonstrates you have a base of knowledge. Employers will also see you as a hard worker.


You Can Progress To Higher Education


To take A Levels you need at least 5 GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (or A* to C). If you would like to specialise in a certain topic, A-Levels are a fantastic way to broaden your knowledge, as well as establish a stepping stone to university education.


It Can Make You Feel More Confident


Having low grade GCSEs or not having any can lead to doubt about your ability to do or apply for certain tasks or roles. Many adult students will no doubt feel insecure around the topic. But heading back into education is a very admirable endeavour. Learning doesn’t stop when you leave high school, and retaking your GCSEs can bring a sense of pride, accomplishment and self-confidence that you might otherwise be missing out on. To add to this, it will spark your investigative skills, keeping your mind sharp and flexible.



Are GCSEs free for adults?


Generally, no. While taking GCSEs for the first time is free for children in high school, adult GCSE courses are not free, and adults are required to pay for their GCSE education. Rather than be a student of a school, you’ll be what is known as a private candidate, and you are required to pay for the exam fee yourself.


Costs for exams typically float around £100 per exam, both for GCSEs and IGCSEs. It’s recommended that you reach out to multiple exam centres close to you to find out which has the best price.


You will also need to pay any private tutors or course teachers you hire, or look for affordable online courses, both these routes are optional and not mandatory.


You might be eligible for free adult GCSE tuition


Depending on your situation, you may qualify for free adult GCSE education if you currently don’t have any GCSE qualifications. You can often get free tuition (at any age) from a local learning centre if, upon completion, it will be your first full Level 2 qualification.


Do I need to do coursework?


Some centres do offer coursework coverage for adults taking GCSEs, but this can be difficult to facilitate, and the availability varies from place to place. If you are searching for a course that requires coursework, it’s best to speak to a local adult college.


Luckily, most IGCSEs (International GCSEs) do not require coursework. They are an equivalent qualification to the standard GCSE, making it an ideal option for those studying as adults or online.


Where can I go to be taught for my GCSEs as an adult?


As an adult, you have the option to learn GCSE materials at any college that is local to you. However, this method is often costly and has rigid time commitments.

For a cheaper and more flexible route, it’s recommended that you search for an online course, dedicated tutor or adult learning class.


Online adult GCSE courses like ours are a great way to fit your education around your pre-existing commitments and responsibilities. Log on at any time you like for quick access to loads of materials that will support your learning.

If you prefer a learning experience that’s one-to-one between you and the teacher, then a private tutor is the way to go. For a more group-oriented experience, classes are a great way to bounce off from other students.


How to take GCSEs as an adult:


Congratulations! You’ve made the first step towards getting your GCSE qualification. But before you get ready to start studying, you need to know how to actually organize your examination resits.


If you’ve recently left school and are looking to resit, it’s easiest to simply contact your school immediately. They might suggest that you take your GCSEs at your school’s Sixth Form or a separate college.


For adults who have been away from education since leaving high school, you will need to sign up for a course, as it’s unlikely that you have all the necessary knowledge to just take the exam on its own. Generally, it can take between a year and a year ½ to complete a full GCSE course, but lengths vary. Some courses will offer more intensive and faster coverage, while others may go at a slower pace.


Ready to take a GCSE as an adult?


If you’re an adult looking to retake your GCSEs, then there’s no better place to bolster your studies than GCSE Online Courses. We offer handy, easily-digestible guides and videos that cover everything you need to succeed in your GCSE exams.


We provide coverage for all the main exam boards, so whatever your goal is for adult GCSE education, we can help.


Sign up today and start your first steps towards getting your GCSE as an adult!

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