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GCSE resit. All the information you need to know about retaking your GCSE exams

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Nerves, headache, a bad night sleep the day before, feel like you can do better. Whatever the reason, sometimes not achieving the grade you desire in your GCSE exam can be extremely upsetting. Especially if you require a certain level for further education. But don't worry, there is always a plan B. It is possible to take another crack at your GCSE exams and in the following 2 articles we are going to give you all the information you need so you can resit your GCSE exam with confidence.

Is GCSE worth resitting/ do I need to retake a GCSE exam?

To move on to higher education, some A-levels require you to maintain a certain grade (often level 4. Previously known as a C grade.) Re-sitting an exam should never be seen as a failure, instead it is a second opportunity to improve your grade. However you can only re-take an exam once. After this the better of the two grades is noted. It is not always necessary to re-sit an exam so make sure that you understand what grades are required for further education courses and save yourself time and stress. Grade requirements for A-levels and further education can be found easily through your centres website, prospectus guide or by talking to tutors. Luckily

What happens when you resit a GCSE

Not every subject requires you to resit your exam. Even if you failed spectacularly! However according to governmental laws, if you do not manage to achieve a grade 4 in Maths or English you are legally obliged to continue studying these subject until 18 years of age. These are two GCSE's that are always worth resitting if you did not manage to achieve a level 4 (previously C).

GCSE exam resist typically take place in May/June, alongside other students of that year resitting the exam for the first time. However, you might not know, that you can sit exams for some subjects, including Maths and English, in January and/or November each year. The availability of these exams will vary depending on which awarding body you're sitting your exams with, such as AQA or Pearson Edexcel.

Your school or online course provider will be able to give you full details of potential exams dates as soon as they become available. If you are retaking your GCSE exam during May/June alongside current students you are also eligible to attend classes and follow the course alongside, either in person, or via online classes.

You will sit the exam in person, and at the same time, as all other GCSE students for that subject - with the same exam conditions and regulations applying. Be aware that resitting an exam will have a fee that is not covered by the centre and will be self-funded. Read our following blog for more information on variable course fees and what to expect during the resit period.

GCSE retake
resit GCSE

Who can retake their GCSEs?/ Who can retake their GCSE for free?

Absolutely anyone can retake their GCSE exams. Old or young, there is no limits. GCSE exams are typically taken by 14-16 year old students, however mature students returning to education can always ask to resit their GCSE exams. In this case, we recommend retaking the full course to get a complete understanding of the material that could be covered in the exam, and it is always great to have a refresh. Even if you've just sat your GCSE exams that summer and you want to have a second chance, the exam hall welcomes all.

Can you retake GCSE at any age?

There is no age limit for someone wanting to retake their GCSE exams. Typically GCSEsa are meant for 14 to 16-year-old students; however, you have the option to delay them if you believe you need some extra time.

Every single subject on your GCSE course allows two attempts (one general and one resit) before you have to retake the entire course again. You can, however, retake the course as many times, with as many subject combinations as you want.

What happens if you do worse in your GCSE resit

You have two opportunities to achieve a GCSE grade. The original exam and the resit. Unfortunately you can only resit an exam once, and it is not uncommon for the resit grades to be worse than the original exams. After the two exams have been taken the highest grade is noted down and this is your final GCSE score. However for core subjects such as Maths and English, these exams require a minimum level of grade 4, so can be retaken as many times as required until you are 18 years old.

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