The exam is over … What next?!
So, by now the GCSE exams are a long distant memory! Your child / you has studied hard (hopefully!) and they’ve sat all three exam papers. The question that comes to mind now … what next?! In this latest blog, I’m going to talk about what happens next – when you can get the results, where you get them from and of course, what happens if you do or don’t get that all important grade 4 to get you onto that next step.
First thing first, when?!
So, each year the date students can collect their results changes slightly – it’s generally the third Thursday of August; and this year is no different. The date for students has been set for Thursday 22nd August 2019 (note the term students – head teachers actually get access to the results a day earlier).
Good question, so now we know when the results are available for students to collect, the big question is where. For the large majority of people, this will be in their normal school or college – which opens from about 9am or 10am (depending on the location) with teachers handing out results. It’s best to bring ID with you – such as a student or college card or similar. In small schools every teacher might know every student, but in large schools or colleges, that’s unlikely!
What happens if I’m away?
Fear not – if you are on holiday when the results are due in; you don’t have to come home early! Results can be emailed you by the school from 8am. If you are away on holiday, make sure you let the school know in advance and they can let you know all the specific arrangements!
The results are in …
So then it’s the tense moment of opening up that envelope or unfolding that piece of paper! It’ll have all the grades you’ve got for all your different subjects (not just maths) with the grades in numbers next to them. If you’re confused about the grading read our blog about how the number system works.
There are two main things to consider once you’ve got the result … have you got the grades you needed and is it what you’d hoped? If you’ve got the grade you needed (for college or a job) and it was the grade you’d hoped then congratulations! Go celebrate your success and recognise the hard work you put into this and congratulate yourself.
On the other hand, if you didn’t get the result you needed (for example you needed a minimum of a grade 4 for a certain apprenticeship) or you didn’t get the grade you were aiming for, then you can request a re-mark.
Technically called a review, this is where a new examiner for the exam board goes through your paper and re-marks it to see if they get the same mark as previously. It might be the previous examiner added up the total marks wrong or they didn’t give you a mark when you should have got one or it might be they get exactly the same mark.
My advice to any student who didn’t quite get their grade in this situation is to always get a re-mark. Whilst the grade could go up (as well as down) a re-mark gives you re-assurance it’s been marked correctly (or incorrectly as the case may be). There is normally a fee for a re-mark (somewhere around the £30 mark), however if your grade changes you’ll likely get a refund (there are rules around refunds which the exam boards publish).
If you didn’t get a Grade 4 …
If the re-mark comes back and you still haven’t got the grade you needed; then it’s not the end of the world (I promise you!). Students who get below a grade 4 (so a 1, 2 or 3) are required by law to continue studying maths (and you’ll likely be required by school or college to re-take the exam). If a student gets a grade 3, they will re-sit the GCSE exam. There is a November sitting which you may be entered for, or alternatively you may have to wait to re-take it the following June (so June 2020). If you have to re-sit, you will be required to re-sit ALL the papers (i.e. paper 1, paper 2 and paper 3) – unfortunately you can’t just re-sit a specific paper you didn’t do well in! If a student achieved a grade 2 or below; they have two options – they can either take the GCSE exam or a functional skills qualification (although a school / college will likely recommend a particular route).
Remember, whatever happens, as long as you’ve done your best, you should be proud of your achievement.