GCSE results: When can you get your results and what to do if you didn't get the grades you wanted

Video report by ITV News' Stacey Foster, words by Multimedia Producer Daniel Boal

Across England, Northern Ireland and Wales hundreds of thousands of students will collect their GCSE or other Level 2 results on Thursday.

Exams regulator Ofqual has suggested around 300,000 fewer top GCSE grades could be awarded in a “shock” to pupils and their parents.

They say a return to pre-pandemic grading means this year’s national GCSE results in England will be lower than last year and similar to levels in 2019 – the year before coronavirus.

Between 2020 and 2021, there was an increase in top GCSE grades, with results based on teacher assessments instead of exams due to the pandemic.

An Ofqual spokesperson said: “This year is the second in the phased return to normal of national exams. This means we expect grades to be similar to those seen in 2019, the last year before the pandemic.

“Because of the disruption students have faced there are still grade protections in place which mean a student will be just as likely to achieve a particular grade this year as they would have been before the pandemic.”

When can students pick up their exam results?

Students can usually collect their results from their school or college from around 8am on results day - some schools however may have other arrangements or organise appointments for pupils to pick up results.

Schools should have already let students know if they can receive their results via email or in the post.

Pupils who are unable to collect their results in person should receive their grades by email from 8am or by post.

Can you appeal your GCSE or other Level 2 grades?

If you are unhappy with a grade you have received, your first step should be to talk to your school or college.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, your school can then contact the exam board on your behalf and have your marks reviewed.

If after the review you still feel that your paper has been unfairly graded, you can ask your school or college to lodge an appeal - you can also request a review from Ofqual.

In Scotland, you can appeal directly to the SQA for free if you have concerns about your final grade.

Credit: PA

Can you resit an exam?

Yes, any GCSE or National 5 exams can be resat the following year. GCSE math and English exams can be sat in November.

Those wanting to retake their exams should speak to their school who can help outline the best course of action.

While traditional A*-G grades are used in Northern Ireland and Wales, in England these have been replaced with a 9-1 system, where 9 is the highest.

A 4 is broadly equivalent to a C grade, and a 7 is broadly equivalent to an A.

What are your next steps?

A majority of students will go on to study A-levels, or Advanced Highers if you're in Scotland.

Another popular route to consider is an apprenticeship. While on an apprenticeship scheme, you will be paid a salary and spend 80% of your time in the workplace being trained.

Vocational courses such as Btec Level 3s, TechBacs, Cambridge Technicals and in England, T-Levels can be studied after GCSE's.

I don't know what to do after getting my results

It's good to chat to your school or college to discuss your options if you're feeling lost.

Friends and family can also be a good source of support to bounce ideas off.

It can be very useful to speak to an expert, though.

You can speak to a professional career adviser for free and get judgment-free confidential advice from the National Careers Service Exam Results helpline by picking up the phone or by webchat.

If you're worried or stressed out, it may help to talk to someone you trust.

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