"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -Benjamin Franklin

There is no beating around the bush; a good education is necessary for a successful life. But, is it always easy to get through mandatory schooling in the United Kingdom and elsewhere? Not necessarily. A lot of effort is required to get your secondary school diploma and move onto further education.

However, all students, no matter their age, gender, nationality, or academic difficulties, are never alone thanks to the hardworking teachers at education centres across the UK. And nothing worthwhile ever comes about without trying a little bit!

Nonetheless, even as a result of the most sincere endeavours, some fail their GCSEs and do not have enough credits to receive their secondary school diploma and graduate. What can be done? Is that the end of the road? Not even close!

Since secondary school knowledge is so fundamental, the National Education System does everything in their power to ensure that youngsters get the qualifications they need to guarantee a bright future. So, without any further delay, in today's post, we shall answer the general question of, 'can you resist your GCSEs?" by analysing the grading system and marks required, the reasons to resit a GCSE exam, and tips and tricks to master all GCSE subjects from the start.

The GCSE Grading System

For everyone reading this article in the UK, the GCSEs do not need to be explained since they are no surprise to citizens in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. The GCSEs are repeatedly talked about year after year in secondary school and throughout the formative years in the United Kingdom to make sure that students know what they are working for to get their high school leaving.

Macbook power
We recommend studying and reviewing a lot to do well on the GCSEs. (Source: Unsplash)

Nevertheless, although millions of UK-based pupils take the GCSEs each year, many individuals don't know how GCSE courses are graded and what they might need to pass their end of year exams. So, how are GCSEs graded?

Also, it's important to state that while the GCSEs have been around since 1988, there have been many adjustments to their grading systems throughout the years which sometimes depends on a specific territory in the UK deciding to reform the rules.

The following is a graph representing the most up to date grading systems across England, Northern Ireland, and Wales:

GCSE GradesGCSE GradesGCSE Grades
England since 2017Northern Ireland since 2019Wales since 1994
9A*A*
8AA
7AA
6BB
5C*B
4CC
3DD
2EE
1FF
UGG
UU

It is essential to mention that grades 9-4 in England, A* to C in Northern Ireland, and A* to C in Wales all signify a "good pass" passing result of the GCSEs without any potential problems of having to retake a subject. However, 3 to 1 in England, and D to G in Northern Ireland and Wales also mean that the certification and qualification are awarded yet not as high academic results are achieved.

And, last but not least, the unfortunate Grade U signifies that the student will not receive their General Certificate of Secondary Education and have to find another way to obtain their qualifications.

For those wondering, all of the grade levels are previously determined by National Education System's in each territory of the UK and enforced by examination boards. 

However, it's worth stating that there are various solutions to students who fared far worse on their GCSEs than previously expected. Such as? Resitting the GCSEs.

Resitting the GCSEs

sad and lonely
When students have worked hard yet don't receive the grades they expected on the GCSEs, discouragement is imminent. (Source: Unsplash)

Are you upset about your GCSE results and wish that you could've done better? If so, you're among thousands of students each year across the UK. However, instead of falling into a bottomless, dark pit of despair thinking that nothing can be done, view less than stellar marks as a warning sign and way to get better.

So, what can be done? Retakes or resits of the GCSE exams. Like a gust of wind on a blisteringly warm day, GCSE resits are a refreshing idea to secondary students who want a second chance to redeem themselves. And, believe us, retaking the GCSEs is a positive experience and not as nightmarish as one might think.

It's essential to keep in mind that the core subjects of the GCSE such as Maths, English, and Science must be retaken if they are not passed at all since they are requirements to complete the A-Levels or attend a further education centre.

However, for those who are not interested in going to university or college and want their diploma, they might only have to study the core GCSE subjects until they are 18 years of age. And, although that is a viable option, striving to do more and get a better education is highly recommended. So, for those who are going to study full-time (540+ plus hours) and only a level 3 or D is received on the first try at the GCSE test, a resit is necessary to be eligible for higher education.

For those who are thinking about taking a GCSE retake after many years of being outside the formal education system, we remarkably suggest refreshing your knowledge and taking some supplementary courses offered by professional tutors on sites like Superprof.

But, where can one resit a GCSE exam? Resitting a GCSE exam can be done at a qualified school, university, or due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online through the supervision of an eligible institution.

Benefits of Resitting the GCSEs

While completing tanking the GCSEs and getting a U grade is the most apparent reason to retake the GCSEs and get your high school diploma, fortunately, less than 2% of secondary school students in the UK received a failing U grade.

So, why are so many still wanting to resit the GCSEs if they got a grade of G or one and above? The following demonstrates some of the most beneficial reasons to retake the GCSEs if a low mark was received:

  • Acceptability at Further Education Centres: since competition is too fierce at the UK's best universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, or King's College in London, secondary school students cannot get a low passing grade on the GCSEs. At most other education centres, between six and eight GCSE subjects with at least an A* or 8-9 grade are required.
  • Enhanced Ability to Attend A-Level Classes: those who fail some of their core GCSEs have no choice but to continue to study them until they are 18 years of age, that is if they choose against retaking their exams. Therefore, they cannot move onto supplementary education at a secondary school level, such as the A-Levels or the International Baccalaureate Programme.
  • Better Job Opportunities in the Future: those who set themselves up for success right now, in high school, will enjoy a very successful and prosperous future. So, instead of slacking off in the last years of secondary school, and thinking that only university grades are essential to land a great job, why not resit the GCSEs until you get the grades of your dreams? Your future career depends on it for admission to a good university and then an even better job opportunity.

While we go on and on about the benefits of resitting GCSE exams to ensure better grades, the previously mentioned reasons are irrefutable. But, are there are any suggestions to do well on the GCSEs? Of course, there are! Keep on reading to find out more.

Tips and Tricks to Ace the GCSEs Like a Boss

reward yourself
After a long week of studying and preparing for exams, reward yourself with something yummy and delicious. (Source: Unsplash)

Whether you're preparing for taking the GCSEs exam for the first time or scheduled to retake the certain core subjects, success is acquired through heeding the advice of experienced ones and putting into practice their suggestions for success. Such as?

The following are some of the best tips to ace the GCSEs like a pro:

  • Find a Quiet Place to Review: since the GCSEs are essential, you can't allow ridiculous things to distract you from your objective. So, have a dedicated study space that is quiet, distraction-free, and comfortable. Do not study at the kitchen table where you hear a lot of voice and can't concentrate.
  • Create a Study Plan: instead of having random study periods throughout the week, it is much wiser to take a look at your schedule and dedicate specific times to reviewing essential topics of the GCSEs. Having a dedicated plan means that you will be less likely to skip study sessions.
  • Do Not Give Up: although continuous study can be quite dull and strenuous, you mustn't give up. Have a clear mental picture of you succeeding that can help you get through the tough times of reviewing the necessary material. Remember, practice makes perfect, so, keep studying, and you will succeed!
  • Reward Yourself: while frequently studying is the key to success, students need to take breaks to prevent themselves from going mad. Therefore, after a successful day or week of reviewing, reward yourself with something that makes you happy. This will help you associate the studying process as something positive.
  • Use Alternative Study Methods: would you want to eat toast with butter always for the rest of your life? Probably not since variety is the spice of life. The same can be said about studying, to be successful you need to shake things up a bit and find alternative review methods such as flashcards, reviewing past exams, revising information with a tutor, or joining a study group. While reviewing your textbooks is useful, if it's the only thing you do, you are bound to hate it!

All of the previously mentioned tricks are proven by many past successful students to work. So, don't scoff at the advice; instead, warmly embrace it since it could well mean a triumphant future.

In conclusion, let's answer the question, 'can you resit the GCSEs?' The answer is absolute! We hope that the information provided in today's article is enough to convince struggling high school students to retake their GCSEs in the UK to get the results they deserve!

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.