"Don't stop until you're proud."  -Unknown

"Don't give up." "Keep trying." "You're almost there."

The positive reinforcement we receive from our educators helps us realise that giving up and dropping out of school is not an option if we want to be successful citizens. Teachers recognise the potential of their pupils and are aware that education is the key to a developed society of deep-thinking individuals.

But what if despite all of your efforts in secondary school, you bomb the GCSE examinations and barely pass your subjects? Is that the end? Fortunately, it is not, since there are many alternatives available through the National Education System and independent colleges that let you accomplish your academic goals. Such as?

The GCSE or A-Level resits. With more and more students struggling due to COVID-19, family related problems, and failures from the examination boards, GCSE retakes are becoming increasingly popular, and necessary, for students across the UK.

Therefore, we provide an in-depth guide about resitting the GCSEs in the United Kingdom that is bound to answer everyone's questions.

Can You Resit Your GCSEs?

learning place
Before attending university classes, good results on the GCSEs must be accomplished. (Source: Unsplash)

Since the GCSEs are a harrowing and sometimes exhausting experience, it is tough on student morale when they receive a less than stellar grade. Discouragement sets in and, for a moment, all hope feels lost forever.

However, then there is good news: the possibility of resitting the GCSEs. Redoing the GCSEs or A-Levels is a beautiful opportunity for struggling secondary school students who want a second chance to redeem themselves and get themselves into good universities or other education centres.

Some of the most common reasons or benefits for retaking the GCSEs include the following:

  • Receive High School Leaving Diploma: if you completely bombed your GCSEs and got a failing U mark, you will undeniably have to retake the core GCSE subjects, or more, to receive your General Certificate of Secondary Education.
  • Be Eligible for the Best Universities: it is essential to mention that to be considered for admission at the UK's best further education centres such as Oxford or Cambridge, between six to eight GCSE subjects must be taken, and an A* or 8-9 grade is necessary. Therefore, if you got passing marks but they aren't good enough for the Uni of your dreams, you'll need to retake the GCSE, especially the core subjects.
  • Better Jobs in the Future: many think that the only grades that will ever matter in life and launch a career are those received at Uni; however, that couldn't be farther from the truth since to get into further education, good grades during secondary school are necessary. So, if you work hard during Key Stage 4 and resit the GCSEs to refine overall marks, you're laying the foundation for a fantastic career in a few years.

The previously mentioned reasons are brilliant motivators for high schoolers considering the possibility of redoing their GCSEs.

It is necessary to state that core subject GCSEs such as maths, science, and English must be retaken if a good result was not received. However, for those who only want the high school leaving diploma and do not care to resit GCSEs or go to other education classes, the option of studying the primary subjects of science, maths, and English can be completed until they are 18 years of age.

Also, it's even possible for adult students to resit their GCSEs after many years outside the education system. Nonetheless, we recommend that adult learners refresh GCSE subjects with a professional tutor before taking the resit examinations.

To know more about resitting the GCSEs, consult with your teacher, an academic advisor from your examinations board, or a private tutor about your options and if you are eligible to retake specific GCSE subjects. 

Nonetheless, the answer to the question, 'can you resit GCSEs?', is an astounding YES! And, most GCSE resits are held starting the month of November and depend significantly on the subject at hand.

How Can You Resit Your GCSEs?

Having been around for more than 30 years, the GCSEs are very well-known in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. However, do you know the history of how they came about? Probably not!

To make a long story short, the GCSEs were introduced in 1988 to replace the increasingly archaic O-Levels and Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE), and provide students with an assessment of qualifications to determine if they could leave secondary school at the age of 16.

passionate people
When we do our best, prepare well, and don't give up, we can do amazing things! (Source: Unsplash)

And, while the GCSEs have received considerable criticism for things such as grade disparity, gender bias, intense stress levels among students, grade inflation, and cancellations because of COVID-19, there have been several reforms throughout the years by the government to rectify specific problems. All in all, the GCSEs are a sound system of grading teenagers in their last two years of the mandatory secondary school known as Key Stage 4.

Now that we've determined the origins of the GCSEs let's focus on how you can resit the GCSEs. The following list outlines some critical aspects of selecting the best way to retake the GCSEs for your unique situation:

  • Choosing Subjects to Resit: deciding which GCSE subjects to resit dramatically depends on your plans and which university you want to attend. For example, if you didn't do well on your history GCSEs yet want to study sciences at Uni, it's probably better to focus on getting near-perfect results on science-based subjects. Nevertheless, it is indispensable that all core subjects are passed with high marks if you want any chance at a bright future. Consult with your academic advisors about plans and which GCSEs should be retaken. Because if you try to resist them all at once, feelings of stress and being overwhelmed are bound to happen.
  • The Date of Retakes: to know the dates of GCSE retakes, factors such as where you live, the examination board that has jurisdiction over your school, and the subject you wish to retake, must all be known. Core subjects such as Maths, Science, and English are more necessary and can be retaken more often while waiting for availabilities to retake additional GCSE topics may take longer. Although 2020 is far from a typical year, on regular annuals retakes at public schools are usually in November for core subjects and the following months for other topics.
  • Taking GCSEs Resits as an Adult Student: for many, high school is a very turbulent time with a lot of pressure from extrinsic circumstances out of their control that causes many to do very poorly on examinations or even drop out of school. However, that doesn't mean that their GCSE results are doomed forever; cue in adult education. As a brilliant effort to ensure that all UK citizens receive a good education, specific alternatives for acquiring your GCSE credits later on in life include night school, distance learning, and a little something known as day release.
  • Effectively Preparing for the GCSEs: preparing for any type for examination is a stressful experience, and it's surprising how many students do not know how to review necessary information effectively. So, to have success on GCSE resit day, students need to stick to and have a study schedule, use reviewing alternatives such as creating a study group or using flashcards, and not forget to reward themselves for their hard work. Another tip is that of hiring a professional tutor on a site like Superprof!

Where Can I Resit My GCSEs in the UK?

reviewing information
By reviewing a lot of books and materials with a study group or a tutor, you are bound to do well on your GCSE resits. (Source: Unsplash)

Now that we've confirmed that you CAN retake the GCSEs and how they can be done again, there is still one question that has not yet been answered, where can an individual resit the GCSEs in the United Kingdom?

To know where and when you can resit the GCSEs at a place nearby dramatically depends on where you live and the examination board that oversees your secondary school. However, due to the increasing needs of students, there are more independent colleges offering GCSE subject retakes in the UK's largest cities.

The following list highlights where pupils can resit the GCSEs at a private institution near them in major cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Cardiff:

  • London: with tons and tons of private institutions offering extra academic classes, London is a paradise for students who want to hone their knowledge. The Exam Centre in London (ECL), is highly recommended since it is approved by the JCQ and has a lot of experience helping struggling students get better grades on their GCSEs. All types of students can retake not only the GCSEs but exams for other academic qualifications such as the A-Levels, the ACCA CBE, and AAT Exams.
  • Birmingham: always second to London, Birmingham has a lot of education options for students considering the possibility of retaking their GCSEs. For instance, the Birmingham Tuition Centre & Sixth Form (BTC) is a fantastic option for those considering the chance of retaking their GCSEs. The BTC offers GCSE resits in November and January.
  • Manchester: the Abbey College in Manchester is celebrating 30 years of being in operation this year and has helped generations of students prepare for and retake the GCSEs. The one year GCSE programme is brilliant for pupils who want to hone their skills and get better GCSE results to enter further education centres.
  • Cardiff: as the major city in Wales, Cardiff is the best place for students to go and retake the GCSEs at a qualified centre. The Cardiff and Vale College offers the best opportunity to retake the GCSEs at a most convenient for learners since all classes are conducted in the evening. Students can resit the core subjects but also prepare for additional topics.

For more information about the independent colleges and information about where to resit the GCSEs above, read our article by clicking this link.

Also, it is worthy to state that since so many education courses have moved towards online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people wonder if the same is true with the GCSEs; can they be taken online? While the retake examinations cannot be taken online and must be at an approved public school or independent college, all types of students can effectively prepare for the GCSEs online by taking lessons with qualified tutors on Superprof.

We highly recommend preparing for GCSE resits through online classes to be able to ace all exams when they come around the corner. 

In conclusion, at Superprof, we are confident that your decision to retake the GCSEs is a brilliant step towards a successful future. By putting all of the information in today's article into practice, you'll do great!

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Brentyn

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