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How to prepare for GCSE results day.

For many students in the UK, your GCSEs are the first official academic results you’ll receive which can make them quite a significant moment. You’ve already done all the hard work of attending lessons, learning information and doing exams or coursework so now it’s time to prepare for your GCSE results day and relax to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Get all the basics in order. How is your school releasing results- by email, in-person collection or both? What time does your school open for results day? When would be the best time for you to go and collect your results and how will you get to school? These minor details are essential to having a smooth experience on the day. You might also want to consider whether you’d like to go to results day alone, with a friend or group of friends or with a family member. I would advise going with someone you trust for moral support and then if you want some privacy in the moment, walk into the collection hall alone (but knowing you have someone you trust just outside the hall or school). Apart from getting these details confirmed, try not to worry about results day too much- there’s not much you can do to change the outcome now.
  2. The Core subjects: subjects like English and Maths are crucial and you’ll need to pass these subjects if you would like to continue your education or employment. Most colleges, universities and employers will require a pass in these subjects so before results day, it can be helpful to consider what your next steps will be if you don’t manage to obtain the grades you need. Speaking to your teachers will help you decide whether you should re-sit your exams in the autumn, appeal a grade or proceed to college but repeat your GCSEs in the first year and then continue with your post-16 qualifications.
  3. Likewise, you might have passed your core subjects but you’re unhappy with your grades or your performance in other subjects. Again, speak to your teachers about appealing your grades as it’s usually best to do this sooner rather than later. You’ll then be informed later if your grade has changed or stayed the same after the remark.
  4. Your A-level or post-16 choices. Before results day arrives, make sure you’re as clear as possible on your options post-GCSE. If you’ve applied to a sixth-form or college, what are the grade requirements, if any? Are there subject-specific requirements for the courses you want to take? It’s also helpful to consider a back-up plan if for example, you don’t meet the requirements for your course but could enrol in another one with different requirements.
  5. Switching gears. If you did better than anticipated on results day then equally, you can consider switching subjects or courses if you would like to. This is also useful to have a think about before results day so you know exactly which courses you’d like to try if you could. You may also get to results day and decide that you want to go down a different route such as an apprenticeship which can equate to 2 A-Level passes or try an NVQ qualification. Have a look here to start your research if you’d like to consider other options you could take if you decide that you want to change your post-16 pathway.

I hope this has been helpful but if you’re still feeling unsure, try not to worry- your teachers will be experienced in helping students on results day and in the meantime, try not to watch too many ‘results day videos’. (I know they are highly tempting but watching too many can be dangerous.) A massive good-luck and well done to you if you’ll be receiving your GCSE results soon!

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