GCSE results day – Tips and advice

GCSE results day can be a very stressful but exciting time for a young person, on the one hand, they are awaiting results that determine their next steps but no matter what grades they achieve, there’s a course for everyone and taking that next step post-high school can be an exciting time. For a lot of young people it’s one of the first times that they get to be truly independent and head off into the big wide world.

Picking up results

This year is a little bit different and some schools are offering students the option to receive their results by email or post. For some the usual option of heading to school will be possible. Once they have obtained their results, they can enroll straight away at their chosen college or training provider. Many colleges/sixth forms open their doors on GCSE results day and enroll students daily all the way up until when college starts although if everything goes well, it is good to enroll as soon as possible to ensure places are confirmed. 

What next?

Post-16 options can include: A Levels, BTEC’s, Vocational Qualifications, Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

If the young person doesn’t get the grades they had hoped for there are courses available at different levels and even the opportunity to re-sit English and Maths GCSE’s if needed. Because courses are offered at different levels, there are always courses to offer a back-up which enable students to still study something they enjoy whilst being able to progress through the levels.

Some young people may have decided that college is not for them and they want to go straight into the world of work and so choose an apprenticeship. If this is the case, it’s worth checking they meet the requirements and then contacting the employer to confirm results and a start date.

If the young person changes their mind and wants to look at a different course or an apprenticeship, ensure they speak to a Careers Adviser on GCSE results day or their local college as there are lots of opportunities and sometimes talking it through with someone can help them to determine the best course of action and reduce anxiety. 

Confusing results?

The GCSE grading system has been graded in numbers, before it was graded in letters from A*-U, now as part of the GCSE reform, results are grades 9-1. A grade 9 is the highest with a 9-7 typically being equivalent to an A*/A and a grade 4 a C. Young people are used to this system but if you are unsure, speak to school about interpreting results. 

There are always options

Remember there are different level courses available for every outcome, there are also apprenticeships and training opportunities so there is something for everyone. Whatever happens, make sure they know that you are available and are there to help as it can be a very important, exciting but nerve-wrecking day!