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What can you do if you don’t get the GCSE grades you’d hoped for?

30th July 2018 Print

It can be high-pressured when you’re waiting for your GCSE results to come back. Especially after you’ve spent a lot of time revising ahead of exams and completing assignments. But, there’s no need to panic — there are plenty of other options out there for you if you don’t get the GCSE results that you were hoping for. 

Newcastle College, who run Summer Enrolment events, tells us more:

Applying to college 

Without GCSEs, you can still go on to further your education and learn new skills. 

Colleges often focus on vocational courses, where you’re assessed by practical methods rather than exams — this is great for students who don’t cope well under exam pressure. Vocational courses can prepare you for work in a specific job role or sector, improving your employability after completion. There are a range of courses you can choose from and you could improve your skills in an academic subject such as English or maths. 

Entry Level 1 diploma

With an Entry Level or Level 1 course, you can make a fresh start with your education. Once you have completed your entry level, you can move onto the following year and work your way up to a higher qualification.

As part of these diplomas, you may be required to re-sit your English and maths GCSEs alongside vocational study. Colleges can support you through these exams and help you achieve the grades you need to progress. 

Taking a re-sit or requesting a remark

If you weren’t far off the grade that you were hoping for, don’t forget that you can request for your papers to be remarked. You do have to pay for this service, but you will receive a full refund if you find that your mark has changed. 

You can have another chance at the exam too. It depends on the exam board and procedures, but it may be possible for you to re-sit straight away. Alternatively though, there could be a wait of up to 18 months. 


With an apprenticeship, you can earn money while furthering your education. In an apprenticeship, you usually undergo study and work at the same time, helping you develop many skills. These are available to anyone who is aged 16 and over and you can choose from a range of levels. 

It’s up to the employer to determine which skills are required for an apprentice. Often, it’s the case that apprentices need an understanding of English and maths to progress. as an apprentice. Again, your college can provide support for this. 

Apprenticeships are available in a range of sectors too. Carry out sufficient research to find an industry that you’d enjoy working and learning in. 

Do your research

There are a range of options to look into, so make sure you decide which one is best for you. Speak to teachers and attend open days to gain as much information as you can before choosing what to do next.