Everything you need to know about GCSE results day 2024.

When is GCSE results day 2024? What should you do if you don’t get the right grades? We’ve answered all your questions and more in this helpful guide.

GCSE Guide: Young Woman wearing shades jumping in the air

Results day 2024

Feeling a bit nervous when results day is approaching is totally normal, and you’ll probably be sweating right now just reading this guide.

Like most things in life, preparation is the best way to alleviate those feelings of anxiety (and save your sweaty pits…), so we’ve put together an ultimate guide to GCSE results day.

Read on for everything you need to know, expect, prepare and do.

When is GCSE results day 2024?

Set your alarms! This year’s GCSE results day will happen on Thursday 22nd August 2024. Your school gets the results the day before, and you can collect them on Thursday morning.

I’m on holiday that day and won’t be able to pick up my results…

It’s OK! Not being able to pick up your results on the day isn’t going to affect what’s in them. Enjoy your well earned holiday. You’ve already done the hard work on your exams, picking them up is the easy bit – it can wait a few extra days. Here’s what to do…

What to do if you can’t collect them in person

Although the best option is to collect your results in person on the 22nd of August, this might not be possible for you. In this case, you should talk to your form teacher or tutor and make a plan:

  • Arrange in advance to receive your results via email or post. 
  • Arrange for a family member to collect them for you (don’t forget they’ll need ID!).
  • Ask if your school has an online portal where exam results are posted (requires a login).
GCSE Results Day

What to do before GCSE results day 

Follow these tips to feel prepared and ready to go when results day arrives. 

Ask about the collection time

The collection time is usually 10am, but this can vary depending on your school. Make sure you know when the collection time is and where exactly you will collect the results. You can also think about whether you’ll go alone or with friends – why not make plans to grab a Starbucks together after?

Prepare mentally with stress management techniques

Taking care of yourself is more important than anything else. You can approach GCSE results day with a clear head by:

  • Using breathing techniques: Breathing techniques are widely recommended for anxiety and stress management. Try the 5-5-5 method: breathe in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, and then release for 5 seconds. 
  • Practice good sleep hygiene: It might seem impossible to get a good night’s sleep when you’re a bundle of nerves, but it’s worth a shot so you feel calm on results day. Avoiding blue light, electronic devices, large meals and caffeine before bed might be helpful
  • Take your mind off things: Why not try a bit of good old-fashioned distraction? Head to the cinema, play some video games, enjoy some retail therapy or put your efforts into some exercise to keep your spirits high. 
  • Remind yourself that you’ll always have options: Let’s face it, your GCSE results aren’t the end of the world (just ask anyone older than you). You have plenty of options no matter what grades you achieve, like resits, work experience, apprenticeships and T Levels to get where you want to be.

Have fun and enjoy yourself!

You’re on your summer holidays after a really hard year of work and exams. Try to enjoy your time off as best you can without your GCSE results looming over you. We know it’s difficult, but you’ll soon be busy again, so enjoy the slow down!

What to do on GCSE results day 

Beep beep! You’re alarm’s going off, and the 24th of August has come around way too soon. Make sure you know exactly what’ll happen on the day: you will arrive at the school on Thursday morning and head to the allocated area. You’ll sign in and show some form of ID, then, after months of waiting one of your teachers will give you your results.

After that, you are free to head home or stick around the school to discuss any queries you may have (and take a few pictures with friends).

That’s it! Here’s a simple guide to what you can expect on the day. 

What should you take with you?

Fully charged phone: Don’t be caught short with no battery when you want to text your friends and family or take some pics.

School ID: You will need to prove who you are to collect your results envelope. 

Pen and notepad: If you need support and information from your teachers, it’s useful to pack a pen and notepad- although notes on your phone works too.

Sixth form/college contact details: You might need to speak to your sixth form/college on the day if you don’t get the right grades.

How will you get your results?

You will receive your results on a piece of paper in an envelope. The paper will show your overall grade for each subject, plus a breakdown of the grades you received in each exam, assessment or piece of coursework.

Your GCSE results certificates will come a bit later via post. These are nice to have, but you don’t need these as your future college or sixth form will have received digital confirmation of your results.

What is the new grading system?

You’ll probably be familiar with the new GCSE grading system by now, although your family might not be. The new scale is not exactly equivalent to the last one. If you need to explain the grading system to oldies, here’s a handy guide to show how it compares to the previous system:

New System (Introduced in 2014)Old Graded System (Introduced in 1986)
9A*
8high A /A*
7A
6B
5high C/B
4C
3D/E
2E/F
1F/G
U/ UngradedUngraded

What to do after GCSE results day

Finally, you’ve got your results! The day isn’t quite over yet, though. Here are a few scenarios that might happen when you open your results and what you should do.

Who should you speak to if you need support?

  • Subject teacher
  • Tutor or form teacher
  • School counsellor
  • Careers advisor
  • Friends and older pupils (e.g. your school’s head boy and head girl)
  • Parents/ caregivers
  • If you need anonymity, speak to charities like Young Minds, Place2Be and CAMHS

You don’t agree with your grades/you want to resit

Not happy with what you see in the envelope? Don’t worry, you have a few options.

You will have the option to resit some or all of your subjects to try for a better grade. After you’ve collected your results, discuss them with your subject teacher who can provide guidance and set your resit plans in motion. Here is some crucial information you need to know about resits:

  • Resit dates will vary depending on the subject and exam board. 
  • It’s usually free to resit unless you attend a private school. 
  • You can resit any exam by choice, but to continue into higher education you will usually have to resit your English and Maths if you get less than a grade 4. This can usually be done at college or sixth form, so you don’t worry, you don’t have to repeat a whole year!

Discuss these questions with your subject teachers to decide whether a resit is a good option for you:

  • How likely am I to get a higher grade if I resit this subject?
  • What studying and time will I need to dedicate to get a better grade?
  • Will the topics for this subject stay the same during the resit?

You want a remark

Think there’s been a mistake? Your subject teacher can help you organise a remark. Mistakes do sometimes happen, but it’s only recommended if the mark you got is way off your ideal grade. Follow your teacher’s advice, as they will have seen a lot of exam results!

Remember, there’s also a chance that your grade could go down as well as up. Here are some key facts about getting a remark:

  • You’ll have to pay for it, usually around £30. Sometimes this acts as a deposit and you will get the money back if your grade goes up. 
  • Remarks can take a while and may affect time-sensitive A Level, colleague or apprenticeship applications. 
  • Be sure to check remark submission deadlines on the exam board’s website. 

You got the grades you need – or even better!

Congratulations – it’s time to start preparing for your next big step and upcoming future. More importantly, enjoy some much-needed rest and relaxation over the holidays. Find a way to celebrate with your friends and family – we insist.

You don’t get the grades you need

That’s okay… it happens. If you can’t get into the right college or A Level courses with your current grades, don’t forget there are still a lot of exciting options available. Read more below. 

What paths can you take after GCSEs?

Your future is in your hands – it’s time to make it happen.

A great way to prepare for GCSE results day is to spend some time researching your post-high school options and choosing the best path for you.

College/sixth form

You can apply for a sixth form or college and select your own subjects to study over a 2-year period.

Usually, you’ll complete four AS Levels in the first year and drop one, then you’ll be ready to study three A Levels in your second year. Your GCSE results might affect the A Level subjects that you can study. However, with the wide range of subjects available, switching one for something else is unlikely to affect your future plans in any way. 

Apprenticeships

During an apprenticeship, you will take on a real job and study simultaneously. You’ll spend 80% of your time working and the remaining 20% (usually 1 day per week) at a university, sixth form or college. 

An apprenticeship is an awesome opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the real world of work. You can build your portfolio, knowledge and skills in the industry of your choice, network with experienced professionals, and earn money as you learn. 

If you want to go into an apprenticeship straight after your GCSEs you can. However, many people are now opting to pursue degree apprenticeships – these are real paying jobs that allow you to get a university degree without any of the associated debt.

How much can I earn with an apprenticeship?

You can earn some seriously great cash with an apprenticeship and start saving early for your future. The pay grade is between £17,000-£23,000 per year on average, plus you’ll get holiday pay and potential perks like bonuses. Take a look at our recent post to see the top 5 highest paying apprenticeships for 2024. 

What kind of apprenticeships can I do?

The short answer is: loads!

Read our industry guides to discover apprenticeships in STEM subjects like science and pharmacy and engineering; creative industries like media and journalism; and the public sector. 

What can I do with an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship will help you build solid foundations of knowledge and confidence ready to excel in your dream career. You could work in competitive industries like banking, cyber security and construction, for top companies like Coca-Cola, Amazon UK and the BBC.  

T Levels

A T Level qualification is equivalent to three A Levels.

T Levels are a new qualification that was introduced in September 2020. A T Level is sort of like the opposite of an apprenticeship: you study for 80% of the time and spend 20% completing an industry placement. 

T Levels are a great choice because they’re super flexible – you can split the on-the-job placement between two employers. On the learning side of things, you will finish the T Level with a qualification that has the equivalent amount of UCAS points to three A Levels. So they have a great competitive advantage if you fancy eventually doing a degree apprenticeship.

Read our ultimate guide to T Levels for more info. 

GCSE results day: An exciting opportunity to start a new chapter

Yes, GCSE results day is nerve-wracking. Yes, it’ll keep you awake at night and make you feel anxious. But once it’s over, you have the opportunity to start building your own future. Finally, you get to choose exactly what you want to learn and do – how exciting is that?

Rather than seeing GCSE results day as a grey cloud of nervousness, you can see it as a day for new beginnings, further education and choice.

Now, you’re in control.

Parents Zone: What should parents do on GCSE results day?

Let’s face it, your parents or guardians will be just as nervous as you are. Pass the screen over to the adults for this part, where we’ll show them exactly how they can support you on GCSE results day. 

Offering mental and emotional support 

High school is complex enough for young people, without the added pressures of exams and grades. While many students will be happy with their results, those who aren’t will likely feel disappointment, embarrassment and even guilt. 

It’s important to give them time and space to process their grades before striking up any serious conversations about it. By the time their GCSEs are over, your child probably doesn’t feel like a child anymore – whether that’s a good or bad thing. Either way, you’ll need to support them in navigating their own path rather than telling them what to do next. 

Who should you speak to if you need help on the day?

If you have questions on or about GCSE results day that your child can’t answer, contact the school reception, their form teacher or the Exam Results Helpline (0800 100 900). 

How to discuss options if your child doesn’t get the right grades

  • Speak to the school – Your child’s form teacher, tutor or subject teachers will be the best people to contact. 
  • Consider their resit options – Resits aren’t always the best choice for students, as they may feel like they’re falling behind their friends. For this reason, discuss the viability of a resit with your child and their teachers. 
  • Consider other sixth forms/colleges – If your child is dead set on doing their A Levels, they’re probably dead set on attending the same college as their friends, too. If they don’t get the grades to attend their sixth form/college of choice, do some research on other highly rated education options in the area and remind them that they can still hang out with the same group of friends whenever they like. 
  • Research apprenticeships and T Levels – A Levels are not the only path, and apprenticeships have changed drastically over the last decade or so. Hey, we’ve even got T Levels now! Make sure you are prepared to discuss other options with your child by completing plenty of independent research on the different options they could take. Scroll to the top of this guide to explore all the info you need. 

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