Year 11 students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will soon find out how they performed in their GCSE exams, after what for many will have been an anxious couple of months. Teenagers will head to schools to collect their results next week - hoping for grades that will see them through to the next stage of their lives whether that involves A-levels, BTECs, an apprenticeship or employment.
But while for some results day can be an exciting time, for others it can be a stressful or anxious experience - especially after education experts predicted that some 300,000 fewer top grades could be awarded this year. This comes as examiners try to bring results back in-line with pre-pandemic levels, after record grades were achieved in 2020 and 2021 when marks were based on teacher assessments.
Last Thursday (August 17), when sixth form students received their A-level results, the number of top grades was down on 2022 - but still remained above those achieved in 2019, the last year before the pandemic. It is expected that the same will happen with GCSEs and, like with A-levels, the drop will be more noticeable for those in England - since examiners in Wales and Northern Ireland have said they do not plan to fully return grading to ‘normal’ until 2024.
So, with all that being said, NationalWorld has put together a guide of everything you need to know ahead of GCSE results day - including what date and time grades are released, what your marks mean, how to find out your results if you can’t make it to school, and more.
When is GCSE results day?
GCSE results day 2023 is on Thursday, August 24. Schools receive their students’ results the day before on Wednesday, August 23 which gives them a chance to check everything is in order and prepare to release grades to their students.
What time are results released?
Usually, students will be able to collect their results from their school from 8am. Some schools may choose to stagger this time - but parents and students will be informed of any change to the process ahead of results day.
What happens on the day?
Students can head to their school on results day - August 24 - and they will be directed to where they can pick up the envelope containing their results. It is not usually necessary to bring ID for collection, although some schools may suggest this.
You can open your results wherever you like. You may choose to do this on site so that you can celebrate with your friends afterwards, or so that your teachers are on hand to help if needed. However, you may choose to go home and find out your grades in private.
What if I am on holiday or can’t go to my school?
Students who are away on results day should let their school know as soon as possible so that alternative arrangements can be sorted. Some schools will email results to students, while others will allow a family member or nominated guardian to pick up the envelope on the student’s behalf.
How are GCSE exams graded?
GCSE exams used to be graded from A* through to E but from 2017, a numerical system was introduced - with students awarded grades from 1 to 9 in each subject. Scores of 9, 8, and 7 are generally equivalent to an A* and A, while scores of 5 and 4 are equivalent of a C. Meanwhile, a score of 1 is equivalent to a G.
What happens if I don’t get the results I want?
If things don’t go as plan, don’t panic - there are plenty of options available. Teachers will be available to discuss your next steps and can help you contact your sixth-form college if specific grades were required to be accepted.
If you think your grade may be wrong, you can ask your school to request a copy of your paper in order to check for errors in adding up marks. The deadline for this is Thursday, September 7.
If you think your grade may be wrong, but this is due to the examiner’s decision rather than administrative mistakes, you can request a review of marking. The deadline for this is Friday, September 28.
Alternatively, if your exams were marked correctly but you are not happy with your results, you can consider re-sitting. Re-sit exams take place in the autumn.
Bear in mind that if you do not achieve at least a grade 4 (formerly a C) in Maths and English, you will not be able to proceed to A-level.