For students all over the country, GCSE results day marks the culmination of years of study and weeks of revision. For teachers and schools the results are equally important, as they impact league tables and Ofsted standings.
With this year’s results just hours away, we look at everything you need to know before the day itself.
When is GCSE results day 2019?
GCSE results day this year is today, 22 August, in England and Wales.
What time are the GCSE results released?
Students will be able to collect their results from their school or college in the morning from 10am.
Schools will be able to see GCSE exam results on most examining boards’ systems by 21 August, but these are for heads and the exams officer only.
For more details about post-result analysis for your centre, please refer to the exam board website using the links below.
It is advisable for students to bring with them any acceptance letters and the relevant contact details for any sixth form or college that they’re interested in attending, along with identification.
Those who are unable to collect their results in person can request in advance to receive them via email. These will be available from 8am. To receive your results via email, speak to your school or college.
Our news editor Will Stewart previews this year’s GCSE results day
Recent GCSE news and debate
It’s rare for a results day to pass without some degree of controversy. This year, results from an NEU poll seen by Tes showed that 54 per cent of teachers thought the newly revised GCSEs were less accurate than the previous system.
A leading student website yesterday warned users that an image of supposed GCSE maths grade boundaries was a fake. Leaks have become a common occurrence in recent years. Pete Langley, director of Study Help at the Student Room, said: “Now the awarding bodies hold [boundaries] for an extra 24 hours, the speculation has become even more frenzied.”
Leader of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference, Mike Buchanan, labelled the unreliable GCSE grades as dangerous after an Ofqual report highlighted serious inconsistencies within marking.
During the exams themselves one maths question may have appeared to be a somewhat familiar. A question from the Edexcel Maths paper three was almost identical to a question from an AQA revision textbook, the exam board has admitted.
The new 9-1 GCSE grades
For the third year, the GCSEs will be graded from 9 to 1 rather than A* to G. Although it’s difficult to map the two grading structures exactly, the DfE have issued the following table:
The way schools are judged has also changed to rely less on the number of children reaching grade C or above.
Schools will use a system called Progress 8 to measure how much progress a student has made during their time at the school.
GCSE grade boundaries are only set once all exam papers have been marked. This allows for any change in difficulty from one year to the next. The boundaries will only be made available at 6am on the morning of results day itself.
What if the results aren’t what a student expected?
If the student has a college or sixth-form place pending, you can request that the exam board completes a priority remark.
If the student does not have a college or sixth-form place pending, then you can request a copy of the marked paper, or a clerical check, or a review of marking. You can also recall a paper to support teaching and learning.
To get in touch with the relevant exam board, use the links below:
GCSE students in England and Wales can call a careers service helpline run by NiDirect, a government service on 0300 200 7820. It is open from 9:30am-4:30pm. You can also chat online or email via their website.
National 5 students in Scotland can call a separate helpline, 0808 100 8000. It is open 8am-8pm on results day and the following day.
How does the review work?
A review is sometimes called a “re-mark”. When reviewing any assessment, the board must arrange for a reviewer to consider whether the original marker made any errors.
If the reviewer finds a marking error, the reviewer’s mark will replace the original mark and the exam board must change the grade if necessary.
Any new mark and grade awarded after the review could be higher or lower than that originally given. If the reviewer does not find a marking error, the original mark must not be changed.
What do exam boards charge?
Exam boards can charge a fee for reviewing a mark and for considering an appeal.
They have to publish the fees they will charge and be clear about any circumstances in which they will not charge (for example, some boards won’t charge if the review results in a grade change).
What happens if a student needs to retake an exam?
Some resits will take place in November 2019 but these are restricted to entries for English language and maths, and you’ll need to resit all written exams.
For other subjects, your earliest resit opportunity will be in June 2020, and you will also need to resit all written exams. It is always best to check with your school for exact resit options for your specific subject as these will differ between examining bodies.
Moving on to A levels
For many students, GCSE results day marks the end of one era and the beginning of the next. Entry into a FE college or sixth form means a step up in study and a whittling down of subjects taken.
What if students miss out on their grades they need for their next step?
If a student has missed out on the grades that they needed to enroll onto the next course they had planned to do, the best course of action is to get in contact with the education provider (be that college, or sixth-form etc) and inform them of what grades have been achieved, and if applicable, update them with the extenuating circumstances, or requests for reviews of marking.
If the student has their offer withdrawn due to failure to secure their entry grades, then the student should contact other providers to see if they have spaces. Often, it is easier for the student to physically visit the sixth-form or college they wish to apply to rather than calling or emailing due to the fact that during the holidays many education establishments will not be fully staffed.
Top tips for students collecting GCSE results
If students are going to school to collect their results, there are a few things that they might find helpful to have with them. These are:
- Mobile phone
- Notepad/writing paper
- College/sixth-form paperwork
If students encounter any problems on the day, their teachers will be available to help.
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