The Definitive Guide to GCSE Results and Results Day


Every parent wants their child to reach their full potential with their GCSE’s but making sense of the results isn’t always easy.

We’ve pulled together a definitive guide to GCSE results and results day to support families during this time.

Understanding GCSE 9-1 marks and grades

Curious about how the GCSE grading system works? Here’s how the numbers work across the different exam boards and what their equivalents would be…

  • 9 = A*
  • 8 = low A* / high A
  • 7 = A
  • 6 = B
  • 5 = low B / high C (strong pass)
  • 4 = C (standard pass)
  • 3 = between grades D and E
  • 2 = between grades E and F
  • 1 = between grades F and G
  • U = U (fail)


*Please note that Wales, Scotland and NI will differ*


Why a new grade scale has been introduced

The new GCSE grade system was created to allow more differentiation among the higher grades. Now, grades between 4-6 cover what was grades B and C and grade 7-9 cover what was A* and A. Given the new changes, only around 20% of students who achieve a grade 7 or higher will be able to achieve a grade 9. This creates more distinction among the highest earning students.


What is the GCSE pass mark?

The standard pass mark for the GCSE is a 4 and a strong pass is a 5. Although getting a 4 will across all your exams will allow you to pass the GCSEs, some colleges require minimum grades of a 5 or a 6 as entry requirements for their institutions. It is important to identify early on which universities you will be aiming for to understand what grades they require.


Changes to GCSE exams for 2022

There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic caused a lot of disruption to our lives. Although the pandemic is still among us, it has been decided that the National exams will go ahead this year across the UK. Having said that, it has been announced that the GCSE and A-level exams will be graded more generously taking into consideration the massive disruption the pandemic has caused to students’ education across the country.

As a result of the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, students were assessed based on grades given by their teachers and not by sitting for exams. Although this will not proceed this year, it has been announced that grade boundaries will be more flexible in England, Scotland, and Wales. Dr Jo Saxton, Ofqual chief regulator, said that there will be a set mid-point between the grading styles pre-pandemic and during the pandemic. This assessment will provide a “safety net” for students who will be readjusting to taking exams once again.



The importance of mock GCSE exams

One of the best ways to study for the GCSE exams is to practice sitting mock exams. Mock exams provide  very beneficial training for students to put themselves under the exam pressure and solve given a set timings. This allows students to test their skills and identify their weak points and the areas they need to work on the most.

Although GCSE mock exams provide one of the best revision methods, there are ample others that you can try out. Have a look at our GCSE revision guide for more tips.


GCSE results day

Everyone waits for GCSE results day, but everyone is nervous about them! Having these mixed feelings about exam day is completely normal. Waiting for your results to come out can be very nerve-wracking and stressful, but no matter what happens with your results, there’s no need to panic.

Take your time to think about your scores and what this could mean for you. A lower score on the GCSE exam doesn’t have to mean that you’ve failed. At the end of the day, what truly matters is how much you were able to grow and learn from the entire journey.


When is GCSE results day 2022?

The GCSE exam results day is announced to be on August 25th 2022.


How will I receive my results?

The GCSE exam results are typically available to pick up from your school early in the morning. This is subjective to each school, so make sure you ask about the best possible way to pick up your results from the school. You can also access your GCSE exam results online.


What do my results mean?

The top grades for the GCSE exams range between 7-9, with only 20% of students achieving a grade of 9. If you get a grade of 5-6, this means that you have a strong pass and if your grade is 4, then you have a standard pass. Unfortunately, if you receive a grade below 4, this means you have not passed the GCSE exam.


When will I get my GCSE certificate?

Typically, the GCSE certificate will be sent to the school 3 months after the results day. Having that said, once you get your results, you can start making plans about any future courses if you want to.


Disappointing results: what are my options?

Most young people will experience a disappointing GCSE grade or GCSE exam result.

It can be especially hard to deal with the disappointment when your child feels they have put everything into the exam.

  • Firstly it’s important for your child to know they are not alone. Don’t try and analyse what went wrong immediately or jump to appealing the result. Give your child and yourself time to accept that it didn’t go to plan.
  • Challenges like this will come along in life and it’s a test of our resilience to be able to pick ourselves up and move forward.
  • Do something that makes your child feel good and when some of the emotion has died down discuss what the next steps might look like.
  • Make a plan together of what the new path forward looks like.


Dealing with GCSE stress can be difficult, so it is very important that you are constantly taking care of your mental wellbeing. Find out more about how to deal with exam anxiety here. 


How to appeal your GCSE grades

If you think there’s a mistake in your exam grading, you can always appeal your child’s GCSE grades.

First, you can ask your school to review the grade. If you still think there is a mistake, you can request that the school asks the exam board to appeal the exam board for you. You can finally appeal the grade by asking Ofqual to review it, which would be the last possible resort in the appeal process.

You can read more about the process here for England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.


GCSE resits

If your child is unsatisfied with their GCSE exam grade and/or the appeal, they will have the opportunity to resit the exam in the following series. It is highly recommended that you speak with your tutor or teachers at school to identify whether this is the right step for your child.


Advice on GCSE resits

Retaking an exam should not be perceived negatively. Instead, you should perceive it as another chance for your child to attain their desired score and to take them a step closer to what they would like to achieve.


Beyond GCSEs: Next steps

What grades do you need to get into sixth form?

The entry requirements to get into sixth form is that you achieve GCSE grades of 4-9 in all of your subjects. This entry requirement is set so that the level of students entering can be matched across the country.


Do universities look at the GCSE results?

The short answer is that it highly depends. Some universities will only consider the grades you get for your A-levels. However, other universities, especially those that are more competitive, could look at your GCSE scores to understand how your academic achievement has been going over the years. It is important that you understand the requirements for the universities you are intending to apply to to have the full picture.

Some universities will only look at your A-level grades and your application before they consider accepting you. But at more competitive universities, they will look at your GCSE results to see how consistent your academic career has been.


Discover our GCSE maths programme

You now know the most important information about the GCSE’s. Have a look at our GCSE maths tuition programme and talk to us about your needs.

It’s never too late or too early to begin, the most important thing is that you take a step forward!


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