Can You Retake Your GCSEs at Any Age?

In GCSE by Think Student Editor1 Comment

It is no secret that GCSEs are difficult and have much stress and anxiety come along with them. It is therefore no surprise that about 35.6% of students in England don’t manage to get a grade 4 in GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths. There is no shame in this, which is why the government has made it possible for you to retake your exams. But if you want to move on from your GCSEs and retake them years later, can you? 

In short, yes you can retake your GCSEs at any age. You can even retake your GCSEs as many times as you want. For GCSE Maths and English, it is compulsory to retake if you do not get a pass grade. This is a grade 4 in the new 9-1 grading system.

If you are interested in learning more about retaking your GCSEs and all the rules and requirements for them then you should read on.

Can You Retake Your GCSEs at Any Age?

Generally, students sit their GCSEs when they are in Year 11 (Usually 16 years old). If you don’t pass or don’t get the grades that you want or require then you are able to re-sit them.  

You can retake your GCSEs at any age, you can even do this as many times as you would like, although there is likely to be a fee involved. This means that you can even retake your GCSEs as an adult. Click this link if you want to find out more.  

You may want to retake specific GCSEs if you are looking for a career change or simply because feel much more prepared to do them than you initially did. 

The ability to re-sit your GCSEs gives you a great opportunity to study what you really want to, giving you a lot more freedom than you would likely have if you took them during secondary school. 

Is Retaking GCSEs Compulsory?

For most GCSEs, retaking is not compulsory, regardless of whether you get a pass (grade 4) or not. But for required subjects, you will have to retake the exams until you get a grade 4, until you get to 18. 

Both GCSE English Language and GCSE Maths are compulsory subjects. You must re-sit these exams if you do not achieve a pass grade (grade 4) if you want to progress onto further and higher education.

How Can You Retake Your GCSEs?

First of all, you have to decide how you want to retake your GCSEs. Do you want to retake your GCSEs at a local college or the school you already went to? You can also study for them privately online. Both options have their own benefits, and it is important that you find the best option for you. 

If you are under the age of 18 and you didn’t get a grade 4 in either GCSE English or Maths, then you will have to retake these compulsory qualifications at school or college. More details can be found here.  

If you attend a sixth form or college and are studying for a level 3 qualification (A-levels or BTECs) alongside your GCSE retakes, then you will be able to re-sit your exams at your sixth form college, click here to find out more. You may also be able to take evening classes or other options to make re-studying for your exams more flexible. This can be especially beneficial if you work during the day.  

You also have the option to re-sit your exams privately. This can be done as a private candidate. To find out more about sitting your exams privately check out this article.

In both cases, you will have to do the exams in person at the same time as all other students (May and June or re-sit exams in November and January). If you are a private candidate then you will have to arrange this by yourself. You will also have to pay exam fees as a private candidate, but these will vary depending on the exam centre. For more information, check out this article. 

Why Should You Retake Your GCSEs?

There are many reasons why people choose to retake their GCSEs. If you are thinking about retaking them, you probably have your own reasons that may even be different to the ones here. But you can look at the following reasons for retaking GCSEs to understand their importance a little bit more. 

One reason why people retake their GCSEs is because of the expectations they have for themselves to achieve a particular grade. As you probably know, sitting exams in a massive hall in strict conditions is extremely stressful. For some people it can lead to them not getting the results that they had hoped for or even expected of themselves.  

In scenarios like this, retaking your GCSEs can give you another chance to prepare yourself for the exam and do it all over again. With this second chance, you are more likely to be able to achieve your target grade. So, retaking your GCSEs is definitely a great idea if you don’t get the grade that you want the first time. 

Retaking Exams Because of Further Education

A big reason why retaking your GCSEs can prove to be exceptionally useful is because of going on to study further. When continuing to study after finishing your GCSEs many courses will have certain grade requirements, or a certain number of GCSEs to allow you to do the course. This is the case whether you are to study A-levels, a vocational course, or some other level 3 qualification. Therefore, retaking your GCSEs can give you more opportunities to do what you want to after you finish them and even give you more chances in life. 

One chance that this can give you is going on to higher education and going on to study at university, or some other higher-level courses.  If this is what you want to do, retaking your GCSEs may even be essential. With these level 3 qualifications (at the appropriate grades) you can meet the entry requirements for university, or other types of higher education.  

Retake Exams to Increase Your Options in the Future

Retaking your GCSEs can give you more opportunities in the future, even if you don’t want to continue studying. In the UK, you have to stay in education until the age of 18. Because of this you can’t just get a full-time job, even if you don’t do as well in your GCSEs as you would have liked. Click here to find out more. 

If you don’t want to continue studying, you could do an apprenticeship. These will give you real experience and help you work towards a career of your choice. When doing an apprenticeship, you can get paid and you won’t need to study quite as much as you would for A-levels or BTECs. Click here to find out more about apprenticeships.

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