As students journey through secondary school, their thoughts may turn to GCSEs. There may be questions on how they work, the examination process, and various other concerns and issues. Students may also feel the pressure of these vital exams and ask themselves, is this something they can do online? Is it truly possible to sit these major exams at the touch of a keypad? Fear not, this article will answer your questions.
To put it briefly, GCSE exams cannot be taken online, but in the sense that the actual exams aren’t done online. However, it is entirely possible to study practically every GCSE exam course online. In fact, there are tens if not hundreds of different websites where you can apply to learn the content online and sit the GCSEs in an exam centre.
While this may have given you a brief overview on online GCSE exams, it may also be helpful to read on for a more detailed explanation.
Table of Contents
Can GCSE exams be taken online?
In short, no, the exams themselves cannot be sat online. However, the studying process and the courses required for GCSEs can absolutely be done online.
All the syllabus learning for GCSEs can be done online thanks to advances in online learning over the past few decades. It’s a lot less hassle-free in terms of buying books and various other physical materials, luckily!
Once enrolled with a particular teaching body, candidates will have access to all their interactive course materials. Typically, the online course is done with a tutor along the way, which is really helpful because there’s practically guaranteed support!
You can do all the studying online; just not the examinations! In order to sit the exams, you need to attend an examination centre, which requires an application as a Private Candidate.
This process is simple – only needing a form and ID to register you with the awarding body. Then, no worries, because the examination centre will also give you the time and dates for the exams (usually held in May/June).
Who Studies for their GCSEs online?
GCSEs can be studied online by anyone. However, those who learn their GCSEs online are typically those who are homeschooled, adults, people who may otherwise be indisposed or those retaking their GCSEs.
learning GCSEs online is accessible for those who may not be well enough to attend secondary school on a regular basis, or are homeschooled. Generally, all the candidate really needs is Wi-Fi, a computer, and a way to get to an examination centre.
Obviously, it may be daunting for those resitting exams (like adults) to be stuck learning with a bunch of children who are learning on the same level. That’s why learning GCSEs online is very helpful! It’s a way for private candidates (those who sit their GCSEs exams and study somewhere other than secondary school) to learn without feeling daunted by others.
Retaking exams with online GCSE courses is also a great way to get better grades if you were dissatisfied with your results! There is an unfortunate stigma that retaking GCSEs is bad and should be avoided, when in reality it is an obvious path to take if the grade you wanted or needed didn’t match up with the results.
It also shows dedication and discipline to future employers and universities, so there is no need to fret about that! Online GCSE courses are fully accredited, as they come from the same awarding bodies as anyone else’s.
To read more about the process of applying for GCSE exams as a private candidate, check out this article from Think Student!
What are the benefits of learning your GCSEs online?
Of course, it’s important to note that learning GCSEs online will come with both advantages and drawbacks. If you’re considering applying as a private candidate it’s important to make a balanced decision.
An advantage of studying online is how accessible they are for those who can’t attend secondary school. Learning online is a lot more flexible in terms of syllabus learning, therefore there’s really no need to put your whole life on hold for exams. A flexible schedule also means a more balanced and healthier lifestyle!
Additionally, a large percentage (if not all!) of the online GCSE syllabus providers will have numerous different interactive materials that are specially developed for private candidates. As well as this, candidates will have access to tutors that can provide a tonne of support along the way!
Moving to study GCSEs online can also help improve the focus of the candidates as well. Online lessons are free from disruptions and distractions. Teachers can use a number of different ways to engage their pupils with the content.
To read more about the benefits of online GCSEs, check out this article from World Schools.
What are the drawbacks of learning your GCSEs online?
One main drawback is that the prices for each GCSE course can turn out to be quite steep when summed up. State secondary school pupils don’t pay for their GCSEs since the government funds them.
On the other hand, private candidates (especially those studying all their subjects online) need to step up and pay out of pocket the platforms they use to learn. This doesn’t even include the actual exam fees which are usually calculated separately!
Also, school typically plays a large role in everyday life when socialising. Students who do their GCSEs online may experience isolation. However, the flexible schedule allows time off to spend with friends!
Some candidates may also focus better in school than in online learning since at home there may not be enough space, or the urge to procrastinate is there.
If you want to learn about the pros and cons of online learning, click here for an article from eLearning Industry!