How Long Do GCSE Results Stay on Record?

In GCSE by Think Student EditorLeave a Comment

Many students wonder how long their GCSE results stay on record – often because they want to know how long GCSE results are relevant for, or because they have lost their original certificates and need proof of their results. GCSE results are essential for applying to further education or getting a job; they prove that you have the grades you claim to have. That is why students need to know how long their results are kept by schools and exam boards, and also how long after the actual exams employers can check their results. 

In short, GCSEs are valid and held on record for life. Schools are required to keep GCSE certificates for at least 12 months after having received them from the exam boards – they may or may not decide to keep the results after this period is over. Exam boards generally keep a record of GCSE results going a long time back – practically forever – so it is even possible to trace the results of people who sat their exams decades ago. Due to this, employers can check your GCSE results long after you have sat them. However, GCSEs start to lose their value as you get older, so it is unlikely that employers will be too focused on them.  

Although now you must have a brief idea of how long GCSE results are kept on record; I would recommend reading the full article to get a better understanding of the bigger picture. We will be diving in to the details of how long GCSE results are stored and why any of it would matter to a student. 

How Long After Examinations Can Employers or Organisations Check Your GCSE Results? 

Often, students wonder how vital their GCSE results are to employers, and if they will be checked by them or not. But how long do employers actually care about GCSEs? 

Unlike a few other qualifications, GCSEs remain valid throughout your entire life. You can be asked about your GCSE grades at any stage of your career by any employer or organisation. This is one of the many reasons that you should work hard to achieve the best grades possible in your exams.  

Employers can verify your GCSE results at any point by contacting your old school or the relevant exam board. They may also ask you to provide your grades (and the evidence of them!) when you apply for a job.  

However, they are more likely to do this if you are applying shortly after your GCSEs or A-levels. Exam results are much more relevant closer to the actual exam sitting than later on. For example, employers at your first job may take a close look at your GCSE results, but a decade later, they may prefer to hire you based on your higher qualifications and work experience. 

If you would like to read more about how important GCSEs are to employers and institutions of further education, I would recommend that you read this useful article.  

If you are applying for a job decades after your GCSEs, employers may not feel the need to check your results. In such cases, it is not uncommon for them to request evidence of recent learning. Sometimes, they will ask you to do a short course to show you are still as capable as you were 20 or so years ago.  

It all depends on what you are applying for. Of course, it cannot be guaranteed that you will not need evidence of your GCSE grades, so it is always best to keep your GCSE certificates safe!  

How Long Do Schools Keep a Student’s GCSE Results on Record? 

Another common question among students is how long schools keep GCSE results for. 

Schools receive GCSE results on results day in August – and the certificates from exam boards about 2-3 months after that – and they are required to retain them for at least 12 months. After the period of a year is over, schools have an option to either send them back to the exam board or destroy them completely (if they have not been picked up by the student that they belong to).  

However, some schools may keep the certificates for a little (or a lot) longer than a year. Of course, this varies greatly from school to school depending on a number of factors, such as the amount of available storage space the school has.  

They may keep the results stored on a computer database for far longer than 12 months. Again, this can differ from school to school. 

If you would like to know more about how long schools keep GCSE certificates, I would recommend reading this helpful article. 

How Long Do Exam Boards Keep GCSE Results on Record? 

You may be curious about how long their results are kept with the exam boards. Basically, exam boards send the original GCSE certificates to schools, but they always keep copies of the results safely recorded in their database. 

They are generally kept for a lifetime – so their records go back a long way. The results can be found by simply contacting the exam board itself (which we will have a discussion about later on in this article). It is even possible to find your results with the correct exam board from as far back as the 1980s! 

This does mean that you don’t have to worry too much about your results being lost forever, even if you don’t have the certificates! However, keep in mind that getting your results from exam boards can sometimes be a long process, and it’s much easier to keep your certificates safe. 

Why Are Your GCSE Results So Important? 

We now know that GCSE results are valid for life, but how much do they matter? And why are they so important?  

In essence, GCSE results are very important especially as they help you determine what sixth-form college you can attend. Most colleges have specific GCSE result requirements. And it goes without saying that they are crucial when it comes to deciding what you are going to study for your A-levels. After that, they will play a part in your university or further study applications.   

However, their importance does not stop there. In fact, GCSE results can also be important for getting a job, especially if you do not have work experience. Employers are especially on the lookout for students with good grades in English and Maths, and GCSE results are often the only way to prove this. 

Of course, as I mentioned earlier, GCSE results get less relevant as you get older. This means that long after your GCSEs, employers would favour work experience and higher qualifications. In other words, once you have A-Levels or a degree, you have even more evidence of your academic achievements, and your knowledge will be much more specialised than it was at GCSE level, which is the thing that employers often look out for.  

However, do not mistake this to mean that your GCSE results will be of no use later on. There are many employers out there who may ask you for your GCSE results decades later, so it is crucial that you keep your certificates safe. Even if you are never required to provide them, it is better to have them in your possession just in case! 

What Should You Do If You Don’t Have Proof of Your GCSE Results? 

Losing your credentials can be an absolute nightmare, but as we have seen throughout the article, your results will still be on record somewhere – it is just a matter of finding them! If you are unfortunate enough to have lost your GCSE certificates, or never collected them in the first place, do not worry – all is not lost! If you need to recover your results, or proof of them, there are several ways that you can go about this.  

Firstly, you can try contacting your old school for your GCSE results – or the certificates if you have not collected them. Unfortunately, there is only a slim chance that they still have either the results or the certificates; that is why this method very rarely proves to be fruitful.  

Another option is to contact the exam board that you sat your exams with. Since exam boards keep a record of all GCSE results, they can provide you with replacement certificates or a Certified Statement of Results. There will be, however, a cost for this and the process can be very tedious. It is also something that cannot be left to the last minute, as it can take a significant amount of time for the exam boards to process your request.  

There are different ways to approach this, so if it something that you think you should read up on, I would recommend this useful articlewhich can act as a complete guide to finding out your old GCSE results.  

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