As the GCSE exam period slowly approaches, students will no doubt have questions about the process of the exams. Students may also be concerned about various scenarios to do with the exams, such as the exam rules and what happens if they can’t make it. Another question students may have is what happens if they walk out of their exams.
In short, walking out of a GCSE exam without being permitted to by invigilators typically means disqualification and failure for that exam. For instances like going to the toilet or being sick, the invigilators will escort the candidate out of the hall. Overall, schools and examination centres will typically have different procedures in place regarding walking out.
While this may have given you a surface level answer on what happens when you walk out, the rest of the article may provide a more in-depth answer!
Do you fail if you walk out of a GCSE exam?
If you are not permitted to walk out, and you walk out anyway, it will most likely result in a disqualification of the candidate and failure.
In some cases, when a student is very ill and needs to leave the exam hall, the invigilators would have to escort the candidate out of hall. However, the candidate will generally be still held on the premises to avoid communication with someone starting the exam at a later time.
For instances where the candidate needs the toilet, the candidate has to indicate to the invigilator for assistance. The candidate will then be escorted to and from the toilet.
To put it briefly, it is only possible to walk out of the exam hall and if there is an invigilator or a member of staff to escort the candidate, or if it is the end of the exam at the Key Time and the invigilators allow the candidates to leave. To learn more about this, check out the heading below.
Can you leave a GCSE exam early?
In short, no! Candidates cannot leave the GCSE exam hall early since there are other candidates still doing their exams.
Candidates can only fully leave the GCSE exam after the exam session has ended and the invigilators have allowed the candidates to leave. Check out this answer from Cambridge Assessment International Education to read more about when candidates can leave the exam hall!
What happens if you miss a GCSE exam?
The first thing the candidate must do if there is a possibility of missing the exam is immediately informing the school or exam centre so they can advise the candidate on what to do.
If there are extenuating circumstances and the student qualifies for “special consideration”, the student will receive a percentage of their current grade in the subject they missed.
However, if the student does not qualify for special consideration, and the exam is missed completely, the student will fail.
If the student hasn’t missed the exam completely, as in arriving late, there is a possibility of still being able to sit the exam, although the student will not receive any extra time for the exam.
To read more about what happens when you miss an exam, you can check out this article from Think Student that can provide you with more in depth information on the topic.
But what happens after failing the exam?
There is always the possibility of retaking the exam next year. In fact, you can retake GCSEs as many times as you wish, and at any age past Year 11. To learn more about retakes check out this Think Student article.
Retaking your GCSEs is also an option for those dissatisfied with their grades, not necessarily only for those who failed.
How can it be done? You can study the GCSE course online and register with an exam centre to sit the GCSEs next year. With the introduction of better online learning, retaking and studying for GCSEs online is easier than ever!
As a private candidate, you have to pay for both the exam and the platform you use to study for the exam. This can be a drawback, especially if there are multiple exams you need to retake.
To find out more about sitting GCSE exams privately, check out this article from Think Student!