Picking up GCSE results is a nerve-wracking experience, and it’s totally natural to feel that way. Every person, no matter how cool they try to appear on the outside, feels the same way. The key is preparing for the day and doing the things you need to do to stay as relaxed and calm as possible. Always be as prepared as you can be by studying core GCSE subjects as thoroughly as you can with School Exams GCSE practice papers.

With this in mind, let’s look over what you can expect from GCSE results day.

Be Prepared

Decide beforehand how you want to open your results. This might be with a group of friends, or you might want to do it alone. Either option is completely reasonable but be sure about what you want to do and don’t worry about other people. It’s an important day and it’s your choice how you go about it.

Ensure your phone is fully charged in case you want to call parents, friends or even grab some photos to remember the big day. A phone is also important in case you need to do some on-the-spot calculations relating to your marks.

Finally, bring some form of photographic ID with you. Chances are you won’t need it, but it’s better to have it and not need it than the alternative option.

The Grades

Under the marking format introduced in 2017, English language, literature and mathematics are graded on a 1-9 structure, with other subjects still marked A*-G. Some schools have made the change already, whilst some are still in the process of making the switch, so be fully aware in advance of your school’s policy.

7, 8 and 9 grades mean your result falls in the A-A* category. 4,5 and 6 fall in the B/C range, with a 6 being a strong passing B. 1,2 and 3 grades correspond to D, E, F and G grades, with a 1 being equivalent to a G grade.

Most sixth-form colleges will look for a minimum of a grade 4/5 in these core subjects.


If you didn’t get the grades you wanted, it’s important not to panic.

A grade lower than 4 or 5 in English language, literature or mathematics will qualify you for an automatic resit, which will take place in November in most schools.

For other subjects where you get a low final GCSE grade, you may be allowed to proceed onto your chosen higher courses with GCSE resits to come the following summer. Many schools will offer this, but it’s important to find out specific details from your own before you reach this point.

Whatever happens, you still have plenty of options and the time to make the best of your GCSEs. Just remain calm and have a plan in place.