Re-sitting your GCSEs can be time-consuming and expensive, but it can also boost your chances of accessing the university course or career that you’ve set your heart on. With GCSE results being released soon, here’s what you should consider when deciding whether or not to resit.


Do you need a better grade for your next step?

This is the most important question, and can be the deciding factor. If you need a better grade to take this subject at A-level, to get your apprenticeship, or whatever else you’re aiming for, then a resit is a no-brainer. 

Remember that GCSEs can be taken into consideration not just for A-level admission, but for university admission too. This is particularly valuable if you underperform at A-level; your GCSE results can be used to demonstrate your true potential. 

Will you get a better grade?

Time to be honest with yourself. Do you have the time, energy and enthusiasm to make sure you get a better grade? Do you understand what happened to get you the grade that you did? It’s worth speaking to your teachers to see if they agree with your assessment that you would perform better in a resit. 

In 2020, with GCSE results coming from teachers’ predictions rather than from exams, this question is particularly vital, as you can find out which factors informed their decision.  

Could you spend the time doing something with greater impact?

Resits aren’t cost-free. It’s not just that you have to pay for the exam; much more importantly, resits take time, often time that you would be better off spending on the next step of your school career, such as on the first months of your A-level subjects. For future university admission, ensuring your AS-levels are up to scratch or getting relevant work experience could have more impact than improving a GCSE grade. 

For some people, a missed GCSE grade represents a true fork in the road – for instance, if it prevents you from taking the A-levels that you need to pursue the university course of your choice, and from there the career of your dreams. For others, it’s an irritation that will soon be forgotten, superseded by all your subsequent achievements. In the thick of receiving your results, there’s a lot going on, but it’s worth taking time and care to think through which is more likely to be true for you and your goals for the future.


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