“I’m Worried My Child Is Failing. How Do GCSE Resits Work?”


  1. What are GCSE resits? 
  2. Can you retake GCSEs at any age?
  3. How to resit GCSE
  4. How much do GCSE resits cost?
  5. Tips for GCSE resits

There can be a number of reasons as to why your child didn’t do well on their GCSE exams. In some cases, they may be required to take GCSE resits. Maybe they got anxious; maybe they felt underprepared; maybe it just wasn’t their day. Regardless, a failure like this can be very mentally taxing for students.

Over the past year especially, students have found it difficult to adjust to Covid-era academics. This new mode of examinations ended up putting a lot of students on the spot, leading to unsatisfactory GCSE results. So, can you resit a GCSE exam? 

While GCSE examinations are certainly a cornerstone moment in any student’s academic life, not doing well on them is not the end of the road for your children. Students who fail GCSE examinations during their first attempt can re-take them using the resit provision.

At the same time, students who have passed the examinations and are just dissatisfied with their performance can also apply for resits. They are, however, advised to make the decision after discussing it with their parents and teachers. 

So what exactly are GCSE resits? How many times can you resit a GCSE? In this article, we’ll answer these questions and other important FAQs. Keep on reading to learn more! students opening gcse resit results

What are GCSE resits?


GCSE resits are exams that children can retake if they fail their original GCSE attempt or are unsatisfied with the results. These exams are usually held in November (2021’s dates were November 1, 2021, to December 3, 2021).

To make the process more convenient, the GCSE resits are conducted in the same exam centre as the students’ original GCSE attempt in two rounds: starting at 9 am and 1:30 pm, respectively. These winter slots, however, are not the only ones available. Students who are willing to wait for the next school term can resit GCSEs along with the next batch of students. 

Can you resit GCSE exams? 

Your children might be required to take a GCSE resit if they score below a 4 (previously a C) in Maths and English. Here’s a detailed list of criteria for GCSE resit applicants: 

  • Below par score (according to government standards) in GCSE exams 

According to UK’s government legislation, if your kid scores anything below a C in Maths and/or English, they will have to take the GCSE resit to apply for further formal education. So the answer to can you retake GCSEs at any age is a resounding yes!

Can you retake science GCSEs? While the students can apply for resits in other subjects, it is worth checking if they actually need to do so. Many colleges take applications with incomplete scorecards and encourage students to take resits for other subjects while studying for A-levels (or equivalent).
  • For A-levels or specific college courses 

Students who wish to continue to study for their A-levels or equivalent college courses can think of taking a GCSE resit, although it isn’t mandatory. Specific courses in a reputed college might require applicants to maintain a certain level of GCSE grades. If your child’s heart is set on a certain grade, they can take a GCSE resit to improve their grade average. 

Important Note : 

  • Students are only allowed to resit for an individual subject once. The better of the two grades is then selected as the final GCSE score for the applicant. 
  • Every subject (excluding Maths and English) can be swapped for another subject during a resit. Think Biology was a wrong choice? You can resit for History and make that test count!

Is resitting GCSE bad?

Not at all. Resitting GCSEs should not be seen as a failure. Rather, it is an opportunity for your children to improve their grades and increase their chances of studying at university. It can even help them learn things that they missed last time. Targeted practice and revision can help students strengthen their fundamentals, helping them throughout their A-level and college courses too!

Resitting GCSE exams can help your child in the following aspects: 

  • Meeting the requirements for higher education
  • Improving applications for jobs and apprenticeships
  • Adding value to their CV
  • Diversifying career choices
  • Trying out new subjects 


Can you retake GCSEs at any age?


Luckily, you can retake GCSEs at any age. GCSE exams are typically meant for 14 to 16-year-old students; however, given the intensity of the exam, your kids have the option to delay them if they believe they need more time

Every single subject on your child’s GCSE course allows two attempts (one general and one resit) before the applicant has to retake the entire course again. They can, however, retake the course as many times, with as many subject combinations as they want. 


How to resit GCSE? 🤔


If your kid has decided to retake a GCSE, they have a number of options to choose from. Authorities allow students to resit GCSEs as both a school candidate and as a private candidate. The child and their parents are free to decide which option suits them best. 

  • Resitting at a local school

Your kids can retake the GCSEs through school. They will have a standard timetable, attend the classes, and take the GCSE exams alongside other current GCSE students. 

The school management is free to decide the plan on conducting classes for candidates who are retaking GCSEs. While some run special classes that offer quicker and more in-depth revision for repeaters, others require the students to retake the entire year.

It should be noted that while students who opt to resit through their school are allowed to do so in the winter, the school might not offer extra classes to help as the school term would’ve already ended by then. While some schools offer classes for Maths and English resits in the winter, it is a good idea to double-check this with your local school.
  • Resitting privately

If your child doesn’t feel the need to study the entire GCSE course again, they can consider studying online or hiring a tutor and retake the GCSEs as a private candidate. GoStudent tutors are the perfect fit if you decide to hire an online tutor. They are experts in their field and have extensive teaching experience, especially when it comes to revision for GCSEs.

Online classes come with many benefits. The schedules are more flexible, and children aren’t tied to a timetable. This means your kids can retake the GCSEs at a pace that works for them. This is especially helpful for children who do not want to wait for the next term and opt for the winter resits instead. The extra classes offered by schools for these batches might not be enough to prepare them sufficiently. School classes also tend to be large and hence, fail to provide targeted practice.

Hiring a1:1 online tutor and working with them is a great strategy, especially when it comes to GCSE revision. GoStudent provides high-quality one-on-one tutoring from professionals. This individualised learning can help your kids focus on the specifics and study as per their needs. Book a free trial with one of our wonderful GoStudent tutors now.

How much do GCSE resits cost?


GCSE resits cost applicants two types of fees: A course fee - which is charged by the school that your children choose to retake their courses with, and an exam fee - which is charged by the examination centre. 

  • Course fees

Schools and colleges charge approximately £1,000 per subject for this. However, If your child isn’t required to take classes but just needs help with a few challenging topics, you can also use tutoring services like GoStudent, which offer curated one-on-one tutoring services for a wide range of subjects. This gives you the option of only paying for the lessons your child needs help with. 

If your child chooses to skip the school term and take the resit as a private applicant, their course fees depend purely on the tutoring/academic mentoring they use. 


  • Check with your schools for Maths and English course fees as students below a C in these subjects are usually not required to pay any fees for a GCSE resit. 
  • Students above the age of 16 can study for the resit at local learning centres for free! We recommend doing some research in your local area and checking if your children are eligible. 
  • Exam fees

All students have to pay to resit their science GCSEs privately, while all other exams depend on whether they are registered school applicants. The exact cost of each exam is set by the exam centres themselves, so this can vary a lot in price, but you can expect to pay upwards of £100 per exam for GCSEs and IGCSEs. It is best to contact multiple exam centres close to your house and check for prices before choosing one. 


Tips for GCSE resits


Resitting GCSEs can be a tedious process. Students have to go through the same classes as last year and also manage their current schedules. Here’s a list of tips that will help your child streamline their revision and maintain motivation while studying: 

  • Analyse mistakes

Mistakes help us grow. They help us understand our shortcomings so that we can work on them.

Your kids should spend a significant amount of time analysing where they fell short last year, both in class and in the exam papers.

If your kid performed poorly because of time management during exams, they could focus on strategies to finish all the questions in time. A great way to learn from mistakes is by highlighting the areas where marks were the lowest. These subject areas can then become the focal point of your child’s revision strategy.
  • Prioritise topics

Your kids sat through many classes last year. They could have fully understood some concepts, but they might have problems with others. The key is that they use this time to learn from their weaknesses and solidify their strengths.
  • Revise, revise, revise!

Our memories aren’t one hundred percent reliable. Your child might feel that they don’t need to focus on chapters that they already understood the first time around. However, they may very well have forgotten what they learned last year. It is, therefore, essential that they revise everything to make sure that they don’t forget important concepts during exams. 

  • Create a routine ⏰

It can be very tough for children to manage their time, particularly when it comes to revising for exams. Extra coursework and classes could easily drain and overwhelm them. Therefore, it is crucial to set a routine and stick to it.

During exam season, it’s more important than ever for your child to stick to a regular bedtime, eat well, and make time for self care. This can help them maintain a healthy balance so they can juggle their work and not become overwhelmed.

While GCSE resits might seem daunting, it is important to remember that it is not the end of the world. Students who resit GCSEs can still get into excellent colleges if they have the grades and confidence to back their applications. 

Preparing for a GCSE resit is all about strategy. With the right plan of action, students can utilise their time well and get through their resits as stress-free as possible.

At GoStudent, we offer best-in-class tutoring in all GCSE subjects. Complete with targeted practice and flexible one-on-one tutoring, our courses are designed to give your children the extra help they need. Private tutoring can help your children identify their pain points and work on them to improve their GCSE scores. This makes it an extremely successful study strategy when it comes to preparing for resits. 

With GoStudent, your children can ace their resits and eventually apply for the universities they’ve been dreaming of attending. If you are interested, book a free trial now.  

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