This time of year is typically one when both parents and teens are biting their nails, waiting for the GCSE results to come out Every year the papers are filled with stories of exams being too hard, record results (good or bad) and horror stories - and suddenly, any bravado that might have been present at exam time is long gone as you wait to see if all that work has
What happens if the grades your child has worked so hard for are not quite what you were hoping for and expecting?
First things first: don’t panic. If your child was offered a place in sixth form or college based on their grades, and they’ve not quite hit the mark, it’s always worth speaking to them any way. They may make allowances if your child has only missed out by one grade but all of their other grades are sound, or they may allow your child to attend on the proviso they re-sit a certain subject.
Flexibility around GCSE grades for entrance to A Level courses will depend on how many students have achieved the required grades and confirmed their place. If you find that your child is not the only one with a lower than predicted grade, it may well be that the course is not as full as you had thought. It’s important to call as early as possible to see what the
situation is, and whether there’s a way your child can still attend.
Even if your child does obtain a place at the school or college of their choosing, they may still wish to re-sit certain subjects if they think they can achieve a better grade. GCSE results can still be important when it comes to gaining entry to university, especially if they want to study something competitive at that level.
Most people will agree that the most important thing is to achieve a C or above in English and Maths as both of these are often required by universities and potential employers. If your child has missed out on a C grade in either of these subjects - especially if only by a narrow margin - it is worth enquiring about re-sits. Many sixth forms and colleges will offer classes
to help students re-sit, especially in English and Maths.
If your child has managed to get onto their chosen course, and their English and Maths grades are good, then lower grades in other subjects are not necessarily a major problem. They may feel that they want to re-sit science, for example, if they are hoping to go on to study it at university - but there is no need to re-sit exams just for the sake of having good grades.
If your child has received much lower grades than expected, and is not able to attend the sixth form or college of their choice, it can feel like the end of the world - especially if you had invested a lot of time and money in supporting their learning. It’s important to remember though, that there are plenty of other colleges or sixth forms out there that may allow them
onto their chosen course.
This may also be the time to discuss taking a year to go back and re-sit all of their exams and try again for A Levels next year. There are many places that will allow your child to re-take the entire year, and although there are obvious cost implications involved, it may just be what’s best for your child to take another year to really get to grips with what they’re doing.
GCSE results day can be stressful for all concerned, and it can be crushing to find that your child has not achieved the grades they had been aiming for. There are several options available though, and your child may find that things turn out better than expected in the long run.