GCSE Results Day 2023: Be Prepared

The UK exam season has begun and many students are revising, taking tests, and connecting with their peers to let off steam. With all that in mind, it can be tough to look to the future and prepare for what’s next – GCSE Results Day 2023! That’s exactly why we’ve made this guide covering everything you need to know in order to best prepare for GCSE Results Day 2023.

Table of Contents:


When is GCSE Results Day 2023?

GCSE Results Day is on Thursday, August 24th in 2023. Usually, students are able to collect their results from 8am onwards at their school, although this may vary from school to school, so please make sure to confirm with your school, college or exam centre.

The last couple of years had different accommodations to take in any extra stress of the pandemic on students however, this is the first year since COVID that exams and results collection return to usual. But it’s still likely the first time you’ve ever picked up formal exam results – which can still be daunting!

Your grades can help you to progress onto A-Levels and other further study choices, so you can’t fully escape the stress of the day. But it’s important you manage your stress as best as possible and focus on enjoying summer. One technique for instant stress relief is, try slowing down.


How will GCSEs be graded in 2023?

Last year Ofqual confirmed a return to pre-pandemic grading for 2023 (yes that means the exams you’re currently sitting / have just sat), as part of their two year plan. Last year the grades were more lenient than pre-pandemic set as a “mid-point” between pre-pandemic boundaries and teacher assessment grades.

However, now that things are back to normal in schools your exams and results day should be a typical experience. This means there will be no pandemic leniencies on the marking like previous years, following Ofqual’s multiyear plan to return back to the pre-pandemic standards.

But, there will be protection for this cohort. Even though your cohort have not experienced national school and college closures during your 2 year courses of study, it’s still been understood that there has been disruption. Therefore, this year grading will include an allowance for this disruption so that overall results will be similar to those of 2019. Read more on how GCSEs will be graded in 2023.

It is important to note that there is no limit to the number of students that can receive a certain grade, the grade that you will get will reflect your hard work that you have put into your exams, to add to this all exam are marked by independent examiners to reduce bias and they follow the same mark scheme written by the exam board, also Ofqual designs it to make sure it is no easier or harder to get specific grades across the different exam boards.


How do I receive my GCSE results in 2023?

Many students pick up their GCSE results in person, often from their school. This is usually from 10am onwards however, it can vary from school to school, so make sure you confirm directly with your school, college or exam center in advance.

The beauty of collecting your GCSE results in person is that you’re surrounded by students who are in very similar situations to yourself. GCSE results day is an opportunity for students to come together and share their joy, sorrow, and support for one another as team.

Though this isn’t always the case for everyone. Some students may be unable to attend in person due to a number of reasons. If this applies to you, make sure to read the ‘What happens if I can’t collect my GCSE results in person?‘ section.


How to prepare on GCSE results day morning

There’s a few important factors to consider in advance to make sure the morning runs as smooth as possible. Consider who you’re going to go with, what you’re going to take with you, and where you’re going to open the results. Oh, and don’t forget breakfast! Now lets take a look at these in a little bit more detail.

Who are you going to GCSE results day with?

Just remember that you can go with whoever you want to go with. Don’t feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing – you’re an individual! You might like to go with your family if you feel like you’d like them to be there for the important moment. Equally, you might prefer to go with some friends because you want to celebrate or support each other on the day. Or you might even prefer to get your results on your own and there decided who to see afterwards.

Equally, you might choose a completely different option I haven’t thought of. They key is to remember, go with whoever you’d like to go with, not just who everyone else if going with.

What do you need to take to GCSE results day?

First things first, don’t forget your phone! You might want to take some celebratory photos, and you’ll definitely want to call or message your family and peers. You must take a bottle of water with you, especially if it’s one of the hotter summer days. If you know you’re likely to cry on the day, tears of joy count too, why not bring some tissues with you? If you’re not likely to cry, you could be one of your friend’s hero and provide some tissues to anyone else who needs them too.

Finally, bring a note pad and pen. On the day you might not receive the results you were after but, your teachers should be available for support and might recommend certain websites which you’d need to take note of. Though admittedly, you could choose to write it on your phone instead…

Where will you open your GCSE results?

Picture the worst case scenario, and then picture the best case scenario. You need to think about where you can open them happily in both realities because at the end of the day, what ever you deem as ‘success’ or ‘failure’, you need to be prepared for either option. You just don’t know. So maybe you’d like to open them when you get home, or maybe at school. Just think about what you’d prefer, would you like to be in the comfort of home? Or would you like to be at school where you can access teacher support if it’s needed?

It’s also okay if you’d like to go open them in a toilet cubicle on your own. It’s your day, do what you want. Don’t feel peer pressured by your friends, or by your family, to open it around them unless you want to.


What happens if I can’t collect my GCSE results in person?

Most importantly, the first thing you need to do is make sure you do not worry – you have options! If you cannot collect them in person you can opt to receive them online, in the post or even ask someone else to collect them for you. Just make sure any changes are communicated with your school, college or exam center ahead of time. Lets explain in more detail.

Can I receive my GCSE results online?

Some schools will share your GCSE results with you online – however, this is dependent on your school and the exam board you took the exam with. GCSE results might be sent out in an email in addition to your physical copy and sometimes you’ll have to wait a while. Whereas other schools may only offer to deliver your results online if you have a genuine reason to not pick up your results in person. For example:

  • You have moved far away
  • You have sustained an injury which limits your mobility
  • You will be away on holiday

So don’t worry! You should be able to receive your results online if necessary, just reach out to your school ahead of time. Open up the communication channel between you and your school to see how results can and will be shared with you.

Can someone else get my GCSE results for me?

If you can’t pick up your GCSE results in person most schools will allow a friend, guardian, or family member to act as a proxy and pick them up for you. Just make sure to plan ahead and let the school know. You will need to provide your school with a signed document letting them know that you consent to someone else collecting your results and who you consent to pick them up.

Make sure whoever it is brings some form of identification with them to prove who they are (photo ID). Schools will not give your results out to anyone who cannot be identified as your chosen proxy. So if you’ve ever thought “Oh no, what if someone else takes my results?!”, you don’t need to worry as your results will not be given to anyone else without your consent.

Can GCSE results be posted?

Many schools, but not all schools, will post your GCSE results to you so long as you can provide a genuine reason to do so. Remembering that every school and exam board will make different decisions, it’s important you get in touch as soon as possible to see if they will.

If your school agrees to post your results, they might not arrive on your door step the morning of GCSE results day, so be prepared to be patient.


So over all, please don’t worry! Amendments can, and should be made to how you receive your GCSE results if you have a genuine reason. But you should reach out to your school, college or exam centre ahead of time. Open the communication channel between you both. See how results can be shared with you, whether it be online, posted, in person to yourself or to a proxy.


I’ve got my results… Now what? 

GCSE results day 2023 is a day of celebration, not always celebrating the grades you’ve achieved but, instead celebrating the hard work you’ve put into the results you’ve achieved. Sometimes you don’t get the grades you want but that’s okay, you still have many options. What ever your results you likely have some questions, and below is some of top pieces of advice, information and commonly asked questions after receiving your results.

What do my GCSE results mean?

Parents, carers and older siblings might be use to the old letter grading system. But now, most results use the new number system. At a glance the change can look confusing. However, using the table below you can map out roughly how your grade compares to the old grading system. It’s not a direct 1 for 1 comparison but, it can help to understand the new system.

gcse grades explained 9-1

The new grading system is the future and we should embrace it. However, we can use the table above as a tool to get an idea of what your grade means.

What happens if you fail GCSE Maths or GCSE English Language?

Maths and English GCSEs are two of your key qualifications that all students should look out for. Generally a GCSE grade of 4 or higher is required for both GCSE English and GCSE Maths as a minimum, and some courses may even ask for higher grades! But, if you’ve missed grade 4 on either GCSE please do not panic, especially if you’ve only just missed it by a narrow margin because you have a few options.

Firstly you could speak to the 6th form, college or where ever you hope to study next to keep them in the loop. You could also consider a review of marking, which is the official term for a remark, if you feel like you need a review. Otherwise most schools and colleges will require you to resit your GCSE Maths or GCSE English exams alongside your other post 16 studies. But don’t panic, most of these schools and colleges will also offer classes to prepare you to retake either of the GCSEs you need.

If classes are not available, it might be worth checking with other local schools, colleges or providers to see if they offer classes.

Help, I haven’t got the grades I needed for College!

A lot of colleges provide course offers that need you need to achieve certain grades to be able to enrol. But sometimes the entry requirements are ‘informal’, and you might be able to join the course anyway, though this isn’t always the case. So, once again, talk to your sixth form, college or provider you’ve applied to and find out where they stand. There could be some flexibility on your grades, especially if they are close.

If you have missed the college entry requirements, please don’t panic because you still have options! You could look to see if you can study the same, or a similar course at a different college. You could also see if there are any other courses you find interesting at your original college, that you are eligible to join.

What ever option you choose, the key is to act straight away. The quicker you begin these conversations, the quicker you can find a resolution.

How do GCSE review of marking work?

A GCSE review of marking is the official term for a remark. If you decide to request a review of marking, one of the senior examiners will review how your paper was marked by the previous examiner rather than remarking the whole paper. After deciding whether the original mark was fair and consistent, they will award a new mark if they decide it was not fair or consistent.

Before applying for a GCSE review of marking make sure to think through whether you want it. Reviews are expensive so before making a decision you should consider the following. Do I really need a review? How Close was I to the grade boundary? Which paper should I get reviewed? Reviews cost around £40 and you can find the exact fees on the relevant exam board’s website:

If you decide you would like your marking reviewed, please contact your school as they will then need to submit an application. Reviews can take up to 20 days, so if you choose to apply for one, it’s a good idea to request it as quick as possible.

How do GCSE retakes work?

A GCSE retake is when you resit your exam. Usually, it’s free to retake your exams the year after you get your results. But, you do need to pay if you attend a private or independent school. If you’re not sure, you should check with your school or college to see if you need to pay.

If you’d like to retake your GCSE Maths or GCSE English, you can do so in Autumn. For all other exams, you’ll need to take them next year during the usual exam period. You can find out more about Exam Resits on the National Careers Service website.

National Careers Service Exam Helpline

If you’ve still got more questions, or would like support with anything read today you can call a helpline! By speaking to a qualified adviser, you’ll get support to explore your options such as:

  • Skills, qualifications and subject choices
  • Re-sits and re-marks
  • Post-16 and Post-18 options, including gap years and re-sits/re-marks
  • Moving away from home
  • Vocational learning routes including diplomas, apprenticeships, SVQs and NVQs
  • Careers, employment and setting up in business

The National Careers Service Exam helpline (0800 100 900) will be open from 08:00 to 20:00 Monday to Friday and 10:00 to 17:00 on Saturday for two weeks from 17th August to 1st September 2023.


To summarise

GCSE results day 2023 is on the 24th of August (whilst A Level results day is on the 17th of August). This is the first year since the pandemic that exams have returned to pre-pandemic grading but, there is protection for this cohort through a grade allowance for any disruptions. If you can’t attend GCSE results day in person, reach out to your school. Check if they can support you in receiving your results another way.

But most of all, don’t worry! GCSE results day 2023 is your chance to come together with your friends and families to celebrate the hard work you’ve put in, no matter the outcome. Got your GCSE results and still need support? Call the National Careers Service GCSE Results Day Helpline (0800 100 900).

Good luck!


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