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What To Expect On GCSE Results Day and What Next?

Picking up your GCSE results this week? Nervous about the process or about your results? Don’t stress. We’ll tell you what you can expect and your options, whatever your results.

How will it happen?

Your school will probably have already told you when you can pick up your results.

If you want support, go with a friend or family member who can wait outside while you go in and pick up your results. You’ll be given an envelope that you can choose to open whenever you want. Open it with your friends if you like, or take it to the car or home to open it in private – it’s up to you what you want to do.

Don’t forget to take your phone to call home (they’ll probably be waiting nervously to hear how you’ve done). You can also take a photo with friends to mark the occasion.

Illustration of a confused man leaning on a crossroad deciding which direction to take.

Did you get what you needed?

The grading system in Wales awards grades from A* to a G (they are graded differently in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland). You’ll already know the grades you’ll need to go on and do what you’ve chosen. That could be studying A-Levels, vocational qualifications, apprenticeships, work or something else. 

But your situation may change on results day, whether because you want to or need to. Careers Wales has information about all the options mentioned above on their Options at 16 pages.

Perhaps things didn’t go as great as you thought. Even if you didn’t get the grades you needed, you should still contact your chosen school or college to see if they will still take you or if they can offer you a different option. If they won’t, contact other schools and colleges as they may have lower entry levels and will be happy to take you.

Maybe you did a lot better than you expected and have decided that you want to go on to sixth form after all. Talk to your school or college to see what your options are. It’s not too late.

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Appeals and resits

If you believe the grades you’ve been given are wrong, then talk to your school or college. They will speak to you about your results and can request a ‘Post-Results Service’ on your behalf. This could be access to your exam papers, a review of the marking, or re-checking that all marks have been added up correctly.

If this doesn’t work, and your school still believes that your results are not fair, then they can make an appeal. Find out more about this process on the WJEC website.

If your mind is set on a specific career, you may need to resit some exams. Maths, English, and Welsh retakes will happen at the end of October/start of November. Retakes will also happen in January. Talk to your school/college.

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Talk to someone

There will be someone at the school that you can discuss your options with on the day. If you’re unsure about anything or want advice, then ask to speak to someone.

If you need professional advice, then your Careers Advisor should be able to help. Ask to speak to the Careers Adviser at your school or college or contact Careers Wales.

If you want a friendly ear to listen and offer advice, information and support, then Meic can help. Our friendly advisors are available on the helpline between 8am and midnight every single day. Call, text or chat online – contact details below.