Guide to GCSE results day 2014

You've spent the summer trying to forget about them, but now it's Thursday 22nd August 2013, and time to see what your GCSE results look like.

Your future is printed on a piece of paper. Is it bright or is it ...?

Before You Go

Remember to take the following with you:

  • your mobile phone
  • a calculator
  • a pen or pencil
  • a notebook
  • a positive attitude

Now go, queue up at school, and wait to be handed the paper of doom.

My GCSE Grades Are Great, I Totally Deserve Them!

Congratulations! You worked hard and the results came through. Phone your family and friends and let them know the good news.

You've got every choice available to you, so choose wisely. The most obvious way forward is to take AS and A levels.

If you are comfortable with studying, go ahead. You may be able to switch school for college. You might prefer to stay on at school into the Sixth Form, if that's what your school offers.

If the studying - while successful - was a nightmare for you, AS/A-levels may not suit you.

Perhaps you know what you want to do in the future. A more vocational route might be better.

There are many courses available that allow you to work and attend college in tandem.

Don't be afraid to break from the norm and live your life differently.

Whatever you choose, ensure you have an aptitude for it AND that you are interested in it.

A year, or even two, is a long time. Enjoying what you do is essential for success.

Some of My GCSE Grades Were Disappointing. I Thought I Would Do Better Than That

In the first instance, speak to a teacher or the exam officer. They can request a copy of your marked paper, to see if an enquiry about results (EAR) is appropriate.

Have a look at your UMS score and check it against AQA's UMS Grade Boundaries.

If any of your scores seem strangely low, or if you have missed a higher grade by only a few points, you could ask the exam officer to obtain a review of marking or moderation or to request a remark.

Try to do this soon after you receive your results, as there are deadlines involved, and fees for remarking.

If all else fails, you can request a resit, but think hard before you decide to do this.

If you did well in other subjects, weren't really interested in the subject you did less well in, or if it wasn't a core subject like Maths, English, or Science, then maybe there's no need for you to worry about it.

All of My GCSE Grades Were Rubbish. I Can't Believe I Even Bothered Sitting the Exams

It's horrible to think that you've just sat through two years only to be presented with a series of U's or F's, but you have choices too; you're not necessarily excluded from any part of your future.

GCSEs are the jumping off point to decision-making, and they will make things easier at this stage, but it isn't the end of the world if you didn't achieve anything.

Studying doesn't suit everyone. If you are more practically minded or have an aptitude for something you haven't yet officially studied, take a look at the routes you need to get to where you want to be.

You may find a vocational course at college, something which combines working and learning, or even the world of work alone may hold what you want for your future.

The positive thing that you can tell potential employers is that you stuck at the courses, even though you didn't do well at the end.

Employers, colleges and universities want proof that you are going to stay and can see a course or job to the end.

Dropping out when you turned 16, without taking your exams would have been the worst thing you could do.