GCSE results: What to do if you don't get into sixth form or college?
25th August 2023

GCSE results: What to do if you don’t get accepted by your preferred sixth form or college

  • Everything you need to know if your GCSEs did not go as planned 

GCSE results have landed, making it a happy day for some but a day others may want to forget.

Results day can feel like the be-all and end-all, you have worked hard to finally see what exactly your work has amounted to.

If you got into your dream sixth form or college then that is great, but if GSCE results day didn’t go as planned it is not the end of the world.

So what do you do if you didn’t get into the sixth form you wanted? Can you resit your GCSE exams? Read on for everything you need to know. 

Pupils decide on their options after receiving their GCSE results at the Oasis Academy Hadley in Ponders End, London on August 25, 2022 

There are many options on offer for those who did not achieve their desired GCSE results. File image of teenagers taking an exam in a school hall. 

What to do if I don’t get into preferred sixth form or college?

If you unfortunately did not get a place at the sixth form or college you had hoped for it is not the end of the world.

You could still possible get into further education institution but Think Student recommends that you call alternative sixth forms and colleges as soon as possible.

They also advised to have your grades to hand as well as querying about the availability of your desired subjects of study in case classes are full.

Be sure to call and visit alternative sixth forms so that you have a higher chance of getting an offer. 

What’s the difference between sixth form and college? 

So here’s the good news if you have just finished your GCSE’s and want to carry on with your education, there are a lot of opportunities on offer. 

In the UK, we have three different types of establishments that provide further education. 

These come in the form of further education colleges, sixth form colleges and school sixth forms.

But what is the difference between the three? Well, school sixth forms and sixth form colleges tend to be quite similar.

In a school sixth form are usually a part of a secondary school. Here you are able to do for BTEC and A-level qualifications, and in certain cases it is possible to enrol on an International Baccalaureates (IB) course.

Sixth form colleges are fairly similar, however they are not attached to a secondary school and they offer diplomas, access courses and more, as well as A-level and BTEC qualifications.

However, standard colleges are different again. These institutions tend to offer more vocational courses that are more practical, such as construction and hairdressing. 

Those who do apprenticeships will sometimes be required to attend college during every so often.

If you did not receive the grades you needed to go to your preferred sixth form or college then you get into contact with other educational institutions. File image of students sitting an exam

You could consider doing a T-Level qualification or pursuing an apprenticeship. Pictured left to right: Dominic Sebastian, 16, Abigail Woodworth, 16, Anna Raveendran, 16, Grace Ford, 16, and Miriam McGrath, 16, students at St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School in Bristol opening their GCSE exam results on August 25, 2022

What are my options if I don’t get into sixth form or college? 

Sixth form is not the be-all and end-all, so if you have not gained entry into your desired college or sixth form there are options available for you.

There are many options beyond a sixth form college too. Further education colleges offer a wide range of courses such as IB diplomas, bachelor’s degrees and apprenticeships.

It may be also worth considering doing something different to an A-level or BTEC, such as something more hands on such as an apprenticeship of a vocational training qualification.

Apprenticeships usually last up to two years, and it gives students the option to earn while they learn.

T-Levels are also an option that is less conventional than the usual. The two year course will give you a qualification that is worth three A-levels.

They focus on vocational skills and give students industry experience, with those on the course having to complete 315 hours of placement.

There is also the option of seeking part time employment or resitting your GCSE exams. 

Can I resit my GCSE exams? 

For pupils who do not get their desired grades their is the possibility to resit your GSCE exams.

If you are debating resitting some of your GCSE exams you should arrange it by getting in touch with your educational institution.

You should also take into account that exam topics may change. The majority of colleges and schools will permit you resit your GCSEs while you are doing your A-levels.

So don’t panic if you have to retake one or two exams, as you can often do this alongside your A-level exams. 

Maths and English this year will be able to resit in November 2023, other subject may have to wait until Summer exam season of 2024, according to TES magazine.

Key dates for GCSE resits 

Deadline for entries: 

  • Wednesday 4 October 2023

Deadline to submit English language spoken language endorsement grades: 

  • Sunday 5 November 2023

Exam dates:

  • English language paper 1: Tuesday 7 November 2023
  • Mathematics paper 1: Wednesday 8 November 2023
  • English language paper 2: Thursday 9 November 2023
  • Mathematics paper 2: Friday 10 November 2023
  • Mathematics paper 3: Monday 13 November 2023

Results released to schools and colleges: 

  • Wednesday 10 January 2024

Results released to pupils: 

  • Thursday 11 January 2024

Source: TES Magazine 


There is also option of appealing your GCSE results however you may have to pay a fee and wait some time. You should always contact your secondary school to do this. Pictured: A maths exam in progress at Pittville High School, Cheltenham

How to appeal my GCSE results?  

If you are unhappy with your results and want to appeal your results this option is also open to you.

To do so you should discuss your desire to appeal with your school about your GCSE result(s).

They will then put in a request for your exam board to review the marking of your exam.

If you did not take an exam as a school student, but as a private candidate then you should contact the exam board or the secondary school that sent in your exam.

Your respective exam board will then check for any mistakes made with respect to marking in your exam.

If they do find any mistakes then your mark is subject to change, meaning your overall grade could could rise or lower depending on what is found in the remark.

Some exam boards may charge a fee to review your exam paper. It also takes varying exam boards different amounts of times to complete the remark.

For AQA, Edexcel and CCEA is takes up to 20 days for a GSCE standard review of marking.

Source: Read Full Article