Retake GCSE & Guarantee Your Pass With This Guide

Retake GCSE & Guarantee Your Pass With This Guide

August 11, 2023 | 9months | General

Introduction to GCSE Resits

Exam season can be very stressful for school students, as it implies long hours of study, a difficult application process and the pressure of knowing that the grades you achieve will have a direct impact on your future career choice. For this reason, the frustration of not obtaining the desired results can be overwhelming. However, students can be pleased to know that they have a second chance and can sit the exams again.

Is it worth resitting GCSE?

GCSEs set the path for entering professional life, either through university or directly into employment. It is important to obtain good grades, as these represent the students’ skills in each subject. For this reason, resitting GCSEs after not getting the desired results is a great option to stay in line with what universities and employers require from students.

How long do GCSE retakes take?

The time required for GCSE retakes depends on several factors, including the subjects to be retaken, whether you plan to review all the exam content, and whether you prefer studying at the same educational institution or privately. For example, some subjects are available for resits in the October/November exam diet, which reduces preparation time to just a few months. However, if you want to study again at an educational institution, it will probably take another two-year period.

To shorten this time, you can prepare for your GSCEs online from home and fast-track your courses. While schools have two-year programmes to prepare you for exams, with Cloudlearn online platform you can shorten this period to just a few months.

How do I retake GCSEs from home?

Students can prepare for GCSE resits from home, studying on their own, using the same material they already have, or via a private programme like CloudLearn’s. Our program allows students to study at their own pace, anywhere they are, and receive support from tutors when necessary.

Benefits of GCSE retakes: All you need to know

Improve grades and expand career options

The main reason why students may decide to retake their GCSEs is to achieve higher grades. Students can make this decision after failing an exam (below C or 4, according to the grading scale), or after getting grades below those required by their desired university courses. In both cases, failed or low GCSE grades can affect their future pathway, and we highly recommend retaking them for a better result.

Achieving higher GCSE grades has a positive impact on your overall academic profile, opening doors to a bigger range of career paths and job opportunities. This is especially true in the case of core subjects, which are those mainly considered by these entities to evaluate your skills. In fact, if you fail Maths or English, you must sit the exam repeatedly until you pass it or turn 18.

Reaffirm subject knowledge and skills

While the most important part of GCSEs is the final grades, which bring about opportunities to access certain universities or jobs, these represent your competence in the subjects you have taken. Therefore, if you resit your exams after revising concepts more, you will be able to reinforce your knowledge and guarantee yourself a better grade next time. At the same time, this acquired knowledge will set the foundation for further studies or will be the skills necessary to enter the work environment.

Growth and confidence building

Furthermore, reaffirming your knowledge of the topics will help you build confidence for the second opportunity, and will have a positive impact not only on your technical competence but also on your motivation. By studying for a second time, you will have covered the topics in depth, acquired new knowledge and reinforced concepts. This way, you will have fewer doubts on the day of the exam, and you’ll be able to decrease your levels of anxiety.

How do GCSE resits work?

If you have decided you are not satisfied with the marks you achieved and want to retake the exams, the first thing you need to do is contact your educational institution to communicate your decision. However, you can also opt to study in a different institution or even through online colleges, like CloudLearn. This way, you can find the option that best suits your needs.

Resits have no age limits, so anyone can take them. Either students who have just received their results or adults who want to return to study several years after they originally sat their GCSE exams. For the latter, online learning can be the best option, as it is most suitable to study from home and adjust your course schedule to your daily activities.

By choosing CloudLearn, you can ensure that this second chance is your last, as we guarantee a 100% pass rate. Your results will be worth the effort of resitting GCSEs.

Furthermore, our platform allows you to have a more flexible work/life balance , as you can decide when to study for your exams and adapt your schedule to a part-time job, A-levels in other subjects or simply leisure activities.

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How do I study for a resit exam? (+ little-known hacks)

If you are resitting your GCSEs, you may need some extra advice to get the best results possible.

Review previous exam results and identify areas of improvement

The main piece of advice you can follow is to revise the key concepts that you didn't feel so strongly on the first time. And, in case you don't want to cover an entire preparation course, you should focus on the main topics and your weak points.

A good starting point is to request “access to scripts” to review the corrections made to your exam and to have an in-depth analysis of your mistakes. Bear in mind, however, that you may have to pay a fee, depending on the examination board.

Identify exam dates and follow your providers’ study recommendations

Not only do we offer a full study course for students to sit their GCSEs, but our programme is also perfectly planned for students to succeed. This plan involves going over all the material in the platform and covering a minimum of 120 hours per exam.

Depending on the subject you need to retake, there are different resit dates. Some subjects can only be sat in October/November, while others can be taken in May/June.

This also depends on the examination board that will coordinate your exams. Once you know when you are going to sit the exam, plan ahead how to spread these 120 hours throughout the time you have. Consider other activities in your schedule, holidays, weekends, or any other moments you will not dedicate to studying. Divide your available time into weeks and days to determine how many daily hours you will need for covering the total number of study hours.

It is advisable to consider a longer time than necessary to cover inconveniences and unexpected emergencies, and to save time for a few weeks of final revision after you have covered all the topics in the syllabus.

At that point, a good idea is to practise past exam papers and mock-up tests to self-evaluate your skills before the day of the exam. On CloudLearn, you can ask your tutor to send you and correct preliminary exams to have an idea of what your performance will be like, but you can also look for past exam papers on the internet, sometimes even with their key files for self-correction and assessment. You can also redo your own past exam and self-correct it if you decided to ask for access to scripts.

If you have followed this advice, there is no need to worry. You will certainly pass all your exams!

Explore resources and study materials

If you are looking to enrol in a full study course, it can be a good idea to change institutions and try a different approach. Teaching methods can vary from one teacher to another, and the same happens with study materials. And, changing to an online course can help you study at your own pace while having organised materials that will guide you along the process.

Online courses offer a wide range of materials in different formats. Traditional teaching can sometimes be outdated and boring for students. Alternatively, online materials allow students to browse the content not only by reading but also through interactive elements such as quizzes, activities and videos.

If you are resitting your GCSEs, online learning can also be beneficial in that you do not have to go through the entire syllabus. You can quickly click on the topics that you need more revision on and focus on those specific areas. However, if you realise you need practice in all areas, you can scroll through the list and start from scratch. This way, you can study in a flexible way, adapting the content to your needs.

Seek additional support through tutors, teachers, or study groups

Online platforms allow students to not only access study materials, but also contact peers and tutors who can answer their questions. At CloudLearn, students can find all these options combined within the CloudPort platform, which contains course materials but also student forums and a tutor chat, to contact your tutor whenever you need it.

In addition, you can access online discussion forums to talk to other students in the same situation as you, former students who can share their experience or even teachers whose job is to coach students during this stage.

You can visit Quora or Reddit to see if someone else had the same questions as you, search for study hacks on YouTube or even follow specialised accounts on Twitter or other social media. In addition, you can read specific blogs on Google. One of the most renowned forums you can check is The Student Room, which is constantly updated with new information and tips from students all around the world.

How much does it cost to retake GCSE?

The cost of taking GCSE exams privately is usually the same as taking the exam for the first time. The exams offered by Edexcel and Cambridge Internationsal Examinations, CloudLearn’s associated examination boards, cost around £260. However, this cost can vary depending on the examination board. For example, some boards allow students to retake the exam for free as long as this happens on the next exam shift. Let us know whether you are taking the exam for the first or second time and we will calculate the exact price for you.

We know the price might be high, especially taking the exam for a second time, but some course providers accept different forms of payment to make it easier. At CloudLearn, for example, you can choose to pay for courses in interest-free monthly instalments throughout the duration of the course. Besides, you can get discounts if you enrol in more than one course. You may even find special discounts on the website depending on when you are enrolling for the course.

Tips for the exam day

Despite having completed your exam schedule, reviewed past exams and strengthened your weak points, you may still feel anxious about your prospects, and this can affect your final results. Here are some tips that can help you feel better and do your best.

Tips to prepare for the exam

Avoid inconveniences

Some of our main worries are not related to the exam itself, but to the inconveniences that can occur around it, such as not arriving on time, missing documentation, etc. The best solution is to try to do everything possible to avoid these issues in advance. Set up a couple of alarms to avoid oversleeping, leave home early enough, and prepare all your documentation and stationery elements in advance.

Practise the exercises several times

In the weeks leading up to the exam, focus especially on the topics you find most difficult. And, in the case of practical exams, do as many exercises as possible to gain confidence and reduce solving time. Practising the exercises repeatedly will help you identify patterns and find your own solving methods that will enable you to solve the exam quickly.

Get a good rest

Don't stay up all night studying. Although many people do it to reinforce a few last concepts, science has proven that a good night’s sleep can be more useful. Sleep helps to fix the knowledge already in your memory, so use this time to sleep instead of studying for a few extra hours. Additionally, try to keep away from screens at least an hour before going to bed, as their blue light reduces the production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.

Manage exam anxiety on the day of the exam

Exam day is very stressful for most students, but fortunately, there are a few things you can do to feel better.

Treat yourself

When you wake up on the day of the exam, take time to have breakfast calmly at home and eat or drink something you like. This will contribute to the production of endorphins, a group of neurotransmitters that relieve stress and anxiety.

Don’t drink energising drinks

Even if you were unable to sleep well the previous night, avoid drinking coffee or other energising drinks. The same applies to calming teas or medicines. Do not try any methods that might alter your senses or increase anxiety.

Think of your study process

If you feel uncertain about your capacities, think about the time you have spent getting ready for this moment. Entire months of revision must certainly have a positive effect on your overall performance. Trust your abilities and feel confident that you have learnt all the content you missed at the first opportunity.

GCSE results and next steps

Once exam day is over, all that remains is to wait. The assessment process is complex and time-consuming, so you may have to wait for a few weeks before receiving any news.

With CloudLearn, you can be confident that your exam results will meet your expectations because we are the only course provider that guarantees a 100% pass rate. Additionally, you can try our Predicted Marks service, which allows you to take a mock exam in advance to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

GCSE grading and score reports

During the evaluation process, the examination board assesses your exam based on standard guidelines that are equal for all students in the UK to guarantee fair and egalitarian assessment. However, if the results you receive do not satisfy you, you can always request the board to review your mark and verify whether a grade change is applicable.

What to do after GCSEs?

After receiving your GCSE results, there are a few pathways you can follow. You can decide to aspire to university depending on your grades and the subjects you were tested on, you can continue studying for A-level exams, which will give you an even better academic profile, or you can look for a job.


GCSE examinations can be a source of great stress for students completing high school and their results may not always be the best. However, students can decide to retake exams in which they did not perform well in order to get higher grades, which can open the door to various opportunities.

Join CloudLearn to study from home, at your own pace, to guarantee you will have an outstanding mark with the help of your online tutors.

Need better GCSE results?
We can guarantee exam success at CloudLearn.


How do GCSE resits work?

Students who wish to improve their GCSE grades can resit the exam again. They can do so in the same institution where they took the exams the first time, or they can change schools, even studying from home on online platforms such as CloudLearn. Select only those subjects in which you did not get the expected results and strengthen your knowledge by studying at your own pace.

What is the most commonly failed GCSE?

According to the English regulatory entity, Ofqual, the hardest GCSE is Film Studies. However, this exam is not the most commonly taken. For this reason, it is interesting to analyse how students perform in core subjects English and Maths. The total of students who pass both exams with a 5 grade or above represents 49.8%. This result is lower in comparison to those achieved in 2020 and 2021, when different assessment methods were used, but it is higher than pre-pandemic results, based on examination methods that were more similar to those used nowadays.

Can you retake a GCSE years later?

Yes, you can retake GCSEs long after you have finished your secondary studies; it does not matter how old you are or how long ago you finished high school. The same applies to overseas students who have never taken GCSEs.

Can you retake GCSE at any age?

Yes, there is no age limit for taking GCSEs. On the contrary, we encourage adults to work on their GCSE grades if they are looking for a better job or want to start university studies.

Do universities accept GCSE resits?

Yes! In general, universities do not pay attention to whether you got your marks on your first or second attempt. Resitting exams is always worthwhile if you are not satisfied with your first results.

How much does a GCSE resit cost?

The price for resitting GCSE exams privately is usually the same as taking the exam for the first time. Taking the exam with one of CloudLearn’s associate boards (Edexcel or Cambridge International Examinations), exams costs around £260 on top of course fees.

What happens if you do worse in a GCSE resit?

If you retake GCSE exams and, unfortunately, you obtain a worse grade than the first time, you should not worry. The best grade achieved, whether on the first or second attempt, will be considered the final score.

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