Family & Education

If you need to resit GCSE maths and English, don't panic

Harder exams are expected to lead to more retakes


The government said they wanted GCSEs to be more challenging and this led to the revised exams in English and maths that students sat a couple of months ago. As an English teacher and examiner for an exam board, I can tell you that the English exams have been made much harder.

That’s why I wasn’t surprised when I read that Ofqual, the exams regulator, predicts the number of students taking retakes in English and maths to rise next year.

If you have got a grade below a level 4 (this is pretty much equivalent to the old grade C) in English Language or maths, you will probably know that you are required to take the exam/s again. Although of course this isn’t ideal, don’t let it get you down.

More students than ever are probably going to be taking resits, and it will reassure you to know that there are multiple resit dates available. I know for English language that there is a resit option in November and in June. Whenever you decide to take the exam, know that there are options out there available in terms of help.

The place of study you have chosen is required to teach for English Language and maths resits. You won’t need to arrange anything, classes will be scheduled into your timetable. So don’t think you need to study on your own; a qualified teacher will be helping you prepare for the relevant exam/s.

Having a tutor supplement what you are being taught will be very effective. The extra support will increase the speed at which you make the progress necessary to secure the level 4. It’s important that the tutor is familiar with the exam though and it’s preferable if the tutor is a current teacher, as they will know the paper very well.

I run a resit course for the English language exam. This is a good option if you want to get the exam out of the way in November rather than in June- - my course is for the November resit. This is mainly for students who feel confused about how to answer the questions on the papers properly.  

Simon Warner,, teaches English at a Jewish school 


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