GCSE results 2022: When are GCSE certificates issued?

Find out when you can expect to receive GCSE results day certificates

The corner of a GCSE certificate reading 'General Certificate of Secondary Education'
(Image credit: Getty Images)

GCSE results 2022 are almost here, but once you've got the grades and decided on your next steps, you might find yourself asking 'when are GCSE certificates issued?

GCSE results day (opens in new tab) presents a lot of uncertainty this year, as tests and exams have returned to relative normality after the disruption caused by Covid-19, and the Government's decision to cancel school exams (opens in new tab) in 2021. 

Students and parents alike might find themselves asking questions from how the grading system works to when are GCSE retakes (opens in new tab). But if you're wondering when are GCSE certificates issued, we've got all the information you need right here.

When are GCSE certificates issued?

GCSE certificates will be sent to your school roughly three months after results day. Most schools will post these to you, but you may have to go in to collect them.

Make sure you do this as soon as possible, as you might need it to show to any future employers or further education establishments, and remember they cost money to replace. If you notice any mistakes you must inform your exams officer as soon as possible as changes are only free in the first three months of issue.

Two students looking at their GCSE results

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How are GCSEs graded in 2022?

Grades are being awarded in the usual way in 2022 but the grade boundaries will be more lenient in England, Scotland and Wales. The boundaries are be set at a "mid-point" between 2019, the last year exams were sat as normal, and grade levels from teacher assessments in 2021.

GCSE results 2022 will be higher than when summer exams were last sat, but lower than in 2021, when grades were awarded by teacher assessment. Schools’ and colleges’ results are highly likely to be lower than in 2021 when exams did not go ahead. Very few schools or colleges, if any, will get higher results than in 2021.

Find out more at Ofqual blog (opens in new tab).

Understanding the new grading system

In 2017, a new 9 to 1 scoring system was introduced for the subjects English Literature, English Language and Maths, with 9 at the higher end and 1 at the lowest. Phasing in over the years, from 2019 the grading system was used on almost all of the subjects on the curriculum, including languages and sciences.

Northern Ireland and Wales will not be affected by the change and Ofqual (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab) has assured parents that children will not be disadvantaged by the change.

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What will you receive on GCSE results day?

You  will receive your GCSE results on a slip, or you may have more than one slip per exam board. Since the changes to examinations, you'll no longer receive a unit per module, your child will simply receive an overall mark and grade for each subject.

GCSE results are in: What next?

You'll likely to be able to go into Further Education or get a good job if you have five or more GCSEs at grade 4 or above. Many sixth-forms and colleges do expect at least 4 grades but some schools may take pupils with lower grades, so it's worth giving them a call to check.

If you're unhappy with your results you can resit your GCSEs and these will take place in the school, college or exam centre where you sat the original exam. If you get a higher grade the second time around, you can ask the exam board to provide a new GCSE certificate.

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