When is GCSE results day 2022?

Find out when is GCSE results day and what to expect when receiving your results

When is GCSE results day 2022 illustrated with two teenage girls looking at pieces of paper
(Image credit: Getty Images)

'When is GCSE results day?' is the question parents and teenagers across the country have begun asking themselves, as the day looms nearer. Here's everything you need to know ahead of receiving your grades.

GCSE results day is almost upon us, and with 2022 marking the first year of exams since the onset of Covid, there's a lot of questions around what the day will hold, from when are the GCSE certificates issued to when are GCSE retakes. Much like A level results day, waiting to find out GCSE grades is an anxious time for parents and children alike, so we've spoken to the experts to find out everything you need to know, including when is GCSE results day.

Tom Davis, Principal at David Game College Liverpool, says "Results day is nerve-wracking for parents and students, but the most important thing is to remain calm in the run-up. You can’t do anything about the results now, so there is little to be gained from dissecting the exam papers or panicking if others say they gave answers you didn’t. That is not to say that you should not plan for a few different results, but do so in a measured and calm manner – especially if you are a parent. If you are stressed, your children will pick up on this and they will quickly be stressed too!"

When is GCSE results day 2022? Date and time results released 

GCSE results day is on Thursday 25 August 2022, and results are usually available to collect from schools at about 8am. This may vary, however, so it’s always a good idea to check with your school what time you will be expected to collect them. 

This is the same for student across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and some BTEC Firsts, Technical and Tech Awards students will also receive results on this day. Students in Scotland have already received their Nationals and Highers results.

Students should have been provided with a timetable of when to expect their results by either their school or exam board. 

Tom Davis offers some advice on deciding when to collect your results: "If your child is likely to get strong grades, being in school with all their friends to get the good news can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be very stressful for a child to be surrounded by happy, screaming friends whilst they hold a set of disappointing results, so perhaps think about either going later when it will be less busy. If you do go in person and you do well, you have every right to celebrate, but also be sensitive that others around you may have weaker results."

How do I find out my GCSE results?

You can collect your results from your school, and they should let you know ahead of results day when and where to arrive to collect your grades. If you're not sure how you are expected to collect your GCSE results, you should get in contact with your school to check.

Some schools also use online portals where students and parents can access GCSE grades. If this is the case, make sure you have any log in details you may need to hand on GCSE results day.

Do GCSE results get emailed?

Some schools may send GCSE results via email, but this will vary and you should check with your school if this is the case. 

If you are expecting to have your GCSE results emailed to you, you should receive your grades at around 8am on results day. Make sure your school has the right email address for you in order to avoid any delay.

New GCSE grades explained

  • 9 = A*
  • 8 = low A* / high A
  • 7 = A
  • 6 = B
  • 5 = low B / high C 
  • 4 = C 
  • 3 = between grades D and E
  • 2 = between grades E and F
  • 1 = between grades F and G
  • U = U (fail)

A new scoring system with grades 1-9 replaced the old A*-U system in 2017. Grades 9, 8 and 7, are equivalent to A* and A from the old system, and there are now two pass marks: 4 is a standard pass and 5 is a strong pass. 

Grade 4 is the minimum level that students must achieve in English and Maths without needing retake.

Examiners have been asked to mark pupils’ work more leniently than in previous years, to account for the disruption students have faced because of Covid. 

Ofqual chief regulator Dr Jo Saxton said: “Our grading approach will recognise the disruption experienced by students taking exams in 2022. It will provide a safety net for those who might otherwise just miss out on a higher grade, while taking a step back to normal.”

As well as marker generosity, the grade boundaries (the number of marks needed for each grade) have also been relaxed this year, and in various courses some parts of the curriculum were cut, and students were given additional advance information about areas to revise.

With that being said, schools minister Will Quince said it was important to “move back to a position where qualifications maintain their value” and reassured students that grades will still be higher than in 2019.

What to do on GCSE results day 2022? Preparation

  • Bring the essentials: It's a good idea to take a pen and paper with you, in case you need to note down any information, and make sure your phone is fully charged - you'll likely want to contact friends and family or maybe even take some celebratory photos! 
  • Know your options: In case you don't get the results you hoped for, it's a good idea to research alternatives ahead of time. You might want to keep the phone numbers of any colleges or apprenticeship providers you're interested in to hand on results day, in case you need to go with a plan B.
  • Don't go alone: Whether it's a family member or friends, you'll probably want to have someone there with you when the nerves set in. If things go well, it's also nice to have someone there you can celebrate with, and if you're unhappy with your results, you might need someone who can support you and help assess the next steps.
  • Get plenty of rest: Try to remain calm and remember you did the best you could. Poor sleeping habits affect mental wellbeing and if you've not had enough rest you may find it more difficult to cope with the stress of results day.

Elaine Bowker, Principal at The City of Liverpool College, told GoodtoKnow "In the lead up to results day, it’s inevitable that learners and their parents can experience anxiety, stress, and nerves. For parents and carers, this time is all about offering support for your child by having open conversations and lending an ear. You might even share your own experiences of receiving your GCSE results and how you felt at the time.

"For students, one of the most important things is to have a plan. Find out what time your school or college will open on the day and also think about who you want to be with when you’re opening your results. That might be your parents, a group of friends for moral support, or even by yourself. Make the plan that feels best for you!"

A boy smiling and pointing at his results paper

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What happens if you miss GCSE results day?

If you don't collect your grades on GCSE results day, most schools will post the envelope containing your results to you. You can also request that your results are emailed to you.

Some schools may also allow a nominated person to collect GCSE results on your behalf, but you will need to arrange this with the school ahead of time. Make sure the person you nominate takes ID with them, so they are able to pick up your results.

However, it's a good idea to try and make sure you're available on GCSE results day. If things don't go as well as you'd hoped, being around teaching staff may be helpful if you need to ask any questions or come up with a plan B. Meanwhile, if you're happy with results it can be nice to congratulate yourself alongside your teachers and fellow students.

What happens after GCSE results day?

The traditional route is to go on to a college or sixth form to obtain A levels, but there are several other options available to students. Tom says: "If you feel that academic study is not your strength, you might consider a practical or vocational route. Sixth form is not the right choice for everyone and only you can make that decision."

  • A levels: Most colleges or sixth forms will allow students to take three A levels of their choice, though you may need to have obtained certain grades in your GCSEs to do this. You can then do an apprenticeship after A levels, or you may choose to apply to university.
  • Vocational qualifications: Many colleges will also offer vocational qualifications, and unlike A levels these are a more practical way of learning. Level 3 vocational qualifications usually take two years to complete - the same as A levels - and are a great option if you have a specific career in mind. 
  • Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships combine paid work and study and are available in a wide variety of sectors. After an apprenticeship you can go into full-time work, complete a higher level apprenticeship, or go to university.
  • Work and learn: In England, the law says you must stay in some form of education and training until you're 18. So, while you can't go straight into a full-time job after GCSEs, you can combine working with part-time learning or training that leads to accreditation.
  • Reviews: If you’re not happy with your results, you should talk to your school and they may be able to contact the exam board on your behalf and ask for your marks to be reviewed. If you still think you’ve been unfairly graded after a review, you can ask your school to appeal your mark.
  • Resits: You can resit your GCSEs the following year, or retake your English and Maths GCSEs in November. If you’re moving on to a college or sixth form, they will offer help and support with this.

Tom says it's important that students are realistic with their next steps: 

"If your results are much lower than expected, you can still reach out to your sixth form provider to see if they will still take you, but you should also be realistic and ask yourself if proceeding to A Level study in them the best choice for you.

"On the other hand, retaking subjects where you feel that you can do better the second time around is a very real option. There are many examples of students who do much better the second time when they are really taking their studies seriously."

If things haven't gone to plan or you're still unsure of what to do next, you could also contact the National Career Service Helpline, which is the official free service available for both parents and young people to seek advice and support following exam results. It can be reached on 0800 100 900 and is available 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and bank holidays. NCS’s dedicated team of helpline operators can share impartial advice from trained careers advisers on the different options available to young people.

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Headshot of Tom Davis
Tom Davis

Tom Davis is the Principal at David Game College Liverpool. Tom possesses a wealth of educational leadership and management experience following nearly 16 years in the legal and business education sector - during which time he was dean of three law and business schools in the UK and Ireland. 

Together, David Game College Liverpool, in partnership with Steven Gerrard Academy, bring a powerful combination to Liverpool providing students with a unique opportunity to pursue a gold-standard British education in a contemporary setting.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.