Should You Resit Your Exams or Not?

should I resit my exams?

Deciding whether or not to resit your exams can be a tough call, but for many students it’s the right decision that puts them confidently back on the path they set out on.

If you’re not quite sure what to do, here are some points to consider that can help you make an informed decision.

Do you have to resit exams?

You’re under no obligation to resit any of your exams except for maths and English, but this will also depend on whether you’re a full-time or part-time student and the grade you got.

For example, if you’re a full-time student that achieved a level 3 in maths or English and want to continue your education at school or college, you’ll need to resit the exam. If you got a level 3 but are studying part-time, you can take a functional skills qualification instead.

Anyone with a level  2 (or below) also has the option of taking a functional skills qualification, instead of resitting the GCSE.

What exams can you resit?

Ofqual – the exam regulator, has announced exam boards must offer resits in all GCSE and A-Level subjects. Exams will take place as usual but with the same COVID reduction in content as for the Assessments this summer . A-Level resits will be held in October and GCSEs in November and December.

Exam boards only have to offer some subjects for AS-Level resits. These are: biology, chemistry, physics, maths and further maths. However, examining boards do have the option of offering more subjects but this will be at their discretion. AS-Level retakes will also take place in October.

Grades for resit exams will also be awarded based on just the exam (no coursework) with the exception of art and design.   

How and where do you resit exams?

You should be able to resit your exams at school or college – but you’ll need to check this with your teachers and it might be June resit exams only.

Alternatively, you can resit exams as a private candidate although there is a fee associated with this, depending on the exam centre you use. You can find a list of exam centres from your teacher, local council or by checking with the exam board itself.

Every exam centre is responsible for setting its own fees, so it’s a really good idea to compare in order to get the best price as they can vary significantly. As a rough guide, you should expect to budget around £100 per GCSE (plus any admin fees) and around £175 for A-Levels, although these can cost several hundreds [AE1] of pounds more.

What’s the best way to prepare for resit exams?

The decision to resit your exams can be a difficult one but it doesn’t have to be a negative experience. In some ways, the opportunity to take a formal exam can boost your confidence by reinforcing what you know. This can also help reset your approach as to what you do next, especially after such a fragmented school year.

If you decide to go ahead and resit certain exams, it’s a good idea to plan your revision and start studying as soon as possible. Remember that it’s also not about just focusing on knowledge gaps, it’s about going over everything so you can see how topics within a subject fit together.

At The Community Schools, we offer a GCSE resit course that can help you plan, focus and study. We also provide one-to-one tutoring if you feel you need extra support. Alternatively, if you just need a quick brush up, take a look at our free resources which includes links to past papers and revision ideas.

If you’d like to explore our courses or tutoring options, don’t hesitate to contact us, call us on 07747 037441 or drop us an email at:


Ofqual confirms autumn assessment arrangements – GOV.UK (

Corbettmaths – Videos, worksheets, 5-a-day and much more  – I wonder if this is needed. It is not mentioned in the blog and is on the resources page.


Last Updated on January 11, 2024

Scroll to Top