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GCSE Remark: How Does it Work?

Tornike Asatiani - Co-founder & COO of Edumentors

Did you know that 1 in 5 GCSE grades that are challenged end up increasing every year? That’s because everyone, even examiners, can make mistakes. Whether you already received your GCSE grade and want to improve or just want to learn about GCSE remark procedure ahead of time to be ready, this blog is for you!

Key Takeaways

  • Students can request a GCSE remark for 30 days after the GCSE results day.
  • It’s better to consult with a teacher if it’s worth it or not.
  • Sometimes, grades might get lowered.
  • Remarking one exam paper costs around £35.
  • Remarking can take up from 3 days to 3 weeks or sometimes, more.
  • If GCSE remarking is not successful, students can resit their GCSEs.

What is the GCSE Remark?

A GCSE remark is a process of requesting a review of a GCSE grade assigned by an exam board. The process is usually initiated by the secondary school student or their parents, who believe that their grade is an unfair representation of what they demonstrated in the exam. The process involves several steps, including contacting the secondary school, which then contacts the exam board to request a review of the student’s paper.

How Much Does a GCSE Remark Cost?

The cost of a GCSE remark varies depending on the exam board:

Exam BoardPrice Per Paper
OCRClerical re-check – £11
Second review of marking – £57.50
A copy of the reviewed script – £14.75
Pearson EdexcelClerical re-check – £11.90

GCSE Remarking with AQA

AQA GCSE remark is £38.35 per paper. If your overall grade for a subject improves as a result, AQA will reimburse the fee for all papers in that subject. If, however, your grade only improves on one paper and you still fail to reach the grade boundary, you will only be reimbursed for the fee of that one re-graded paper.

GCSE Remarking with OCR

For OCR, there are several options for remarking. One is a clerical re-check which makes sure that all the pages were marked and summed up correctly. This costs £11. The second review of marking checks whether the mark scheme was applied correctly. This costs £57.50 per paper. A copy of the reviewed script costs £14.75.

GCSE Remarking with Edexcel

For Edexcel, a clerical re-check costs £11.90. a Full remarking costs £42.40. Edexcel priority remarking fee costs £48.70.

Please note that if you want to remark multiple papers, such as an entire GCSE maths examination, the cost could add up. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult with your teacher before submitting your grades for a remark to determine the best course of action.

If your grade is raised as a result of a GCSE remark, the examination board will refund the cost of the remark. However, if your grade remains the same or is lowered, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of the remark.

How Much Time Does a GCSE Remark Take?

The time it takes for a GCSE remark to be processed can vary depending on the examination board.

Exam BoardTime it Takes to Get a GCSE Paper Remarked
AQA10-20 days
OCRUp to 20 days
Pearson EdexcelCan take up to 3 Weeks

Please note that these are just rough estimates and the actual time it takes may depend on various factors such as the workload of the examination board and the number of papers that were appealed at the same time. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to consult with your teacher or the examination board to get a more accurate estimate of the time it will take for your GCSE remark to be processed.

Is it Worth it? Should You Appeal Your GCSE Grades?

Whether a GCSE remark is worth it or not depends on several factors:

💰 GCSE Remarking Can Get Expensive

The cost of a GCSE remark can add up, especially if you’re remarking multiple papers. It would help if you weighed the cost against the potential benefits of a grade change.

⚠️ You’re Not Guaranteed that Your GCSE Grade Will Change

If you’re close to the upper side of the grade boundary, a remark might be worth it, as there’s a chance that your grade could be raised. However, if you’re closer to the lower side, there’s a risk that your grade could be lowered.

🕒 GCSE Remarking Process Can Take Time

A GCSE remark can take time to complete, and this could be an obstacle to your registration for the sixth form. If you’re considering a GCSE remark, you need to consider the time it will take and whether it will impact plans for A-levels.

Actually, in 2022, 46’810 students were awarded grade 3 (“fail”) in error.

Additionally, Pearson faced a record-breaking fine of £1.35 million and was ordered to pay £320,000 in compensation to schools and colleges. This was for allowing examiners to grade their work and for issuing incorrect certificates between 2016 and 2019. Ofqual found Pearson to violate rules and the fine is the largest ever imposed by the regulator. Pearson accepted its failings and agreed to compensate affected schools and colleges.

These are some examples of why it might be worth trying. However, make sure to double-check with your teacher so that you don’t lose extra money or time.

The Deadline for Remarking your GCSE Grade

Student Talking to a Teacher About GCSE Remark

The deadline for requesting a GCSE remark is typically within 30 days of the results being published. It’s important to note that this deadline may vary depending on the examination board. Hence, it’s always best to check for the most up-to-date information. It’s also a good idea to submit your request for a remark as soon as possible! This ensures you don’t miss the deadline and won’t delay your registration to a sixth form.

GCSE results day in 2023 was on 24th August.

What If Your GCSE Marks Don’t Change?

If your GCSE marks do not change as a result of a remark, you can resit the GCSE exam in November or the following year. This gives you another opportunity to improve your grade.

One year after taking your GCSEs, you can resit all the GCSE subjects for free. Additionally, if you are under 19, you are legally required to resit GCSE English and GCSE maths to obtain a grade of 4 or above.

What Happens if You Fail GCSEs? GCSE Resits and other Options

If you have already begun your education in sixth form or college and need to retake some GCSE exams, you can choose to study the subjects alongside your A-Level or BTEC courses. This is a good option if you only need to retake a few subjects. However, if you need to resit more than two subjects, it may be beneficial to postpone your A-Level studies to ensure you can manage the workload effectively.

How Much Do GCSE Resits Cost?

The cost of resitting a GCSE exam usually stands at around £35 per paper, however, this only applies to resits taken voluntarily. If you are required to retake GCSE English or Maths, these can be done free of charge at a local college.

For those who prefer a different environment for their resits, becoming a private candidate can provide more flexibility. However, keep in mind that registering as a private candidate isn’t free. The fees for this can add up quickly, especially if you require a full year of tuition. The cost could range from several hundred to over £1000, so it’s wise to factor in the expenses when making your decision.

What Happens If Your Grades Stay the Same After a GCSE Resit?

The GCSE remark success rate is approximately 20%, but if your grades don’t improve after a GCSE resit, you have the option to retake the exam multiple times. There’s no cap on the number of retakes you can attempt; however, it’s vital to think about how you manage your time and finances. Investing more time and effort effectively could help you minimize the need for, and cost of, further resits.

It’s worth noting that if you receive a lower grade on a resit, the exam board will disregard the resit score and your certificate will display the original, higher grade.

Final Advice

Don’t worry if your GCSE results don’t turn out as you hoped or if your remark was unsuccessful. This happens to many students every year and there can be various reasons, such as exam anxiety.

To make the most out of your revision, utilise past papers and various free GCSE revision resources online.

It’s reported that 20% of appealed GCSE grades end up being raised. So, if your teacher recommends it, go for it! If not, you always have the option to retake your GCSEs while pursuing A-levels. Remember that different sixth forms have varying entrance requirements and some may require specific GCSE grades. So, be sure to choose wisely!

Don’t worry too much and good luck!


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