Looking for jobs after lower than expected GCSE results?

Welcome to our GCSEs feature on supporting your child’s career after some uninspiring GCSE results. Other GCSE issues we are often focus around the

What are the 2024 GCSE pass mark calculations and when is the 2024 GCSE Results Day.


Which jobs are possible after poor GCSE results

For many young people, the day they receive their exam results is one of celebration that marks the positive transition from one stage of their education to the next. However, for some, this day brings with it feelings of anxiety and potential disappointment.


Supporting your child’s GCSE results

  • The last few years have seen continued disruption to learning as a result of the pandemic. This may add to the uncertainty which students feel about what results they get and how they’ll receive them. It’s possible that more young people will find this day difficult, as they attempt to navigate it.
  • As a parent or carer, you may be looking ahead to this moment with some trepidation and wonder how best to support your child at this time. Here are some tips:

Prepare for the day

  • If you sense that your child is becoming increasingly anxious ahead of results day, help them to be prepared for it. Ensuring they eat and sleep well in the approaching days – and continue with the activities they enjoy – will help support a positive frame of mind.
  • Work out a plan for the day, perhaps beginning it with a favourite breakfast, encouraging contact with trusted friends to share support, and making sure you’re at hand (whether physically close by, or available by phone) for when they receive their results.
  • If you’ve worked through a range of options, help your child to be prepared to act on these, e.g. by knowing the availability of a supportive teacher, the contact details of prospective colleges, or having to hand a list of available apprenticeships and their entry criteria.
  • These small steps will foster feelings of being in control in an unknown situation, and they may help lead to a more resilient response.

Put your child first

  • This day is the culmination of many years of hard work. It should always be marked and celebrated, regardless of what results your child receives.
  • While you may have your own hopes (and a sense of what success looks like), it’s really important to try and see the results your child receives from their perspective. If they’re happy, you should share in that feeling with them.
  • Similarly, if they’re experiencing feelings of disappointment and loss, make sure you empathise with them.
  • Resist the temptation to share stories of the results of other family members, or what others have done on results day. Instead, keep the focus on your own child. This is their unique experience, so avoid comparisons. Put them first.

Keep things in perspective

  • There can be pressure on young people to see this day as either a success or a failure.
  • Remind them that this isn’t the case and, while their results may directly relate to what they do next, they don’t decide what they can achieve in the future.
  • They have their whole adult life ahead of them, and this is one step in a longer journey.
  • Encourage them to look positively at this bigger picture, so they can maintain a sense of focus. There’s even more value in this if their results bring some disappointment.

Evaluate the options together

  • When your child receives their results, they may be faced with unexpected decisions.
  • Encourage them to think through the options carefully and not to rush to decide.
  • Give them the time and space to process their current emotions, before attempting to move forward.
  • Avoid phrases such as ‘don’t panic’ and ‘don’t be disappointed’, as they’re unlikely to feel helpful.
  • Instead, ensure they feel validated in their emotions by accepting and backing up their response, especially as they may react differently to their peers.
  • Talk together, but perhaps also encourage them to seek a range of opinions to help them decide what to do next – this might be from friends and teachers who know them well.
  • Remind them of their existing support network, and that asking for help in difficult situations is not a sign of weakness.

Talk things through in advance

  • Giving your child the opportunity to voice their hopes and worries about the future will help them begin to make decisions independently.
  • Some children may need help to start this conversation because it feels daunting to them, so maybe ask when they’d like to talk about it.
  • This conversation can allow you to work together to begin to identify a plan, so that your child goes into results day with different options available to them. It will make the experience feel less overwhelming and allow your child to regain a sense of control if they receive unexpected results.
  • But together, also guard against doing too much reflecting or predicting of what lies ahead, as this itself can create stress.

AFTER Getting your 2022 GCSE results

So now what? Well, School Entrance Tests recommend taking a step back as it were. Certainly go out with your GCSE mates and celebrate – even if you thought your 2022 GCSE grades would be higher.

What are my Post-GCSE 2022 options?

You now have many options. Staying on at school for A-Levels isn’t for everyone. There’s many other routes to a successful life.
There are many post GCSE 2022 options, including the following:

  • BTECs
  • Apprenticeships
  • Gap year
  • Getting a job
  • University
  • Starting your own business

Our YouTube video describing

Possible jobs after poor GCSE results

The key GCSE 2022 Results points to know 

If you are taking vocational and technical qualifications (VTQs 2022) then please see 2022 VTQ grades.

  • 2022 GCSE grade boundaries will likely be lower than when summer exams were last sat in 2019. This might not always be the case though. Grade boundaries change each year to reflect any differences in the demand of the question papers.
  • Students’ grades will be determined only by the number of marks they achieve on the assessments.
  • It doesn’t matter where in the country students are located, or the type of school or college they attend; the same grade boundaries will apply to everyone taking the qualification.
  • Students will achieve the marks they gain in their exams in many different ways.
  • GCSEs, AS and A levels are also not norm-referenced. There is no quota for the number of students that can get a particular grade – and there never has been.
  • Results will be part-way between those of summer 2019 and summer 2021. It is unlikely that results will be precisely at a midpoint between summer 2019 and 2021 – overall or for individual subjects. This will also likely vary at different grades, because it will depend on how students have performed.
  • Results in summer 2021 were higher than in 2019 to a greater extent in some subjects than others.
  • And so, following our announcement in 2019 that we would seek better alignment between these subjects and GCSE Spanish.

The CCEA exam board, which covers most of the nation’s pupils, is allowing them to drop an entire exam unit if they wish.


Using past GCSE papers for your 2024 GCSE revision 

We hope that our GCSE 2023 guide and past GCSE exam papers help you achieve your best GCSE grades.