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What Happens if You Miss a GCSE Exam?


Lead Academy

6 Mins Read

What can be worse than missing your GCSE exam after months of preparation? Unfortunately, none of us has any control over the unprecedented life events. There can be illness, family issues or weather conditions preventing you from sitting for the exam.

But, what happens if you miss a GCSE exam? We have explained everything in detail for your convenience. Give this blog a read!

What happens if you miss a GCSE Exam?

A depressed teen student with book on head sitting on the couch

Stop panicking! You don’t need to worry so much! Missing a GCSE exam is not the end of the world! You will be able to resit GCSE if you have missed the exam for a valid reason like sudden illness, bad weather and family circumstances.

But, if you were unable to take the exam for a silly reason like waking up late, you will fail the exam.

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What happens if you are ill for a GCSE Exam?

The schools have become accustomed to dealing with illness-related absences mostly post Covid. If you miss an exam due to sudden illness, whether it’s Covid or any other illness, inform your school as soon as possible that you won’t be able to attend the exam.

If your illness does not require any hospital treatment, you will need to contact your local GP surgery to obtain a medical certificate. This will prove that you are genuinely ill.

If you fall ill on your exam day at the examination centre, speak with someone as soon as possible.

An ill student sneezing and rubbing nose while studying

What happens if you miss a GCSE exam due to weather disruption?

Your school may call off the exam and reschedule for a later date if there is any extreme weather condition.

If the exam goes ahead but you are unable to make it to the GCSE exam centre, the centre may arrange for you to take the exam in a different venue closer to your location. If that is not possible, you have to retake your exam at a later date.

What happens if you miss a GCSE exam due to personal reasons?

There can be unforeseen personal circumstances on the day of your GCSE exam making you miss the exam unfortunately. But, you may still be able to obtain a grade for the exam. If your personal circumstances are deemed as “acceptable” by the exam board, your grade will end up being a combination of your mock exam grades and some grades from your coursework.

If you end up taking the exam but dealing with unforeseen personal circumstances at the same time, you can apply for “Special Consideration,” where a small percentage (1%-5%) will be added to your final result to boost your grade.

However, the GCSE exam boards need to be convinced that your personal circumstances had a detrimental effect on your exam performance in order to be considered for special consideration.

What do you have to do if you miss a GCSE Exam?

The first step should be notifying your GCSE exam centre. Ideally, your school is your exam centre if you are not a private candidate.

Try to contact the exam officer through a phone call. If the officer is unreachable via call, send an email to be on the safe side. Your centre would then inform the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) and possibly the exam board. They would also advise you on what to do next.

After checking all the circumstances carefully, JCQ will notify whether you qualify for ‘special consideration’ or not. You will be eligible for a percentage of your current grade in the subject you missed the exam for if you are granted special consideration. However, if you are not granted special consideration, you will fail the exam.

Wait! Do not come to a conclusion yet! You can still apply to retake the GCSE exam.

What is a Special Consideration?

“Special consideration” is the grant given to the students to have additional marks in the subjects in which they have missed the exam. The grant depends upon the timing nature and how acceptable is the student’s circumstances.
The following shows how much grant is given in case of special consideration-

  • A 5% grant is given to the student who has the most exceptional cases. The grant of 4% is given to the student who does have a very serious problem.
  • The grant of 2% is given to the student who has the most common cases.
  • The grant of 1% is given to the student who has minor problems due to which they were not able to give the GCSE exam.


What happens if you fail GCSE?

If you fail GCSE, you will have the opportunity to retake the exam. You can either retake the subjects individually or take the entire exam, depending on your individual situation.

When do you take your GCSEs?

In the UK, students mostly study GCSEs in the Year 10 and 11 and take the exam at the end of year 11. The students are typically between the ages of 14-16. However, anyone of any age can take GCSEs in a wide range of academic or work-related subjects.

What happens if I miss a GCSE exam?

If you miss your GCSE exam, you can always retake it. When you miss the exam for any unprecedented event, under special consideration, you get a percentage of your current GCSE grades in the subjects you missed the exam for. However, if you miss the exam for waking up late, you will fail the exam and need to retake it.

What happens if you miss a mock GCSE exam?

Typically, you get to resit the mock GCSE exam at a later date If you miss the exam. Missing these exams does not affect your actual GCSE results.

Can I resit my GCSEs?

Yes, you can always resit your GCSEs. If you have not achieved your desired GCSE grades or failed to achieve a minimum of grade 4, you can resit GCSEs as many times you want.


Missing a GCSE exam can be like a nightmare of your life; even the thought itself can be daunting. Prepare at your best to avoid any unwanted incidents. If you still miss your GCSE, you can always retake it.

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