What happens if you miss a GCSE Exam?

For a student giving a GCSE exam is extremely important and the student has to get good grades in the GCSE exam as it will be going to decide their future in education. But there are many situations in which they are not able to give the GCSE exams. So what will happen in such a situation?

Quick Takeaways

  • If you miss any of your GCSE, the first thing you need to do is to consider getting in contact with the head of the centre. 
  • You will need to give them the reason and apply for special consideration. 
  • After examining your reason, if you are qualified for the special consideration then, you will be getting the current grade in the subject. Otherwise, you will be marked as a fail in that subject and may have to resit for it.

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any of the important facts related to what will happen if you miss your GCSE exam.

What happens if you miss a GCSE Exam?

What Happens if You Miss a GCSE Exam?

It has the same circumstances as missing A-levels. In case the student is not able to give the GCSE exam they should first inform the centre and if the call is not answered by someone then the next step is to send an email to the exam officer. If not possible they can send the admin the email so that they can inform the exam officer. The email should be sent to inform the exam officer by the student’s parent or guardian. Making a phone call or email gives proof that the student has tried to call them or inform them and does miss the exam intentionally. And they would guide the student on what to do next.

After checking all the circumstances the student will be notified about if they have qualified for the special consideration or not. If the student is qualified for the special consideration then the student will have the percentage of their current grade in the subject in which they were not able to give the exam. And if the student does not qualify for the special consideration then the student will fail the exam. As there are two tiers – Foundation and Higher, you can shift from the higher to the foundation tier or vice versa.

But still, the student can apply to retake the GCSE exam. It is also done when you get fail in the GCSE. However, when you are reapplying for a GCSE, you must remember not to do some things like giving up, during your exam time. You may not want to fail your year 11, because after completing it you will have to sit for your A-levels. Therefore you must remember the dates when the exams will start and finish.

What Happens if a Student Arrives Late to GCSE Exam?

You should inform the centre or the exam officer that you are going to be late for the GCSE exam. Depending on how late you are, you may or may not be allowed to give the exam. If you are resitting the exams, you must make sure that you are coming on time, so that you do not do worse in GCSEs. But if you arrive late for the exam you will not gain any extra time to complete the exam as the exam time will be the same for all the students. You must not arrive late so that you do not miss the exam. It is because you can not lie in the UCAS application when you are applying in the university.

What happens if you miss a GCSE Exam?

What is the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ)?

It is an organization that is made up of the 8 largest providers of qualifications in the UK. They are responsible for the process of special consideration in which they have to consider the circumstances of the student by which they are not able to give the exam. They make sure that special consideration is given to the student or the candidate who has experienced illness, injury, or some other problems which cannot be controlled at the time.

The student applies for special consideration when there are some situations or problems which are reasons for not making it possible for the candidate to give the exam on the specified date. The joint Council for qualification has made a proper guideline by which the circumstances are being explained to consider them special consideration or not.

What is special consideration? 

Special consideration is the allowance given to the student to have additional marks in the subjects in which they are not able to give the exam which is being properly explained in the guideline by JCQ. The allowance depends upon the timing nature and how reasonable the student’s circumstances or illness. 

What happens if you miss a GCSE Exam?

The following are showing how the allowance and how much it is given in case of special consideration:

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

What happens if the reason the student Has to explain is not on the joint Council qualification list? 

If the student has given a reason which is not eligible for the special consideration then the student will fail the exam they are not able to give. However, if the student speaks to the exam officer or to the joint Council qualification it is possible that there will be some reason that they have not written in the list that can be considered as a special consideration. You may also get average GCSE grades for a valid reason.


When a student is missing an exam of GCSE due to some unpredictable circumstances then there is a system organized by the joint Council qualification which ensures that they will get the grade so that they pass the exam they have missed but for that, they have to meet all the criteria which are considered under special consideration. And if the student doesn’t have reasons like waking up late or missing the bus etc these types of reasons are not on the list of special considerations and the student will fail that exam.

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