If you are unhappy with your results

If you are unhappy with your results, please speak to your teachers about the best options for you. You might decide to see your exam paper, go for a review, or re-sit your exam, so here is an overview of what's available and when.

Access to scripts

You can request a priority photocopy of the marked exam paper to help you to decide whether to request a review of marking or a clerical check. If a university place is pending, go straight to a priority review of marking instead. See our post-results services pages for more information.

We’re unfortunately not able to offer priority access to GCSE scripts in summer 2016.

Review of marking

Getting your paper reviewed is one option to consider. Please see post-results services for details of all the services available. Our flowchart shows when to use which service.

  • A review of marking could mean that you end up with the same or a lower mark, so your school/college will ask you for written consent before they request it on your behalf.
  • Only your exams officer can request the review on your behalf. We can't accept requests from individual students or their parents, even if the school is closed.
  • We send the outcomes of reviews directly to schools and colleges and they'll pass them on to you.
  • Your school/college may charge you an admin fee in addition to the review fee. We only charge a review fee if your grade stays the same.
  • Private candidates can access these services through the exams officer at the school/college where they took the exam, or apply to us by emailing eos@aqa.org.uk or calling 0800 197 7162 (or +44 161 696 5995 from outside the UK).

How long does a review of marking take?

The time taken for a review will depend on the type of service you have requested. It's important you make your request as soon as possible.

We understand how important your results are to you and aim to provide an outcome as quickly as possible. Here are the timescales for reviews of marking:

  • priority review of marking within 18 calendar days
  • review of marking within 30 calendar days.

A full guide to post-results services is available on the JCQ website.

A-level students

  • If your university place depends on the outcome of your results and you are applying for a review, you should apply for a priority review. We aim to return all outcomes within 18 calendar days
  • If you are concerned about your university place, please talk to your university admissions officer or UCAS - who are aware of the post-results services available
  • You should ask your exams officer to make requests as early as possible so you don't miss the UCAS deadline.
  • We will update UCAS if your overall grade changes.


A-level and GCSE assessments are linear, which means you sit all your exams in the same series, usually at the end of your course in June. This affects when you can re-sit your exams, which is explained below.

Ofqual has also confirmed its decisions on final re-sit entries to outgoing GCSEs, AS and A-levels. For more information about this, see our policy pages.

GCSE students

November 2016 is a re-sit only series but is restricted to entries for English, English Language and Maths, and you'll need to re-sit all written exams. For other subjects, your earliest re-sit opportunity will be in June 2017, and you will also need to re-sit all written exams.

For the new GCSEs, taught from September 2015 with first exams in June 2017, any student who sits an exam in the November series must have reached the age of 16 on or before 31 August in that calendar year. This will be the first time that an age restriction applies, and the November series will be restricted to entries for English Language and Maths.

You can carry forward your controlled assessment and Speaking and Listening endorsement, or re-do both units as well. This is explained below.

AS and A-level students

You can now only re-sit AS/A-level units and qualifications in the June series as there are no longer any January exams.

Controlled assessment

  • You can re-use your controlled assessment unit results when your work has been moderated and already used towards an award. This includes when you want to re-use these results from a single award towards a double award in the same subject.
  • If you re-take your controlled assessment, the new mark must be used for your award even if it's lower than the original.
  • You can't re-use unit results from a short course to aggregate to a full course.

If you re-do your controlled assessment, please ask your teacher what task you should be doing.

Please see carry forward of marks for more information.

Speaking and Listening – GCSE English/English Language

Speaking and Listening doesn't count towards final grades in GCSE English and English Language. It's a separate endorsement, graded on a scale of 5-1 (5 being the highest, 1 being the lowest, with students below 1 graded U [unclassified]).

If you're unhappy with your grade you will not be able to re-take Speaking and Listening on its own. You will need to re-take the whole GCSE English/English Language qualification.

You can carry forward your grade to the next series if you re-take the qualification, provided:

  • you have already been awarded the endorsement (linked to a GCSE English/English Language qualification)
  • it is the grade from your most recent attempt (even if it is not your highest grade).

You can read our full list of FAQs about these changes and speak to your teacher if you have any questions.

Private candidates

If you want to re-sit as a private candidate, you'll need to check that the specification is available to private candidates (see our subject pages) and find a school/college that accepts private candidates.

As a private candidate you are also likely to be charged entry fees even when you are carrying forward your controlled assessment and Speaking and Listening. This is because you will need to be 're-entered' for these units when you re-sit the written exam as the move to linear assessment means you need to be entered for all units in a series.

Appeals and complaints

Please speak to your school/college about your concerns. Unless you are a private candidate you can't appeal directly, your headteacher or principal will need to submit an appeal on your behalf. And you can only appeal against the outcome of:

  • an enquiry about results
  • a special consideration adjustment
  • a malpractice decision.

You can find out more on our appeals page.


As each school or college has an exams complaints process, you should contact your school/college first. If you have on-going concerns about their response, use our Contact us page to get in touch.

Exam paper errors

We do our best to avoid errors, but if this does happen, our priority is to ensure that no student is disadvantaged as a result. Our examiners will be aware of the error when they are marking and grading the exam. They can also look at how it may have affected all the students taking the exam.

Find out what to do if you see an error in an exam paper on our So it's exams day page.