GCSE Retakes

GCSE Retakes Although many students joining us have already taken GCSE courses, some may wish to take additional subjects or improve existing GCSE grades in order to satisfy university entrance requirements. Students who have completed Year 10 but would like a greater level of support in smaller, examination-oriented classes may enrol on our one-year GCSE courses, in which they will also benefit from a focus on physical, social and health education (PSHE) and extend their creative skills in our extra-curricular programme. For those transferring between schools mid-year due to relocation or illness, our tailored tuition can provide a suitable and flexible programme of GCSE study; we also offer high-quality intensive GCSE Easter Revision courses.

GCSE Retakes

A number of students join the College each year to retake GCSE subjects, either alongside A Level courses or before starting A Levels. Students may need higher grades to satisfy university entrance requirements – or may simply want to broaden their options for future education.

Improve your results

For most UK universities, a minimum of five GCSE passes at grade C or above is a mandatory requirement. Students should have attained this standard before beginning A Levels.

Those needing to retake GCSE subjects must decide how soon they want to re-sit their exams. This will depend on various factors, such as knowledge and aptitude in the subject, amount of preparation required, other work priorities, and the availability of winter exam sittings. GCSE coursework is also a factor, as this may be carried forward or resubmitted, but is not transferable to a different examining board.

Expert advice

We are happy to offer advice about GCSE preparation and retake strategies, either by telephone, email or at interview. In most cases one or two subjects may be taken early in November, the remainder being taken over a full academic year. Where only one or two subjects need to be retaken to satisfy university requirements, it is normally possible to begin A Levels and retake GCSE subjects alongside these. The standard structure for a GCSE retake course is four hours per week of small-group lessons, or two hours of individual tutorials per week in each subject. However, a different number of hours can be provided as appropriate.

One Year GCSE Programme

For students who are seeking to improve their overall academic profile to enable them to progress onto further academic studies, a one year retake programme is offered enabling students to achieve up to seven GCSE awards.

The core curriculum comprises Mathematics, English Language, English Literature and Double Award Science. Students may also choose a further two optional subjects from:

  • Art & Design
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages (French, Spanish, Italian, German and Latin)
  • Science (Triple Award)
  • Or BTEC Level 2 Business (equivalent to 2 GCSEs)

Within a stimulating weekly programme (PSHE), students also develop and extend their creative skills through our Extra Curricular Programme with trips, sport and cultural events. There is also a vibrant social programme making extensive use of the many facilities within the city and university of Oxford.

Sample GCSE Retake Timetable

The timetable varies according to subject. Additional subjects are available.


  9am 10am 11am 12pm 1pm 2pm 3pm 4pm 5pm
Monday Maths English Science Lunch Science Option 1 Option 2 PSHE  
Tuesday Maths English Science Lunch Science Option 1 Option 2 Sport Sport
Wednesday Maths English Science Lunch Science Activity Activity Activity Activity
Thursday Maths English Supervised Study Lunch English Option 1 Option 2 Art  
Friday Maths English Supervised Study Lunch Option 1 Option 1 Option 2 Option 2  

Bespoke GCSE Programmes

For students who only need to retake a few GCSEs, most commonly in Maths, Science or English, a tailored programme can be arranged allowing students to retake either in November or June, either alongside or prior to A-level studies.

Oxford Tutorial College can provide bespoke courses of individual tuition in such instances in up to seven subjects. From a pastoral perspective it is usually helpful for a student to be assimilated into existing classes in some subjects, with additional teaching provided on an individual basis to ‘catch up’, but entirely individually-tailored courses are also an option.