When Do GCSEs Start And Finish?

when do gcses start

Ever heard the phrase “big exams” and wondered when you will meet them? If you’re in school, you might be facing them soon. GCSEs are part of these big exams that many students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland take at around ages 15 and 16. They help decide what subjects you might study later on in school. But when do GCSEs start and finish?

GCSE exams are normally done at the end of the year, as you already know if you’re familiar with them. But the thing is, it’s usually challenging to remember specifics about when they start and finish.

Well, you won’t need to worry about that any longer as that is the question we will be answering in this article.

When Do GCSEs Start And Finish in 2024?

Written GCSE exams typically begin in May, more precisely in the second or third week of May, for the main exam season. Check out this government-written article from The Education Hub for more information.

Written GCSE exams for 2024 will begin on May 9th.

The following table shows when GCSEs began between 2019 and 2024 and how comparable this was to prior years.

Start Date
9th May
15th May 2023
16th May 2022
13th May 2019

For students older than 16 who want to retake their GCSE English Language or GCSE Maths exams, resit exams are also held in November.

GCSE exams for this series will often begin in the first week of November, while it may commence at the end of October.

The November GCSEs will begin on November 6, 2024. The table below compares this.

Year Start Date
2023 7th November
2022 31st October
2019 4th November

This 2024 GCSE resits actually depend on the subject you’re taking. English Language and Maths: These two subjects have a separate resit window in November 2024. The exact dates will be:

  • Tuesday, November 5th: English Language Paper 1
  • Wednesday, November 6th: Maths Paper 1
  • Thursday, November 7th: English Language Paper 2
  • Friday, November 8th: Maths Paper 2
  • Monday, November 11th: Maths Paper 3

All Other Subjects: If you’re resitting subjects other than English or Maths, you’ll have to wait for the next main exam season in May/June 2025.

See Also: Can You Retake Your GCSEs at Any Age?

When Do GCSES Finish in 2024?

GCSE written exam completion for the summer exam period typically occurs in the third or fourth week of June.

GCSEs in 2024 are scheduled to finish on Wednesday, June 19th. This marks the last day of exams for most subjects. It’s a good day to circle on your calendar – the official end of the big exam period!

Remember, this is a general timeframe, and there might be slight variations depending on your specific exam board and chosen subjects. But overall, June 19th is the target finish line for most GCSE students in 2024.

See the following table to find out when the summer exam season for GCSEs ended between 2019 and 2023.

Year End Date
2023 27th June
2022 28th June
2019 19th June

As was already noted, GCSE English Language or Mathematical Subjects retakes are also given in November. November GCSE exams typically end a few weeks later, still in November.

The ending date for GCSE resits depends on the subject you’re taking. English Language and Maths: These subjects have an earlier resit window in November 2024. Their last exam will be on Monday, November 11th, with Maths Paper 3.

All Other Subjects: If you’re resitting subjects other than English or Maths, the resits will happen during the next main exam season in May/June 2025. So, there won’t be a specific “ending” date for resits this year for these subjects. They’ll take place alongside the regular exams next summer.

Remember that WJEC and CCEA have slightly different dates, so these November GCSE exam dates only apply to the English exam boards.

When is The 2024 GCSEs Start Exam Dates?

For the GCSE topics that are required of all pupils, the important exam dates are for those courses.

With GCSE English Literature frequently being made mandatory by secondary schools themselves, these are GCSE English Language, GCSE Maths, and GCSE Combined Science.

The important dates for these tests vary depending on the exam board and the specific paper each year. The various exam boards, especially for mandatory exams like these, may decide to schedule their exams on the same day.

Please click on the appropriate link to the exam timetable for each of the following exam boards: AQA, Pearson Edexcel, OCR, WJEC, and CCEA to find out more about the dates of each of these summer 2024 GCSE exams.

Read Related Post: How Many Marks Is It To Pass GCSE Maths?

When are the English GCSEs Start Dates for 2024?

English GCSEs in 2024 are part of the bigger bunch of GCSE exams happening in May and June. While there’s no single start date for all exams, English Literature and English Language have their specific dates within that window.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • English Literature: The first English Literature exam kicks off on Monday, May 13th, 2024.
  • English Language: You’ll have to wait a bit longer for English Language. The first paper starts on Thursday, May 23rd, 2024.

Remember, these are just the starting points for English. The exact dates for your specific exams might differ a little depending on the exam board.

The date for the second paper depends on whether you’re asking about English Literature or English Language:

  • English Literature: The second English Literature paper is scheduled for Monday, May 20th, 2024.
  • English Language: The second English Language paper falls on Thursday, June 6th, 2024.

These dates apply to the main exam period in 2024. For GCSE English Language resits in 2024, the second paper will be on a different date compared to the main exam period:

Second English Language Resit Paper: This one lands on Thursday, November 7th, 2024.
That’s the key date to remember if you’re resitting English Language this November.

What are The Dates for The 2024 GCSE Math Exams?

The GCSE Maths exam dates for 2024 are the same for the English exam boards (AQA, Pearson Edexcel, and OCR), although they differ somewhat for WJEC and CCEA.

Here’s the breakdown for the 2024 GCSE Math exams:

Main Exams (May & June 2024):

  • First Paper: Thursday, May 16th. This is the kick-off day for the first paper, regardless of which tier (foundation or higher) you’re taking.
  • Second Paper: Monday, June 3rd.
  • Third Paper: Monday, June 10th. This is your last chance to showcase your math skills in the main exam period.

Resit Exams (English Language & Maths Only):

For those needing to retake Maths, there’s a separate resit window in November 2024. Here’s the specific schedule:

  • First Paper: Tuesday, November 5th. This is when the first resit paper for Maths happens.
  • Second Paper: The second Maths resit paper follows on Friday, November 8th.
  • Third Paper: If you’re resitting Maths at a higher tier, there’s a third paper on Monday, November 11th.

These resit dates only apply to the English Language and Maths. Resits for all other subjects will happen during the next main exam season, which is May/June 2025.

Also, read: Top 10 Hardest GCSE Maths Questions

What are The GCSE Combined Science Exam Dates for 2024?

According to the GCSE exam board, the major GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Science (Double Award) exams will take place on the same dates in 2024. This is true except for WJEC, which has a unique date for one exam.

Biological Exams

On the morning of May 10th, Biology Paper 1 for higher-level, foundational, combined-science, and single-science students was administered by AQA, CCEA, Edexcel, OCR, and WJEC.

AQA, CCEA, Edexcel, and OCR will administer the second biology paper for higher-level, foundational, combined-science, and single-science students on the afternoon of June 7th.

The second WJEC Biology paper for GCSEs in 2024 lands on Friday, June 7th. This applies to everyone taking Biology, whether you’re in the foundation or higher tier.

See Also: 6 Careers You Can Pursue With a Bachelor’s in Biology

Chemical Exams

The specific dates for your exams will depend on the exam board you’re taking, but here’s a breakdown:

WJEC Chemistry

If you’re taking WJEC exams, mark your calendars for Friday, May 17th. This is the big day for the first paper, regardless of whether you’re in foundation or higher tier. Then, to showcase all the amazing chemistry knowledge you’ve learned, you’ll have another chance to shine on Friday, June 14th, for the second paper.

Other Exam Boards

The exact dates for other exam boards (like AQA, OCR, or Eduqas) might differ slightly. In general, the first Chemistry paper for these boards typically falls somewhere between Thursday, May 16th, and Monday, May 20th. The second paper usually follows within a two-week window, so expect it around Friday, May 31st, to Friday, June 7th.

Physics Exams

AQA, CCEA, Edexcel, WJEC, and OCR will administer Physics Paper 1 for upper and foundational, combined, and single-science students on Thursday, May 22nd.

The second physics paper for higher-level, foundational, combined-science, and single-science students will be administered by AQA, CCEA, Edexcel, and OCR on the morning of May 31st to June 114th

For WJEC, the first paper is the same as other exam boards, while the second paper is for 2024 on June 14th.

Also, read 10 Resources & Best Websites for Physics 

How Long Does the GCSE Exam Last?

As previously stated, the main exam series’ GCSE exam period normally occurs between May and June.

Due to the tests starting later in May and the week that students have off for half term at the end of May, GCSE exams do not typically take place over these two months.

Instead of the full eight weeks of these two months, the GCSE exam period lasts only roughly four weeks. However, depending on the year, this might change a little.

Visit this Last-Minute GCSE Revision Tips| Score Higher in Last Minute article for more information.

When Will GCSEs Start in 2025?

GCSE exams in 2025 are expected to kick off sometime in late April or early May. This is a tentative timeframe, and the exact start date can vary slightly depending on the specific exam board and subject.

While we can’t give you the exact date yet, here’s a tip: Around the beginning of the year, look for information on your school or exam board website. They’ll have the most up-to-date schedule for your specific situation.

Don’t worry—we’ll keep you updated, too! In future posts, we’ll share the confirmed start and end dates for 2025 GCSEs and provide helpful tips for preparing for them.

Please view the tentative exam schedule for the summer of 2025 by selecting the appropriate exam board from the list below: AQA, Pearson Edexcel.

When do Secondary School Students Begin Studying for The GCSEs?

Students who are preparing for the GCSE exams often finish their coursework a few months or even a few weeks before the end of Year 11. However, the school may have more of an influence over when students begin studying the material.

According to government regulations, pupils should take GCSEs between the ages of 14 and 16. This corresponds to Years 10 and 11 or Years 11 and 12 in Northern Ireland in terms of academic years. Check out this government official guide for more information.

However, some schools in Northern Ireland may begin introducing the GCSE content, or at least portions of it, as early as Year 9 or Year 10.

Due to the extensive substance of GCSE courses and the difficulty in completing them in time for exams, several secondary schools, including the one I attended, have made this decision.

GCSE Exam Dates 2024 UK

The 2024 GCSE exams in the UK will generally run from early May to mid-June. This translates to roughly between Thursday, May 9th and Wednesday, June 19th this year. However, it’s important to remember that these are general dates.

The exact schedule for your exams will depend on two key factors: the specific subjects you’re taking and the exam board you’re under. To find out your precise exam dates, the best resource is your school or the exam board’s website. They’ll have the most up-to-date and accurate information for you.

For instance, English Language exams typically have a first paper around Thursday, May 23rd, with a separate resit window in November. Maths exams, on the other hand, have their first paper on a set date – Thursday, May 16th.

Read Also: What is General Studies at the A-Level? Your Complete GCSE and A-Level Guide

When Does GCSES Start? When Do GCSES Start 2024 November?

The big GCSE exam rush for 2024 is almost ending! Those exams typically ran from early May to mid-June, between Thursday, May 9th, and Wednesday, June 19th. So, if you were taking exams for most subjects in 2024, you can relax.

However, there is a special exception for English Language and Maths. If you need to retake these subjects, there’s a separate resit window in November 2024. This gives you another chance to demonstrate your skills.

The English Language resit exams are broken down into two papers: the first on Tuesday, November 5th, and the second on Thursday, November 7th. Maths resits also have separate papers.

The first and second papers are on Tuesday, November 5th, and Friday, November 8th, respectively. If you’re resitting Maths at a higher tier, there’s a third paper scheduled for Monday, November 11th.

It’s important to remember that this resit opportunity is only for English Language and Maths. Resits for all other subjects that weren’t passed in the main exam period will happen during the next main exam season in May/June 2025.


When will the 2024 GCSEs begin?

The 2024 GCSE exams already took place, running from Thursday, May 9th to Wednesday, June 19th.

What is the Accepted grade for GCSE 2024?

The highest grades offered are 9, 8, and 7, with a 7 nearly equaling an A. The new system places the old A* grade between an 8 and a 9. A score of 6 or 5 is equivalent to a B, a score of 4 is roughly a C, and the digits 3, 2, and 1 fall between the former D, E, F, and G marks.

In 2024, how many GCSEs will you take?

To ensure your achievement, you must use the proper dosage of them and put forth significant effort in each one. With a few exceptions, the typical student takes 8 GCSEs. Any more than this can be mentally taxing due to the increased burden. Furthermore, the more pressure you place on yourself, the worse your final grades will be.

How challenging will the GCSE be in 2024?

Due to a significant learning loss, particularly among underprivileged kids, it is expected that GCSE 2024 marks will be lower than pre-covid grades. The government will offer formulae and equation sheets in physics, math, and combined science to students to aid their preparation for the upcoming GCSE tests.

How long should GCSE preparation take?

Possibly six months

Starting the process at the beginning of Year 11 is a smart idea because it typically takes six months to prepare for your GCSEs. However because everyone is unique, some people could require longer study sessions than others.


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