Advanced Software (return to the homepage)

GCSE resits: What do learners need to succeed?

02/07/2024 minute read OneAdvanced PR

They’re multiplying…

In 2023, 167,000 learners had to resit GCSE maths and English – 20,000 more than the previous year. This put significant pressure on colleges, many of which are already under-resourced. The Association of Colleges (AoC) estimates an annual cost of £16m a year to cope with the extra demand.

Papers, please?

When it comes to maths and English GCSE resits, past exam papers are a common method of revision. For those who are self-motivated, they can add structure to study sessions and ensure the learner is familiar with the format and style of the exam. They can improve time management skills, allow for self-assessment, and give the learner an understanding how marks are allocated.

For many, though, this type of self-guided preparation is unrealistic. Resitters often require additional help and motivation to succeed at GSCE exams, particularly when past failures have given them a sense they simply ‘can’t do’ certain subjects.

What’s more, many learners do not have a solid grasp on which topic areas require the most attention, requiring guided input from teachers or digital assessment tools. With the correct guidance, learners can be certain they are on the right track, and making the best use of their time.

One size doesn’t fit all

Teachers know that what works for one learner doesn’t work for another. Some learners do well with short, visual explanations – video clips or animations, for example – while others prefer teacher-led explanations and traditional ‘board work’.

In fact, keeping learners engaged is often the biggest challenge – many of whom find it difficult to concentrate for lengthy periods of time. This is important to bear in mind, particularly when teaching large cohorts of learners with additional needs. In this case, short, engaging study sessions are preferable.

Of course, adapting to multiple learner styles is not always possible, particulary when large class sizes are involved.  Budgetary constrains mean that teachers are often short on resources, including TAs and other additional support. Within this context, preparing learners for GCSE resit can be challenging.

Getting engaged

For Generation Z, using digital devices for a wide range of functions – including learning – is second nature. This has not gone unnoticed in further education, where software for learning and assessment has become a key tool in improving first-time pass rates in Digital Skills, Functional Skills, and GCSE.

This does not mean that digital platforms should replace teachers. But they can be a useful weapon in the teacher’s armoury, providing effective support for in-class learning and self-guided revision outside of the classroom.

With the right digital solution, all learners can benefit. Assessment and Learning from OneAdvanced, for example, appeals to learners who like to learn from past papers, with hundreds of examples from all the main exam boards.

It also has wider appeal, with short, engaging video explanations, progress checks, and exam practice. Using intelligent, adaptive technology, the software gives each learner a highly accurate picture of their strengths and weaknesses, stretching and consolidating in areas of priority. What’s more, Assessment and Learning can be used on any digital device, giving learners the chance to study anywhere with an internet connection.

Summing up

With significant numbers of learners now taking GCSE resits, finding the right learning tools has never been more important. The ideal combination should be a mix of teacher-led guidance and powerful digital solutions designed to keep learners engaged. Technology can be used to not only assess each individual with high accuracy, but can go a long way to improving GCSE resit pass rates for a wide range of learners.

Did you know we have an archive of free, on-demand webinars covering everything from funding and Ofsted to staff wellbeing? Find them here.