Since English and maths resits were made compulsory for all college students who achieved a D grade during their time at school, entries among students aged 17 and over have rocketed.
Accordingly, colleges have been forced to hire external venues, cancel classes and even hire double decker buses to ensure that all students were able to sit their exams this year.
This summer marked the final opportunity for college students to sit the legacy version of the qualifications; those who failed to achieve the all-important C grade this summer will have to start the reformed versions of the qualifications next month.
Results were mixed. Out of almost 60,000 English entries from 17-plus students across the UK, 29 per cent achieved a C grade or better, up from 26.9 per cent last year. But among the 149,537 entries from older students who sat maths, there was a significant dip in the A*-C pass rate, from 29.5 per cent in 2016 to 24.4 per cent this year.
This means that across the two subjects, some 74,000 entries ended up receiving a D grade. The sizeable proportion of these students who end up studying in colleges next month will find themselves having to start preparing to take the new, linear GCSEs next summer.
And the pressure on colleges is unlikely to ease in the coming year. Across the two subjects, more than 211,000 students ended up with a grade 3 in the reformed GCSEs; this means that if they enrol on a college course, they will face a resit. Stephen Exley