Why do people get bad grades at GCSE/A level? Watch

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Pro Crastination
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#21
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The majority of my friends have tutors but they don't revise, like at all, they could do so much better because they are so clever they just cannot be arsed until it's a tad too late. Maybe it's motivation thing
Haha, yeah. There's someone in one of my classes who I believe went to a private school up until their GCSEs, has a tutor for my class, and asked everybody if they had any spare essays they could give to them so they had some 'work' to hand to said tutor as they hadn't done any them self - needless to say, they got a D/E in their coursework.
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PsychadelicScarf
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#22
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I'm so sick of people on here acting like they're so great just because they're smart.

Not everybody can achieve high grades. Not everybody is a genius. Not everybody can just "memorise a textbook".

I took twelve GCSE's, and came out with one B, seven C's and four D's. I'm proud of that, seeing as I had only just (literally a few weeks before the exams), found out I was dyslexic. Not massivly, but enough for it to have impacted. I don't understand things all that well, and become easily frustrated when I don't get them. I'm also terrible at coursework.

Good for the people who've got good grades. Good for the people who've worked, but not got so great grades.

OP, what difference does it make to you? If everybody got brilliant grades, then they wouldn't mean as much. They would just be average.

Leave people alone.
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Zoelle
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#23
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Hmm to be honest i understand what you mean, for me i feel that if i ever get a C or sometimes even a low B in some subjects I feel like i "failed" which i know might seem really irritating or ungrateful to some people but it is my own aspirational grade that I am hoping to achieve so if i fail to do so then i feel like i failed it..hope that makes sense. However, I have friends who are doing higher and foundation paper and i clearly feel that people doing higher..get more opprunities and are treated much better. For example, I have a friend who used moved to this country from Poland I think and she is actually pretty smart but has been placed in for foundation tiers in everything, it makes her not want to try as hard anymore because she knows the maximum she can get is a C and she needs to get the majority of the questions right..i think that is kinda unfair..or they get told in class "try to aim for a C or you have to retake" which is not exactly good motivation..and also seeing as I am like in higher sets for my classes we get the best teachers, :/ We can head of departments teaching us whereas they get the other teacher..my friend is in one of the lower sets and she always complains how she never gets any homework, the teacher doesnt chase them up and although they are doing there GCSE's there teacher is still behind the lesson scheme and they feel like they are doing worse..i mean i personally feel that you need to look after your education but teachers ans schools are means to help a lot..you know what i mean? or did i just ramble on and not make any sense??
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ChaoticButterfly
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#24
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I got BCC in A-level and resent being told I pissed around as I definitely didn't.
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JackB784
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#25
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#25
(Original post by bertstare)
Blaming teachers for poor GCSE performance is the saddest cop out argument you'll ever hear. A CGP textbook which is about 50 pages long is more than enough to get an A or A*, and I'm sure you don't need a teacher to read and memorise a CGP book
Very trues. My GCSE science teachers were terrible. I pretty much taught myself the whole chemistry and physics courses with the CGP textbooks and got A* fairly easily in both.
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tomcat941
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#26
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As someone who is a 'high-achiever', I would actually argue that motivation and effort only covers some of the reasons why people don't do well. I have personally seen a lot of people, bright people, who are undermined by their mental health. This is around the same age that mental health problems begin to develop in most people who will have them, and it can have a significant impact. As someone who has had depression and recovered, I can tell you that during the period where I had depression, I had a medical note to excuse me from homework because it was too much, let alone revision.
On the other hand, though i typically get A* and A's in most subjects, I get U's in French. It doesn't matter how much work I do, I always end up with the same poor marks. Obviously, as this is such a difficultly for me I don't focus on it for actual GCSE's, but I was aiming for a C, and even then i feel short. Whilst at the same time I'm predicted A* for everything else and have even achieved it in exams I've already done.
Also, some people don't do well with exams. The brightest person I know, who always knows the answers to everything and will research things due to a genuine joy of learning and spends hour or revising can't manage to get above a B in most exams, even the ones they naturally excel at. This is the case for a lot of people.
Alternatively, people get too stressed out and they just shut down. GCSE's might be 'easy', but they do require a large work load (especially if you do art) and this can drain people. It also puts limits on time that can be spent revising. Not to mention you have teachers telling people these are the most important exams of their lives etc. Also, my school is still giving people out homework and we're not allowed to go on study leave, which is negatively effecting everyone.
Furthermore, some people don't know how to revise. Everyone revises differently, but you never really get taught how to do that, especially if you have never needed to revise before. This means you could do hours of revision but end up knowing no more at the end of it. This has happened to a lot of people I know. Some people can't even function in a class room environment because it doesn't benefit their learning style, and they then have understood nothing in class so don't even have a basis.
Also, it is all well and good to say you don't understand how people can't achieve something, when you have an ability at something. I myself have looked around and wondered how people don't understand what seems like the simpliest thing to me. You have to realize not everyone experiences the same thing as you, or has the same mental capacity. It would be like a great artist wondering why no one else can paint a masterpiece.
Finally, I do think that teachers play a role. If you can't get something in class, it often discourages people. I'm lucky in the fact I often do well in an academic environment, but when i do mess up or don't get something, I end up getting really wound up and annoyed and frustrated. For people who struggle to understand a lot of things, this would be very emotionally exhausting. Also, teachers can put people down. My mum quit school because the teacher said she was never going to achieve anything, so my mum couldn't see the point. I myself was actually called an utter disappointment the other day by a teacher (which is always fun.), and when I was younger I was put in the lower sets and labelled as stupid due to a speech impediment. I was only ever considered bright after the year 2 sats, which forced them to move me up. I was too young to particularly care, but I think it means I really value my academic ability. So it can go in two ways.
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WGR
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#27
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#27
(Original post by delicious one)
You don't even need to be academic - most literate human beings are capable of at least a B if they put in a little time.
"I can do it therefore it's not hard!"
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Chlorophile
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#28
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This is the single most arrogant and ignorant post I have seen on TSR in a long time, and that's saying something.
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ryan9900
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#29
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I wasn't motivated or inspired by anything at school. I was capable of achieving A's and B's at GCSE, but the teachers didn't want me to achieve my best. They just wanted everyone to 'pass' so that they looked good. They didn't care how well we did nor did they push us to achieve what we all deserved. I left with barely average GCSE's, but could have done better. A lot better.
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HighSinBerg
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#30
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In high school I got 2 A*'s , 7 A's and a B with a C in A-level modern foreign languages (year 10).

But now I'm in AS I started revising february leaving loads and loads of time to revise, yesterday i had my first exam ACCN1 aqa it was the most horrible paper to be I done every past paper 7 times and they were of no help. I most likely got a D if the boundaries drop so; I'm now looking at a C for AS accounting overall when I was getting and predicted an A throughout the year.

Im so disappointed ive started slacking on other subjects now, just feel as thought I've dropped all of a sudden; Im not a candidate who's good enough for 4 A's and it's really really pissing me off; (no thoughts of suicide, I'm too alive - drake)
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Pro Crastination
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#31
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#31
(Original post by Zoelle)
Hmm to be honest i understand what you mean, for me i feel that if i ever get a C or sometimes even a low B in some subjects I feel like i "failed" which i know might seem really irritating or ungrateful to some people but it is my own aspirational grade that I am hoping to achieve so if i fail to do so then i feel like i failed it..hope that makes sense. However, I have friends who are doing higher and foundation paper and i clearly feel that people doing higher..get more opprunities and are treated much better. For example, I have a friend who used moved to this country from Poland I think and she is actually pretty smart but has been placed in for foundation tiers in everything, it makes her not want to try as hard anymore because she knows the maximum she can get is a C and she needs to get the majority of the questions right..i think that is kinda unfair..or they get told in class "try to aim for a C or you have to retake" which is not exactly good motivation..and also seeing as I am like in higher sets for my classes we get the best teachers, :/ We can head of departments teaching us whereas they get the other teacher..my friend is in one of the lower sets and she always complains how she never gets any homework, the teacher doesnt chase them up and although they are doing there GCSE's there teacher is still behind the lesson scheme and they feel like they are doing worse..i mean i personally feel that you need to look after your education but teachers ans schools are means to help a lot..you know what i mean? or did i just ramble on and not make any sense??
The existence of higher and foundation papers are a disgraceful example of this streaming of expectations. It's really not fair that people should be told they are incapable of achieving a B or an A grade, so they must sit an exam where such grades cannot even be obtained.
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Pro Crastination
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#32
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
This is the single most arrogant and ignorant post I have seen on TSR in a long time, and that's saying something.
As I tried to make clear in the OP, I don't wholly agree with it, I think it is a viewpoint worthy of discussion however.

I wasn't motivated or inspired by anything at school. I was capable of achieving A's and B's at GCSE, but the teachers didn't want me to achieve my best. They just wanted everyone to 'pass' so that they looked good. They didn't care how well we did nor did they push us to achieve what we all deserved. I left with barely average GCSE's, but could have done better. A lot better.
I had the same experience, I knew from day 1 of my GCSEs that my teachers' only responsibility was getting me a C grade in everything, beyond that, a fair few of them couldn't care less - there were of course a few very supportive teachers, though.
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HeskeyLAD
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#33
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(Original post by bertstare)
Blaming teachers for poor GCSE performance is the saddest cop out argument you'll ever hear. A CGP textbook which is about 50 pages long is more than enough to get an A or A*, and I'm sure you don't need a teacher to read and memorise a CGP book
I completely disagree with that statement. Not everyone is entitled to dedicating their entire time to theory, because in school, practicals usually allow us to visualise it and gain a better understanding of the topics set out for the exam. Teachers are there to help too.

EDIT: Not everyone will get A*s or As in just a click of a finger. I mean, I personally find it difficult to understand some of the concepts in the CGP books.
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bertstare
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#34
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(Original post by HeskeyLAD)
I completely disagree with that statement. Not everyone is entitled to dedicating their entire time to theory, because in school, practicals usually allow us to visualise it and gain a better understanding of the topics set out for the exam. Teachers are there to help too.
Practicals form a very small amount of the overall curriculum (this is ofc referring to science subjects), and they don't really crossover much with the theory. Fact is, GCSEs are objectively just not difficult in the slightest, and if a student can't self teach the very simple concepts involved then they just aren't that smart, it has almost naught to do with teachers

The thread also seems to be referring to people getting C's D's and below, not people who just miss out on an A*
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buchanan700
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#35
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(Original post by PsychadelicScarf)
I'm so sick of people on here acting like they're so great just because they're smart.

Not everybody can achieve high grades. Not everybody is a genius. Not everybody can just "memorise a textbook".

I took twelve GCSE's, and came out with one B, seven C's and four D's. I'm proud of that, seeing as I had only just (literally a few weeks before the exams), found out I was dyslexic. Not massivly, but enough for it to have impacted. I don't understand things all that well, and become easily frustrated when I don't get them. I'm also terrible at coursework.

Good for the people who've got good grades. Good for the people who've worked, but not got so great grades.

OP, what difference does it make to you? If everybody got brilliant grades, then they wouldn't mean as much. They would just be average.

Leave people alone.
QFT. I tried really hard to get through A level statistics, but I couldn't process the information, and much happier now I've found something I'm suited to.
My sister is dyslexic, and she is unable to process spellings or grammar very well. She worked furiously on an essay for 2 weeks, and when she handed it to me for proof reading, it was still nowhere near the standard it should be. She's now rethinking her plans and with her strong work ethic will go far.

That doesn't mean that she doesn't work hard, or that I didn't work hard at the maths. Some people just can't process certain things. Some people lack the study skills because of their background or mental health. They don't need people like you (as in OP) to dump on them.

/rant
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tomcat941
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#36
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As someone who is a 'high-achiever', I would actually argue that motivation and effort only covers some of the reasons why people don't do well. I have personally seen a lot of people, bright people, who are undermined by their mental health. This is around the same age that mental health problems begin to develop in most people who will have them, and it can have a significant impact. As someone who has had depression and recovered, I can tell you that during the period where I had depression, I had a medical note to excuse me from homework because it was too much, let alone revision.
On the other hand, though i typically get A* and A's in most subjects, I get U's in French. It doesn't matter how much work I do, I always end up with the same poor marks. Obviously, as this is such a difficultly for me I don't focus on it for actual GCSE's, but I was aiming for a C, and even then i feel short. Whilst at the same time I'm predicted A* for everything else and have even achieved it in exams I've already done.
Also, some people don't do well with exams. The brightest person I know, who always knows the answers to everything and will research things due to a genuine joy of learning and spends hour or revising can't manage to get above a B in most exams, even the ones they naturally excel at. This is the case for a lot of people.
Alternatively, people get too stressed out and they just shut down. GCSE's might be 'easy', but they do require a large work load (especially if you do art) and this can drain people. It also puts limits on time that can be spent revising. Not to mention you have teachers telling people these are the most important exams of their lives etc. Also, my school is still giving people out homework and we're not allowed to go on study leave, which is negatively effecting everyone.
Furthermore, some people don't know how to revise. Everyone revises differently, but you never really get taught how to do that, especially if you have never needed to revise before. This means you could do hours of revision but end up knowing no more at the end of it. This has happened to a lot of people I know. Some people can't even function in a class room environment because it doesn't benefit their learning style, and they then have understood nothing in class so don't even have a basis.
Also, it is all well and good to say you don't understand how people can't achieve something, when you have an ability at something. I myself have looked around and wondered how people don't understand what seems like the simpliest thing to me. You have to realize not everyone experiences the same thing as you, or has the same mental capacity. It would be like a great artist wondering why no one else can paint a masterpiece.
Finally, I do think that teachers play a role. If you can't get something in class, it often discourages people. I'm lucky in the fact I often do well in an academic environment, but when i do mess up or don't get something, I end up getting really wound up and annoyed and frustrated. For people who struggle to understand a lot of things, this would be very emotionally exhausting. Also, teachers can put people down. My mum quit school because the teacher said she was never going to achieve anything, so my mum couldn't see the point. I myself was actually called an utter disappointment the other day by a teacher (which is always fun.), and when I was younger I was put in the lower sets and labelled as stupid due to a speech impediment. I was only ever considered bright after the year 2 sats, which forced them to move me up. I was too young to particularly care, but I think it means I really value my academic ability. So it can go in two ways.
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Georgie_M
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#37
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(Original post by Chlorophile)
This is the single most arrogant and ignorant post I have seen on TSR in a long time, and that's saying something.
This.

There are plenty of people I know who worked incredibly hard for their Cs, and quite rightly should be proud. You may be intelligent but you clearly have very little ability to understand the world from any other perspective except your own.
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tomcat941
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#38
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i also find that people who tend to be bright and in the higher sets are put under more pressure. We are generally told anything below an A* is the minimum you should aim for, and an A is like a pass, but anything below is a failure. That how it feels. For us, we literally feel like any grade lower than that is impossible, and needs to be avoided at all cost. However, the national average is in fact a C. And the lower sets are not taught in the same way; they do not get told that these grades are failure. What we may perceive as being terrible, is simply due to the way we have been manipulated into 'doing well'.
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PsychadelicScarf
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#39
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(Original post by buchanan700)
QFT. I tried really hard to get through A level statistics, but I couldn't process the information, and much happier now I've found something I'm suited to.
My sister is dyslexic, and she is unable to process spellings or grammar very well. She worked furiously on an essay for 2 weeks, and when she handed it to me for proof reading, it was still nowhere near the standard it should be. She's now rethinking her plans and with her strong work ethic will go far.

That doesn't mean that she doesn't work hard, or that I didn't work hard at the maths. Some people just can't process certain things. Some people lack the study skills because of their background or mental health. They don't need people like you (as in OP) to dump on them.

/rant

:woo:

Exactly this. I get very annoyed with people who hardly do any revision and still pass really well. It gets to me that they manage to do so well putting so little in, and I'm sat here like "share your brain power with meeeee"

In saying that, I don't rant at the people, or call them lazy or anything, because its not fair. People have a right to an opion (like OP), but not to try and degrade others for it.

By the way, what does QFT stand for?
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aspirinpharmacist
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#40
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(Original post by tomcat941)
As someone who is a 'high-achiever', I would actually argue that motivation and effort only covers some of the reasons why people don't do well. I have personally seen a lot of people, bright people, who are undermined by their mental health. This is around the same age that mental health problems begin to develop in most people who will have them, and it can have a significant impact. As someone who has had depression and recovered, I can tell you that during the period where I had depression, I had a medical note to excuse me from homework because it was too much, let alone revision.
This. One of my best friends at school had depression, the school got really frustrated with her for not engaging enough or whatever and she just hated school, she had a really ****ty time of things, and she was really, really smart, so it's not like she couldn't do the work, she had bigger things going on. And one lad in my classes was really clever, smarter than me, we all just used to assume he was lazy but near the end of school it became kind of obvious that he wasn't so hot in the mental health department either, which is a shame because he was lovely. I didn't realise how common mental health problems were until I got to uni, it affects so many people it's insane, and I think there needs to be more awareness of that in schools because a fair number of my friends really struggle with depression and anxiety and stuff.
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