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

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LeaX
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#181
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#181
Because not every school cares about getting As and A*s. My school only cared about you if you were on the C/D borderline. They arranged private tuition, extra revision classes, etc to all those on Ds and Cs to ensure they got their little percentage of A*-Cs in the paper. I was in top set for everything and most people were on Cs at GCSE for everything, so that's what the teaching level was aimed at.

I had to do pretty much everything on my own in order to my grades at GCSE, most people don't think to do that as they trust their teachers and think that the teaching they are receiving is adequate when in most cases it's not.
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emilb28
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#182
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#182
Mostly, my school helps you to get a C/B grade but If you want anything higher then you have to do it yourself because some of my classes don't tend to teach the higher grades. Also, thy give you a target grade and once you reach that they stop helping you so it then becomes more difficult to exceed it


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Frank the Tankk
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#183
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At my ex-school it came down to no one believing they were capable of better than a C, that and teachers only working students to a C...when I was aiming for A's at GCSE I got loads of stick off others, they'd be asking me "why are you even going for As? You only need a C...". Really grinds my gears that people have such a lousy attitude.
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MehdiB
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#184
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#184
People get bad grades simply because they do not prepare or revise as much


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ABBIE09
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#185
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#185
Let's face it, hour long exams are not representative of 1/2 years worth of work!

GCSEs I didn't work for and got 6As 5Bs...
But because I had this mentality of 'I don't need to work to do well' I ended up retaking my first year of Alevel (CDDE) and got ABBC. But during this step back I had a major epiphany about how hard you really need to work for alevels and how big a step up it really is!
- I'm now predicted AAB and hopefully going to one of the top uni's in the country


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Old_Simon
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#186
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#186
(Original post by eunkoso)
My teachers predicted me to get Cs in pretty much all my subjects because of the CAT/SAT exams we did in year 7. This meant they kept me in foundation for maths when I am clearly capable of doing the higher. I get As and Bs in almost all my subjects except maths, which I can only get Cs in due to the teachers in my school thinking I'm too retarded to do any better.
This is really sad. All those teacher cliches about pupils "fulfilling their potential" is just BS. Schools care about their numbers of C+ passes period.
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*Rubicon*
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#187
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#187
I feel there are several reasons that people may not achieve the highest grades. I agree that self fulfilling prophecy plays a part-for many people, if they see no evidence that they are capable or perhaps it has been implied by teachers etc that they won't do well, then they lack the self belief to even try. After all, if you work hard and still fail its a crushing experience and won't spur everyone on to try even harder next time. I've also seen a friend do terribly in her GCSEs, and that was certainly largely due to her dyslexia.

When I did my GCSEs, I never understood how anyone could fail them as I personally found them pretty easy and came out at the end with great results from very little additional effort outside of school. However, I haven't had the same experience in my A-Levels which I'm just about to finish. I've suffered from serious clinical depression from just before I began my A-Levels, which definitely had a huge impact on my AS results. I believed I wouldn't even be alive by the end of Sixth Form, so I just couldn't see the point in anything including getting good grades.

I'm not trying to make excuses but it sure affected the amount of work I could do. I'm only just beginning to feel like myself again, now I just hope that I've managed to make up for my poor mental health in the past few years and get the grades I need. Although I think my grades have suffered due to my health, I also think that for people who are capable of simply cruising through GCSEs, A-Levels are not as easy to do this with. I know several people who did badly because the transition from GCSE to A-Level was a bit of a shock, and they'd gotten lazy and forgot how to work hard at studying.

So there are different reasons for everyone who does badly...
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TheTechN1304
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#188
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#188
Totally agree. No disrespect intended, but when I took my gcses last year, I was petrified of getting anything lower than an A, as I saw that as failure. It really depends on how much you want to work and more importantly, the environment in which you're in. At my school getting lower than a B was really bad, and so everyone was pushed to get Bs, As and A*s, or else they'd probably be forced to drop the subject. For 6th form at our school there was a points based as well, where you needed 25 to be allowed to do a levels (A*=4; A=3; B=2). This generally forced people to work harder.
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Olie
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#189
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#189
(Original post by MehdiB)
People get bad grades simply because they do not prepare or revise as much


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What, its not that simple at all, there are loads of reasons for why people might get what tsr would call 'bad' grades (and in this case it seems to be anything that's not an A*). As ever, there has been so much drivel written on this thread by naive students who can't comprehend the fact that everyone is different and are not necessarily capable of top grades like they are.

For me it was a combination of factors, and while of course I could have worked harder and could have revised in a better way than I did, there were still other factors like poor teaching for example. Maybe some students can teach themselves from a textbook in some subjects, but not all and it didn't work for me, many subjects do require a certain amount of explanation from a teacher as well. Along with that, I've always had memory problems and anxiety problems in exams and in many of them the pressure simply got to me and I didn't cope properly, and that had a big impact, meaning all my GCSE and A-level grades were bang on average unfortunately. And course there's the simple fact that I wasn't one of the brightest students, I was usually in the higher sets for most subjects, so I was by no means one of the poorest students, but I wasn't one of the best either and I just simply would never have been capable of getting an A* in many subjects.

People on here are also forgetting the fact that its impossible for everyone to achieve the top grades anyway because of grade boundaries. And for anyone with the typical tsr attitude of 'Anyone with half a brain cell can get an A* blah blah blah', you've got to remember that in your average A-Level subject exam, roughly only a quarter of students will achieve an A or A*. So on that basis, I don't think there is anything to be ashamed about if you're not in that top quarter of students and generally the average grade will be C, not a 'bad' grade, an average one.

I don't expect anyone to sympathise or understand any of that, but just felt the need to point out to some of the naive and arrogant members of this forum some of the reasons why students might not achieve straight A*s, and of course there are others as well, such as mitigating circumstances that many people seem to forget.
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lime-jelly
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#190
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#190
I disagree, a wee bit.
I worked my butt off during AS chemistry and only got a grade C, whilst I did no work for English Lit and Psychology all year and I got high A's in both. I feel that your grade is dependent upon how hard the subject you are studying is, as well as your motivation to work.
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EP99
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#191
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#191
I just sat five GCSEs at the end of year ten with the reassuarance of resisting three of those next year. I got a B in History, one mark off an A which I worked hard in all year. Now that exam was written for a sixteen year olds maturity and I was fourteen when I sat it which could be a considerable factor why people don't achieve brilliant grades. I got a C in Drama five marks off a B mainly because of a poor practical exam which I wasn't fully informed upon to get the highest grades which I ended up with an E in. In English, I got a B most likely as I slipped up on a few questions. In Maths and Science then I was one or two marks off a C with no effort put into them, I didn't even answer half of my maths paper. I'm predicted an A in everything by the way. I think that with earlier exams people aren't achieving as they would with a years worth of knowledge. I wasn't willing, basically because I am somewhat immature. I know friends of mine who pulled out E's and G's and were proud. It's quite shocking really.
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VickiWhitaker
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#192
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#192
During the run up to my exams, I have done everything I could.
I have had home problems all my life, and they have become worse. I have revised every day and weekend since November, yet I find it difficult to understand the questions. I get extremely stressed in exams and end up making silly mistakes.
It's not laziness or lack of revising. It is often a mixture of different things that can have a negative impact on individuals.
For me, my goal is to get into Medical school. Although I've attended over 50 hours of additional Maths help, I cannot get above a B. I've done over 20 past papers, yet silly mistakes and misunderstanding questions pulls me back. Not everyone is completely gifted, despite putting in so much effort.
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CandyKoRn
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#193
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#193
Well, I've met quite a few people who have supposedly attained high grades in English and maths(A's - where as I just got C's) yet they come to ME to ask how to spell something or work out a basic sum.

Bearing in mind I'm 29 now, studying for a degree in chemistry; time changes people and the grades you get at GCSE/ A level are in no way a clear indication of someone's capabilities, or indeed, their intelligence.
As, I'm sure you know, educated =/= intelligent.

Maybe they were having a bad time? Life has a way of ****ing you over at the worst times.
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uncommonsensing
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#194
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I've come to think there are four basic levels of academic intelligence. A bit like a bell curve - a few people are incredibly intelligent, many people are intelligent, many people are not particularly intelligent and a few people are very unintelligent. Again, this is academically. I think that anybody can move themselves up one tier through hard work - at least by appearances/education/grades. Likewise, I think you can move yourself down a tier by doing the opposite. So basically I think a decent chunk of people who fail to achieve A/A* grade are perhaps capable of doing so, but certainly not everyone
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Lissy14
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#195
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Ooooo! Pick me! :rave: I know the answer to this one!!!!!!

Because if you genuinely aren't that smart, it is f***ing difficult to get good grades!:albertein:

Spoiler:
Show

I was predicted BCDD but I wanted ABBB.:stupido2:

I worked my ass off!

I revise 5 hours a day until Christmas at which time I start revising 8hours a day for the last 4 years.
(GCSE and A level)

It has been absolutely awful!!!!!!

My (academically) smarter friends don't do this much work. My (happy) smarter friends don't revise this much.:moon:


While trying to get good grades people have:
Developed metal health conditions
Developed fewer life/people/socialisation skills
Burnt out at some point in a catastrophic way (either before, during or after exams)

At some point you have to put HAPPYNESS before good grades.
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HarunH1
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#196
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#196
I've been predicted all Cs and a B in my GCSEs which im currently doing. My school puts people in specific forms for people - the form I've been put in thinks I wont get 5 A*s - C .. but from before I already have an A at GCSE Maths, Statistics, and Foundations of Freestanding Maths. And all my Cs are targets apart from my target in Further Maths, but Im pretty sure im getting all A*s-Bs and maybe a C in Spanish. 'Targets' are usually inaccurate, it depends on what school you go to tbh but because I'm only doing GCSE i cant speak about A levels, unless its maths ;-;
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Magnus Taylor
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#197
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#197
(Original post by HollyHamill)
I feel personally, that my teachers put a cap on what they thought I could achieve and that really did affect how well I thought I could do. They told me I was expected DDC, however I've so far achieved As and Bs in both my coursework and my practice papers. I'm not a massively negative person but I'm not full of confidence and therefore when teachers told me that was what I was capable of I accepted it.


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Self-fulfilling prophecy, you however, are an example of a self-negating prophecy
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User2112299
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#198
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#198
I've going this from a while back but I feel like I need to add my agreement - I can see how getting above a B may be difficult for some at GCSE, if you're not hugely motivated to do a lot of work and teachers don't push you, and the same at A level, but what I don't get is how people say 'I revised so much and only got a U' - I didn't revise for the majority of my GCSEs and didn't get anything below an A. I know it's partially down to your school and peers, I'm lucky enough to be at a grammar school where teachers want people to get As and A*s and are willing to put in extra work to help them, and where it's socially acceptable to work at lunchtime, and I get this normally isn't the case, but if people really wanted to do well they could, and aside from lack of will to work there's nothing stopping them (aside from illness, mental illness, family problems etc - I know they would play a huge part and potentially mess up your education)
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HarunH1
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#199
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#199
tfw teachers predict you 10 Cs and a B... but you end up getting 1a^, 2A*s, 7As and 3 Bs after you put some work in ;D... tbh schools giving 'bad' predicted grades actually misguides so many people in my opinion and can make them unmotivated. But then again, I go to a pretty average public school so many (and i literally mean MANY), didn't do that good to be honest cause they 'couldn't be bothered' or cause 'grades dont judge who you are' etc,,, I guess they'll realize when they're older they should've put a bit of work in ;D
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RoastedElephant
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#200
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I'm probably a bit of an odd duck, but I never felt that exams/tests ever really tested my ability to use what I'd learnt, instead just tested my ability to study (which I never learnt how to do tbh). I flat out rejected the culture of exams and never looked at the grades I got for both GCSEs and A-Level. I took an Alevel this year purely to express my anger at the system and EdExcel especially. I agree that the willingness mostly defines the grade, but because many don't feel like they fit the system or the system doesn't fit them.
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