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

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GoldGhost
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#41
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#41
To be honest, at my school the higher the set you are (for somes subject e.g English) the more pressure placed on you. It can be deemed quite bad to just scrap an A*/ get a high A because of the teachers expectations of you. In other classes if you get D/E then it's 'better try harder next time'.

My cousin has learning difficulties and cannot get get good GCSE results, she tries hard, has intensive tutoring but cannot get high grades. On the other hand a girl in my class does no work, gets G grades and U grades and when she tries she gets good results.What I am trying to say is that sometimes bad grades are due to laziness and sometimes it's due to other factors.
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Pro Crastination
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#42
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#42
(Original post by tomcat941)
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'.
That is very true, and it's returning to the earlier point about relative expectations. I'd contest that expectations are a considerable determinant (but by no means the sole determinant) of exam success.
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JindleBrey
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#43
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nope
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GeogBerry
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#44
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I agree with this in some ways, bus disagree in others.

I achieved ABBC at AS in Geog, Bio, Eng Lit and Phys with little/no effort.
As my firm is AAA, I've tried throughout A2 year and am currently on track for A*A*B.
There is no way I'll ever be able to get an A in English as I'm not very good at writing.
Regardless of the effort I put in, I cannot write at an A* level and my first year being a
mid/high B basically means I can't achieve an A. There are certain subjects that suit
your learning methods/ rely mostly on talent that people may naturally find hard.
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Chlorophile
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#45
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
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.
No, it isn't a viewpoint worthy of discussion. There are people who can get a row of A*s with no work and people who can't even get pass grades whilst they're working their head off. Some people are very academic and can play along with the exams system brilliantly, others aren't and can't. It's as simple as that. Some people find school a breeze and have a brilliant supportive family, others suffer from extreme anxiety, mental health problems and an impossible home environment. Most people are not capable of a row of A grades and to claim that they're not achieving this because they're somehow not trying hard enough is unbelievably insulting. Someone who has worked hard for a year to get their C is a much better student in my view than someone who breezes with tons of As with no effort. There are controversial topics and there are topics that are just plain stupid, and this is the latter.
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sandpitturtle
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#46
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(Original post by bertstare)
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*
GCSEs are quite difficult, and a level much more etc, and yes teachers do play a big part, I did get dumbed down by being put into BTEC science because of a n end of year test I didnt take seriously in year 9, and I wante a gcse in science to do a level. so I taught my freaking self a whole IGCSE science course, I found some bits quite hard to understand and got a tutor to help, without a tutor I probably would get C or D, I have benefited from her help to teach me some things, help me understand and even her anecdotes and exam tips to help.
so I disagree and say that teachers do play a part


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buchanan700
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(Original post by PsychadelicScarf)
: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?
Sorry if I came across stand-offish by ranting, had to get it off my chest

It means "quoted for truth"
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Xabier
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#48
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Same reason OP is probably bad at sport.
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bertstare
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#49
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(Original post by ella_chloe)
GCSEs are quite difficult, and a level much more etc, and yes teachers do play a big part, I did get dumbed down by being put into BTEC science because of a n end of year test I didnt take seriously in year 9, and I wante a gcse in science to do a level. so I taught my freaking self a whole IGCSE science course, I found some bits quite hard to understand and got a tutor to help, without a tutor I probably would get C or D, I have benefited from her help to teach me some things, help me understand and even her anecdotes and exam tips to help.
so I disagree and say that teachers do play a part


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They aren't difficult. If a student finds GCSEs/A Levels hard then how on earth would they cope with a university degree, a masters, a PhD?

I'm not suggesting everyone is capable of straight A*s like some people here are, but students who do get poor grades do so either because:
-They don't work hard enough, and this is (mostly) the case. The average student could be working a LOT harder than they are
-They genuinely aren't academically very capable, in some cases
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username1331498
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#50
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Well I don't do A-levels, nor have I done GCSEs due to me being in Scotland. Last year in my Intermediate 2's (equal to GCSEs) I obtained 7As and a B due to hard work.

This year though, I have put so much hard work in for months to obtain As in my subjects but I feel as if all of my hard work has gotten me nowhere. So really, it partly comes down to luck of exam papers, and it may also come down to how well someone deals with exams - I get very stressed during and before exams which has nothing to do with my ability to do the subject but has something to do with severe anxiety. Exams have many faults and they do not primarily test one's knowledge.
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Pro Crastination
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#51
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#51
(Original post by Chlorophile)
No, it isn't a viewpoint worthy of discussion. There are people who can get a row of A*s with no work and people who can't even get pass grades whilst they're working their head off. Some people are very academic and can play along with the exams system brilliantly, others aren't and can't. It's as simple as that. Some people find school a breeze and have a brilliant supportive family, others suffer from extreme anxiety, mental health problems and an impossible home environment. Most people are not capable of a row of A grades and to claim that they're not achieving this because they're somehow not trying hard enough is unbelievably insulting. Someone who has worked hard for a year to get their C is a much better student in my view than someone who breezes with tons of As with no effort. There are controversial topics and there are topics that are just plain stupid, and this is the latter.
But I don't think there are people that breeze through and get As without effort. Sure, people claim they did "no revision", but they don't want to appear obsessive etc.

I'd agree that issues such as mental/physical health and the degree to which one grows up in a supportive family have huge roles to play. From my perspective, I wish my parents had pushed me harder, but by no means were they actively sapping my confidence, and I count myself lucky for that. It's a real shame that one's background has such an influence on the degree to which their hard work gives them results (academically, career wise, etc).

Those instances notwithstanding, I'd argue that for a good proportion of people, it is a question of motivation and will to succeed. Now, my perspective is that such motivation is (by a great deal) a reflection of one's home environment, social circles, and the like, and thus isn't entirely in the control of the individual - which again, is not fair.

What I entirely dispute is this notion that there are the 'chosen' smart ones and the unfortunate 'non-academic' ones, that it's so binary. For children growing up in relatively stable, supportive homes, without physical or mental health issues, I genuinely believe their degree of success is largely determined by the attitude they choose to adopt towards adversity, not by some IQ gene.
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carehow
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#52
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
Examples such as these are wholly understandable, but I'd argue they apply to the minority, rather than the majority.
Minority yes. But the sweeping statement I was answering was "However, what I can't understand is how people can be content with, or even proclaim they "aspire to reach" a C grade, as if that's some sort of huge achievement. " If it's understandable, surely you can understand how I'm content with my relatively low grades.
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TheGrinningSkull
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#53
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I think it might be due to not getting the right technique.

I've found that in some subjects that differ to my usual style, it was difficult to know what was needed in a typical structure and how to approach an answer.
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sandpitturtle
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(Original post by bertstare)
They aren't difficult. If a student finds GCSEs/A Levels hard then how on earth would they cope with a university degree, a masters, a PhD?

I'm not suggesting everyone is capable of straight A*s like some people here are, but students who do get poor grades do so either because:
-They don't work hard enough, and this is (mostly) the case. The average student could be working a LOT harder than they are
-They genuinely aren't academically very capable, in some cases
GCSEs can be quite hard to learn all the topics for 24 exams, and the idea is that. each part is a stepping stone and stages to get the next level.
but yes I agree with the fact how some people aren't fully capable of getting all A*'s, if everyone did get all A*s they would change the whole course. and I am simply stating how even If I work extremely hard doesnt mean I will come out with all As

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Jimbo1234
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
Here's a controversial thread concept that just popped into my head. I'm not sure I agree with it myself, but, admittedly, the thought has arisen in my mind on a couple of occasions in the past. I hope the TSR community will be split on this.

Opening argument:

I can understand when people can't quite make the A/A* grade because of a silly mistake or two during an exam, and slip to a B/A because of it. However, what I can't understand is how people can be content with, or even proclaim they "aspire to reach" a C grade, as if that's some sort of huge achievement.

What I have found with my A levels and GCSEs is that to score an A or above requires a decent amount of effort (more so in some subjects than others), but it is not anything harder than would be expected on a regular basis during one's working life. Why, then, do a good proportion of people simply excuse themselves by claiming they're "just not that clever" and settle for mediocre grades by putting minimal amounts of effort in?

"But some people want to have a life!" I suppose this would be the immediate counter. I'm not arguing that everyone should be aiming for 95+ UMS and practicing to ace their Oxbridge interview as soon as they hit secondary school. All I'm saying is that the vast majority of people are capable of scoring in range of AAA-ABB at A level (one can easily lead a healthy social life with these aspirations) the willingness is simply not there, however. That is what I find so alien.

So yeah, who would agree with that? Who would disagree?
Nope, they can't.
The reality is that most people are stupid. Why do you think the Sun newspaper is the best selling newspaper, and the Daily Mail the most visited news website?
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Red one
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#56
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Some people are just not as intelligent as other people.
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Namige
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#57
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
Here's a controversial thread concept that just popped into my head. I'm not sure I agree with it myself, but, admittedly, the thought has arisen in my mind on a couple of occasions in the past. I hope the TSR community will be split on this.

Opening argument:

I can understand when people can't quite make the A/A* grade because of a silly mistake or two during an exam, and slip to a B/A because of it. However, what I can't understand is how people can be content with, or even proclaim they "aspire to reach" a C grade, as if that's some sort of huge achievement.

What I have found with my A levels and GCSEs is that to score an A or above requires a decent amount of effort (more so in some subjects than others), but it is not anything harder than would be expected on a regular basis during one's working life. Why, then, do a good proportion of people simply excuse themselves by claiming they're "just not that clever" and settle for mediocre grades by putting minimal amounts of effort in?

"But some people want to have a life!" I suppose this would be the immediate counter. I'm not arguing that everyone should be aiming for 95+ UMS and practicing to ace their Oxbridge interview as soon as they hit secondary school. All I'm saying is that the vast majority of people are capable of scoring in range of AAA-ABB at A level (one can easily lead a healthy social life with these aspirations) the willingness is simply not there, however. That is what I find so alien.

So yeah, who would agree with that? Who would disagree?
practising*
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HeskeyLAD
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#58
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(Original post by bertstare)
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,
Not difficult in the slightest huh? I thought that considering at how easy you're making GCSEs out to be, that you'd be able to acknowledge that not everyone is as intelligent as you. What seems easy to you might be very hard to someone else.

People get bad grades due to either poor work ethic, lack of interest, health problems or difficulty of understanding. It is always at least one of three, no matter what. There's no way that difficulty doesn't play a large role in securing what would be considered good grades.
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tehforum
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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.
ha

you found out you were dyslexic, aptly, a few weeks before your exams, so you use that as a whitewash excuse for your performance.
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Sheldor
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(Original post by bertstare)
They aren't difficult. If a student finds GCSEs/A Levels hard then how on earth would they cope with a university degree, a masters, a PhD?

I'm not suggesting everyone is capable of straight A*s like some people here are, but students who do get poor grades do so either because:
-They don't work hard enough, and this is (mostly) the case. The average student could be working a LOT harder than they are
-They genuinely aren't academically very capable, in some cases
If a student finds GCSEs and A Levels (if they even do A Levels) hard then what makes you think they'll want to do a bachelors, masters, or PhD?

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