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

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PsychadelicScarf
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#81
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#81
(Original post by StrangeBanana)
Don't blame your poor grades on dyslexia. If you got bad grades, it's because you didn't work hard enough.

Who are you to say I didn't work hard enough??
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imconfused
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#82
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I disagree I tried real hard with my a level physics and still got a D... I'm one of those people who are aiming for all C's and i'm in doubt whether I could make it tbh.
Your grade comes down to your intelligence, motivation, teachers and how effective (not quantity, the quality) you are studying...
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sandpitturtle
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(Original post by tehforum)
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.
this just sounds quite rude tbh, he/she sounded like they still worked hard, anyone would

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sandpitturtle
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#84
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people saying 'using dyslexia as an excuse' need to realise yes that it does affect exam performance, I dont have dyslexia but my brother does, he worked so hard like extremely hard for his gcses, and hot Cs and Ds, please dont be disrespectful tp people with learning difficulties.

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Iridann
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
I really sympathize with your position. I don't think it's fair that teachers see a predicted grade and don't bother to consult with the student with regards the what the student wants out of their course. On so many occasions I've had people tell me that their coursework feedback was really positive, so they assume they'll be good for an A grade and make no alterations, then they get a C, for instance. I normally deduce that their teacher has seen them reach their predicted grade, lavishes them with praise, and moves on to the next person. It doesn't help in terms of providing grade mobility (I think I've just coined that term).



It's a real shame, and I can't help but think it contributes to their concluding they just aren't very bright, so they have no reason to work hard in school. As much as my OP claimed that people use this as an 'excuse' (this is what I used to believe), I think now, people genuinely believe they are incapable. Their parents tell them, "oh, don't worry, you're obviously not an 'academic' person", their teachers praise them for barely passable grades... It's a horrible cycle.



Examples such as these are wholly understandable, but I'd argue they apply to the minority, rather than the majority.
With regards to the whole coursework subject, I've never really been shown how to do coursework at A grade level. I got B's in my GCSE sciences and still pulled out an A*,A,A yet this year at AS I went to see my teacher multiple times about how my coursework can be improved, compared it against the markscheme and put a ton of effort in it and in the end I got 22/30 which is less than my friend who doesn't even seem to try - he's given up on revision and is probably only going to get ACC at AS.

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Tom78
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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?
Thankfully we don't all have parents that put massive amounts of pressure on us... I could argue that I'm intelligent enough to have gone to a Russel Group, but then I've used that time when I would have been intensively studying instead learning about the world, socialising, learning about my self, developing my interests. Better use of time if you ask me.
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Lewisallows
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#87
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I see this thread questioning what makes two ordinary people achieve different results?

Everyone doesn't just get C's and lower because they can't be bothered, or have excuses, for some people it's just the level they're at. Two students could work equally as hard, but one gets a C (a good grade, lets not belittle it!) and the other gets an A, because he or she may be better at retaining information than the other or understand ideas more easily.

It's easier to understand if you take it away from academics. Consider sports, you could train very very hard, but it doesn't mean you've got what it takes to be a pro football player and the same applies to achieving certain grades - they just don't have it.

Of course what they don't have is made up for in other skills and grades aren't the be all and end all. Having an A* in Chemistry won't necessarily mean you can make interesting conversation at a party.
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TerribleTej
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#88
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
I'd absolutely agree with you on the point about the A*/A grade by using CGP. I didn't learn a thing in my secondary school science lessons (I was at an overcrowded comp-turned-academy), I basically taught myself Biology/Chemistry/Physics by learning the CGP books inside out.

What I think a few were getting at were the expectations that teachers influence. If one is made to believe, from a young age, that they are not all that bright (because they got streamed into a lower set, for instance), then they'll probably take it as truth.
This i exactly how I studied for A levels and GCSE's. Never learnt a thing in class as a lot of the teachers simply didn't teach to the standard we wanted so we just decided to do our own work whenever we wanted, it's much better in my opinion as in uni we will be doing a lot of independent work anyway. However I learnt in lesson from the teachers who did teach properly (4 teachers out of the 12 I have had during A levels).



Often the most important problems with normal students not getting decent grades (which in my opinion is B and above), is a lack of commitment and concentration (don't want to revise/can't be bothered), lack of parental influence (parent's don't pay attention to their child's education) and teachers not pushing their students to their maximum capabilities (often out of fear that the students parent's will react negatively to this as the child may burn out). However even one of the above would be enough in my opinion to achieve decent grades.

Also some people tend to say that they worked hard for their exams, but what does working hard mean? If you spend 4 hours a day studying a month before the exams then in my opinion that is not hard work as many students abroad tend to do much more and that even on a regular basis. Compared to this country 4 hours a day for a month may seem a lot but in reality its nothing. Unless you started revising consistently a long time before the exams or you really put in the hours the month before the exams (like 8 hours+) then only in my opinion you have worked hard for it. Furthermore it's also about efficiency, there's no point studying for hours if you aren't understanding what you are learning. Granted if you may be suffering from a condition (or social problems) which restricts your ability to learn then you may not do as well as other people, but most students don't suffer from these so why do they not do as well as they could?
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bertstare
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(Original post by Iman.Gov)
Or apply that knowledge and exam technique
Knowledge is not what seperates A*/A from B/C it is the exam technique that is harder to self teach and memorizing a CGP book does nothing for that.
It's pretty much always down to knowledge. They didn't know enough information and so couldn't pick up enough marks. School level work requires pretty much nothing other than memorising and regurgitating information

Some people genuinely can't study and absorb information, but I'd wager these people are really in the minority. The average student can be working a lot, lot harder, and if they did they'd do much better, simples
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bertstare
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(Original post by HeskeyLAD)
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.
My very first point in this thread was that too many people blame teachers for kids getting bad grades in easy exams like GCSEs. Kids who do poorly are either not working hard enough (guarantee this is the case the majority of the time), or rarely may genuinely not be intelligent enough to get above a C grade in anything. But in either case, not the teachers fault
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James222
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I was really unpopular at School from like yr 6-11 when I went to a 6th form college, I was treated quite normally for the first time ever. So I spent the entire term trying to impress my friends and my grades dropped oh well
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Pro Crastination
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#92
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(Original post by TerribleTej)
Compared to this country 4 hours a day for a month may seem a lot but in reality its nothing. Unless you started revising consistently a long time before the exams or you really put in the hours the month before the exams (like 8 hours+) then only in my opinion you have worked hard for it. Furthermore it's also about efficiency, there's no point studying for hours if you aren't understanding what you are learning. Granted if you may be suffering from a condition (or social problems) which restricts your ability to learn then you may not do as well as other people, but most students don't suffer from these so why do they not do as well as they could?
There is probably a good deal of truth in this. For me, exam preparation begins as soon as the year begins, it's a question of keeping on top of the syllabus throughout the year. Then, when exams come around, revision is revision rather than relearning the content that you didn't pay attention to earlier in the year. I think quite a good number of people assume that 'revision' is that, and then wonder why their 4 hours a day doesn't 'pay off'.

The average student can be working a lot, lot harder, and if they did they'd do much better, simples.
This is another essential premise of the OP point I was making.
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Old_Simon
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#93
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(Original post by Iridann)
With regards to the whole coursework subject, I've never really been shown how to do coursework at A grade level. I got B's in my GCSE sciences and still pulled out an A*,A,A yet this year at AS I went to see my teacher multiple times about how my coursework can be improved, compared it against the markscheme and put a ton of effort in it and in the end I got 22/30 which is less than my friend who doesn't even seem to try - he's given up on revision and is probably only going to get ACC at AS.

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This is a terrible weakness in education and always has been. A class is "taught" stuff. Class does homework. Homework is marked. A guy gets a B. But immediately the class is onto the next topic. The obvious question of what is different between A and B and how to move up is never explained. Then the cycle simply repeats. This is true in all subjects but in maths it really bites.
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laxidasical
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I did well but I could've done better if i'd put the effort in
/story of my life
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TerribleTej
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(Original post by Pro Crastination)
There is probably a good deal of truth in this. For me, exam preparation begins as soon as the year begins, it's a question of keeping on top of the syllabus throughout the year. Then, when exams come around, revision is revision rather than relearning the content that you didn't pay attention to earlier in the year. I think quite a good number of people assume that 'revision' is that, and then wonder why their 4 hours a day doesn't 'pay off'.
Exactly my point, though I am someone who tends to start studying a month before the exams like I have done now, the point is that when I study I put in the hours, i.e. 9-10 hours minimum though in reality it tends to be much more, I push myself to the extreme because that's the whole point of working hard imo, not doing 4 hours a day and not challenging yourself to study as much as you can in order to get top grades.

Most people also don't realise that there is a balance between book work and past papers, most people just do the book work and not spend enough time on papers, but in my opinion there should be an even split between the two (though it depends from subject to subject), if everyone did all the available past papers most of them would get decent grades rather easily.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by TerribleTej)
Exactly my point, though I am someone who tends to start studying a month before the exams like I have done now, the point is that when I study I put in the hours, i.e. 9-10 hours minimum though in reality it tends to be much more, I push myself to the extreme because that's the whole point of working hard imo, not doing 4 hours a day and not challenging yourself to study as much as you can in order to get top grades.

Most people also don't realise that there is a balance between book work and past papers, most people just do the book work and not spend enough time on papers, but in my opinion there should be an even split between the two (though it depends from subject to subject), if everyone did all the available past papers most of them would get decent grades rather easily.
I never understand why some folk drift idly through their course then start doing 10 hour days.
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bertstare
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
I never understand why some folk drift idly through their course then start doing 10 hour days.
Standard procedure
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TerribleTej
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
I never understand why some folk drift idly through their course then start doing 10 hour days.
(Original post by bertstare)
Standard procedure
This, but also because I don't see the point in revising the same thing again and again when you could just start slightly earlier before the exams and learn everything once.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by TerribleTej)
This, but also because I don't see the point in revising the same thing again and again when you could just start slightly earlier before the exams and learn everything once.
I guess all this hangs on what we mean by "learnt". Something well and truly learnt should not be forgotten. That is more true in some subjects than others, but for maths I like to keep revisiting my topics, working through exercises and past papers, and using the mark scheme from the outset. I do that throughout the course.
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FishLover
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Some people are not very good at applying what they learn so when they are expected to apply what they have learnt to a different situation they just can't do it. My sister is like this. She can memorise and regurgitate information but can't apply it. She studies and really does make an effort to achieve good grades but she just can't do it. I wouldn't say she is unintelligent. Some people aim to get a grade that they know they are capable of achieving. Perhaps after taking into account their weaknesses and how much time and effort they are willing to put into achieving a grade they decide to aim for the highest grade they think they can get. They choose to have a realistic goal.
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