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

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StrangeBanana
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#101
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#101
(Original post by PsychadelicScarf)
Who are you to say I didn't work hard enough??
Dyslexia alone does not cause bad grades.
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sandpitturtle
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#102
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#102
this topic Is so controversial but I guess you need people to get 'bad' grades so that there are good grades and a distinguish between who gets the uni place for example.

ultimately I think as long as people know that they've done their best, and as long as they are happy with the result then who cares?,

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Iridann
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#103
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
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.
What worries me is COMP4 next year I need to do really well in, so I'm going to have to sit down with my physics teacher after exams and ask about what I'm doing wrong.

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TerribleTej
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#104
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
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.
Yeah it depends from person to person, though I am someone who likes to understand exactly what I am doing (works really well for me for Maths, Further Maths and Economics) which means that I only need to look at it once (but I take my time in doing so) and then all I need to do is go through notes which at most take me half a day per exam. However for Physics I need to do constant revision as I am not as strong in my sciences (it takes me a huge amount of time to understand properly, hence I tend to simply memorise most the stuff when it comes to physics) and also the fact that I won't be doing anything science related in my life ever again so that justifies me using my memory to study physics at A level, though at Uni I won't be doing this at all.
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TerribleTej
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(Original post by ella_chloe)
this topic Is so controversial but I guess you need people to get 'bad' grades so that there are good grades and a distinguish between who gets the uni place for example.

ultimately I think as long as people know that they've done their best, and as long as they are happy with the result then who cares?,

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The problem is that most people don't do their best, or they pretend to tell everyone that they did their best while instead they just stayed around their comfort zone and revised/studied to the minimum amount they could to pass, in other words they didn't push themselves enough to get the best they could. This specifically applies at AS level in my opinion as what you get at AS often decides what uni you go to after A2.

However you are right about the first point as grade boundaries would be a whole lot more higher if everyone started studying properly, though one could argue that this would sort out the geniuses from the slightly above average kid who just works hard.
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Jibola240
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#106
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#106
I'm just not that bright. It took a lot effort for me to get an A in maths at GCSE. And even more effort to get a C in C1 maths. This goes for the rest of my subjects. Not everyone can get top grades at A-level, especially low IQ guys like myself
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Zoelle
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#107
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#107
(Original post by Old_Simon)
So many educationalists are opposed to streaming of any kind - and by extension to Grammar Schools. Yet the Foundation exams are exactly that. A lower exam for people with lower capabilities. Doesn't make sense.
I personally think what they should do is just have one paper from grade A to U and you just are not limited to the great extent you are able to achieve. I do think this will increase motivation as well as general grades and stop this form of academic segregation that we have right now :/
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sandpitturtle
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#108
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#108
(Original post by TerribleTej)
The problem is that most people don't do their best, or they pretend to tell everyone that they did their best while instead they just stayed around their comfort zone and revised/studied to the minimum amount they could to pass, in other words they didn't push themselves enough to get the best they could. This specifically applies at AS level in my opinion as what you get at AS often decides what uni you go to after A2.

However you are right about the first point as grade boundaries would be a whole lot more higher if everyone started studying properly, though one could argue that this would sort out the geniuses from the slightly above average kid who just works hard.
fair point but then again its up to the individual, what they are happy with and what they need to get on in life I guess

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Jimbo1234
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#109
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#109
(Original post by Pro Crastination)
Intelligence, to me, is a muscle you exercise and build up. I don't believe people have preordained limitations to their cognative abilities. Rather, their environment (as has been said), their mental and physical health (also has been said), and their degree of motivation, become determinants as to how much of this potential is fulfilled.

By age 16/18, are these factors fully engrained within the individual? (If so, you may have a justification for a belief in 'natural intelligence'.) I don't know, but I'd hope not.
Well that's a nice idea, but it doesn't work like that. So sorry to burst your bubble with known facts.
Just do some reading into how your brain adapts and changes over the years and quickly stops development.

But I'll play along with your idea as it leads to a funny outcome; if people did all have the same potential, how would you make them reach it? Take them off their parents as some kid whose folks are benefit scroungers wouldn't stand a chance against some kid sent to a specialist nursery by rich mummy and daddy
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aspirinpharmacist
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#110
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#110
(Original post by Iman.Gov)
Thank you not many people realize that yes the difference between A*/A and C is studying but no one ever considers that people don't study because they can't at home their home life is too turbulent to get through a past paper or their health hinders them
Moving school's as well, my mum's really clever but she moved schools not long before some of her exams and the curriculum there was completely different.
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forsparta
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#111
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I dislike the amount of people claiming such a discussion is 'pointless', 'not a discussion' or 'extremely insensitive'.

It is a discussion that needs to be had, we need to ask questions about our education system, and the work ethic/circumstances of individuals. So no it isn't a pointless discussion, lots of interesting ideas have came up on this thread.

Personally, I think some people use certain conditions as an excuse for not going above & beyond. I am not a fan of anecdotes but I find the fact stephen (the person who had cancer yet smashed his A-levels amongst other things) is a strong example of why we should, as a society, have an attitude where we push individuals to go above and beyond (unless the medical condition is critical whereby there's no point putting time into their education). Too often at my poorly performing state schools were students with conditions/low motivation been capped at the C/D grade.

Scrap the foundation tier, its a load of ****. It restricts people from exceeding a C, which is not the culture we should live in. There should not be caps to academic potential.

Reform teachers attitudes to students, too often we have teachers talking down to students as if they are incapable/unintelligent, I was predicted CCD for my AS-levels but got AAAA, another anecdote but it goes to show grade capping isn't productive at all. I also hate the teacher hierarchy whereby the teachers determine the fate of students, rather than the students themselves. This is OUR education not our teachers.

I think personally in summary the main reasons for bad grades are:
- General intelligence
- Bad teachers (at a-level this is more evident if a student isn't self-motivated)
- Poor attitude to work ''I'll get it done later'' ''Oh but if I get 30 ums in this module then I can pass'' can you not?
- Foundation tier
- Lack of motivation
- Certain mental/physical conditions
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TerribleTej
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#112
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#112
(Original post by ella_chloe)
fair point but then again its up to the individual, what they are happy with and what they need to get on in life I guess

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Yeah thats true, but they certainly shouldnt be happy with a C grade unless they spent every single minute they had to study or if they had any health conditions or circumstances which prevents them from doing good in their exams.
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ohemarica
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#113
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#113
It's bloody stressful that's why I feel like giving up


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HeskeyLAD
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#114
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#114
(Original post by bertstare)
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
I beg to differ. I think it can be the teachers fault and you need to stop banging on about how ridiculously easy you're making GCSEs out to be; demoralising statements like that to the feeble most definitely contribute to 'bad' grades. Some GCSEs are easy, some are tough. A-level covers a completely different spectrum.

Some people don't even work hard at all and get top grades, while some work their butt off and get mediocre grades. I see it all the time. Blaming teachers only becomes an exaggerated mindset when students blame teachers for many subjects rather than one or two.

As I said before, poor work ethic, poor environmental space, lack of interest and equally poor understanding and even poor teachers all contribute to bad grades. Without a decent understanding of the GCSEs set out, students will never do well. That's just the way it is.
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Manitude
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#115
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#115
Some people just aren't very good at the whole 'education' thing. I know a few people who tried really hard in their A Levels. Working solidly throughout every day and presumably at night too. They pretty much failed everything and were distraught. (On the other hand, I know someone who was ecstatic to get EEU because at least he had something to show for three years work!)
It doesn't necessarily mean they're thick (although that may play a part), just that they don't perform well under assessment conditions.
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1drowssap
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#116
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#116
(Original post by StrangeBanana)
Dyslexia alone does not cause bad grades.
But it definitely contributes to bad grades. For me, my bad grades in exams were due to exam technique. I would write essays twice the length of others just to get half the point.

To answer OP's question.
Bad grades are due to lack of knowledge of the subject, insufficient practice of answering questions, and poor exam technique. You need all those three things to get a decent grade, and being poor at least one of them will cost you the A*/A.
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Old_Simon
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#117
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I think some people simply do not know how to learn. This subject fascinates me because I was utterly hopeless at maths at school but now I am self teaching Maths / FM for Pre U, really flying and loving it. The difference now is simply (a) I have learnt how to learn, that leads to (b) supreme confidence - not arrogance but just an inner knowledge I can do this, that then leads to (c) motivation and ability to happily put the work in because I now enjoy it, and I want to do well and I believe - barring silly mistakes / catastrophe - that I will do. Now although I am nearly retired in my head I am the same guy. So why did I feel so bad about Maths at school ?
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StrangeBanana
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#118
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#118
(Original post by 1drowssap)
But it definitely contributes to bad grades.
So? Everyone has things they struggle with that may inhibit their ability to succeed. Working hard means learning to overcome them.
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Pro Crastination
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#119
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But I'll play along with your idea as it leads to a funny outcome; if people did all have the same potential, how would you make them reach it? Take them off their parents as some kid whose folks are benefit scroungers wouldn't stand a chance against some kid sent to a specialist nursery by rich mummy and daddy
Obviously the utopian vision would be one wherein each child is raised in the latter environment. However, that will clearly never happen. What can happen, and is being stressed by others, is a scrapping of several factors that actively promote these disparities in ambition/expectations: foundation tier papers, a 'C-grade is all we'll help you with' culture in low-performing state secondary schools and colleges; these are two areas we could immediately look to address. If we can reduce these inequalities, then we'll at least be on the way towards achieving equality of opportunity for young people.

It's bloody stressful that's why I feel like giving up
Don't. Believe in yourself :P
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LightBlueSoldier
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#120
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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?
Cause they're stupid/lazy. /thread


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