sujana
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So, this question has been bugging me for so long. I am currently doing my a-levels and oh boy. Am i failing all my tests?
It feels so horrible because before tests, I actually do some revision. In class when we do practise exam questions, I get them all right. But whenever I do tests, whether it's out of 10 or 50 marks, I fail.
Does this mean I am struggling? I understand every bits of a topic, but in tests, my brain just.....sort of.....stops working.
My teachers said that it's okay. No one actually gets good grades at the beginning of year 12 because of the jump between GCSE and A-level but I have seen my classmates getting 100% where I am getting D's and C's
Am I dumb? Or is it normal at the start of Year 12? Will I improve? Or am I just not good enough?
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ecolier
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No, it shows how good you are at taking exams.
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FloralHybrid
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(Original post by sujana)
So, this question has been bugging me for so long. I am currently doing my a-levels and oh boy. Am i failing all my tests?
It feels so horrible because before tests, I actually do some revision. In class when we do practise exam questions, I get them all right. But whenever I do tests, whether it's out of 10 or 50 marks, I fail.
Does this mean I am struggling? I understand every bits of a topic, but in tests, my brain just.....sort of.....stops working.
My teachers said that it's okay. No one actually gets good grades at the beginning of year 12 because of the jump between GCSE and A-level but I have seen my classmates getting 100% where I am getting D's and C's
Am I dumb? Or is it normal at the start of Year 12? Will I improve? Or am I just not good enough?
Exam stress that affects performance isn’t uncommon. Nor is doing badly at the start of Year 12. Not to mention, exams test how much information you’ve retained. Not how “clever” you are. Focus on improving, rather than worrying about the grade itself 😊
Last edited by FloralHybrid; 1 year ago
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EstelleA
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Try doing some exercise before the exam, get your brain and body moving. Try starting a debate with you friends about the topics, or right before the exam quickly refresh your mind with revision cards You’re not dumb, because you said you clearly revise. Don’t worry, like everything you just need to practise
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ground_cinnamon
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Not really, exams show how good you are at exams. It’s all pretty much a memory game anyway, *answer these predefined questions of which you have been told the answer at some point during the course. Try remember around 100 or so answers.* I don’t like exams purely for what they are, I like learning and progressing through the year. I think subjects should be marked throughout the year (which they are to an extent) with no exam, but hey that’s just my 2p.
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username4316350
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most people are better off doing an apprenticeship or vocational training than a levels. sad thing is that ppl who go off to vocational colleges well in my experience were the dudes who got chit grades. so they went off for 2 years training in a field to become mechanics or chefs or hairdressers, developers, accountants etc. while everyone else was told to go to sixth form but lacked a reason why and studied a level politics or sociology and realised by the end it was all a fkn waste of time. while the other guy learned something useful and got a career
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Andrew97
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(Original post by ground_cinnamon)
Not really, exams show how good you are at exams. It’s all pretty much a memory game anyway, *answer these predefined questions of which you have been told the answer at some point during the course. Try remember around 100 or so answers.* I don’t like exams purely for what they are, I like learning and progressing through the year. I think subjects should be marked throughout the year (which they are to an extent) with no exam, but hey that’s just my 2p.
How would marking throughout the year work exactly? Surely in the interest of fairness we need an external way of testing the students?
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Serenity-M
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(Original post by sujana)
So, this question has been bugging me for so long. I am currently doing my a-levels and oh boy. Am i failing all my tests?
It feels so horrible because before tests, I actually do some revision. In class when we do practise exam questions, I get them all right. But whenever I do tests, whether it's out of 10 or 50 marks, I fail.
Does this mean I am struggling? I understand every bits of a topic, but in tests, my brain just.....sort of.....stops working.
My teachers said that it's okay. No one actually gets good grades at the beginning of year 12 because of the jump between GCSE and A-level but I have seen my classmates getting 100% where I am getting D's and C's
Am I dumb? Or is it normal at the start of Year 12? Will I improve? Or am I just not good enough?
I'm in the same situation but I think I may just genuinely be a bit stupid. :rofl: I always mess up signs and simple addition. And reading the question... that is just way to difficult for my brain to handle. :facepalm:
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_gcx
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Going to give you a blunt answer.

No, but good performance would usually indicate a reasonable amount of intelligence. Those who are simply good at memorisation will be filtered out at every step up (GCSE to A-level, A-level to undergraduate etc.), as they will most likely encounter a barrier. Of course there are some people whose results don't reflect their ability, so it's unfair to judge their intelligence purely off their grades. But it is definitely unreasonable to jump to say that there is no connection at all. Looking at how much effort they put in and so in would give a more accurate insight.

It is completely possible for someone not to have sufficient ability to pass a particular A-level. There are people who can legitimately put in their best effort and come out with an E or U, and it is unhelpful for people not to acknowledge this. Not saying this is your case, but I'm not going to delude you that anything is possible since it's far better to be realistic about your options and take a path that you'll be happy with. But, I'd argue it's far too early to tell. Many people struggle early on in year 12 and then pick up later on. Give it a good go, and if you're still in this position later on in the year, meet with your teachers to reflect on why and whether you should continue that A-level.
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_gcx
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(Original post by ground_cinnamon)
Not really, exams show how good you are at exams. It’s all pretty much a memory game anyway, *answer these predefined questions of which you have been told the answer at some point during the course. Try remember around 100 or so answers.* I don’t like exams purely for what they are, I like learning and progressing through the year. I think subjects should be marked throughout the year (which they are to an extent) with no exam, but hey that’s just my 2p.
This has been discussed a lot on here. To summarise my view: it allows very little room for improvement and relies on consistent performance throughout the period which is unrealistic, it discriminates against people who cram for no good reason and assessing regularly would be cumbersome because it would still have to be centrally marked and so on. Not opposed to modularity at A-level, maybe January and June exams, but having them more frequent than that is too much imo.
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ground_cinnamon
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(Original post by _gcx)
This has been discussed a lot on here. To summarise my view: it allows very little room for improvement and relies on consistent performance throughout the period which is unrealistic, it discriminates against people who cram for no good reason and assessing regularly would be cumbersome because it would still have to be centrally marked and so on. Not opposed to modularity at A-level, maybe January and June exams, but having them more frequent than that is too much imo.
I’m not sure if you guys do it down in England but up here in Scotland (SQA Highers/ Advanced Highers) we actually have continuous assessments throughout the year, and if we don’t pass them all we are not allowed to sit the final exam in May. Not sure how things work for A-levels though!
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ground_cinnamon
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(Original post by Andrew97)
How would marking throughout the year work exactly? Surely in the interest of fairness we need an external way of testing the students?
I see your point. We actually do that up here in Scotland, we have periodic assessments that are internally assessed by teachers and if we don’t pass them we are not allowed to do the final exam. The Assessments are sent away to the SQA (AQA in England? Is that right?) to get marked which doesn’t affect your final grade unless you fail any of them and your teacher can be marked down for incorrect marking and bias.
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Aydam
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Nope, exams don't mean ****. They measure your ability to absorb and regurgitate information. Thats it. The education system is fundamentally wrong but we're all forced to go through to get anywhere🤷*♂️
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PeacockFeather
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(Original post by sujana)
So, this question has been bugging me for so long. I am currently doing my a-levels and oh boy. Am i failing all my tests?
It feels so horrible because before tests, I actually do some revision. In class when we do practise exam questions, I get them all right. But whenever I do tests, whether it's out of 10 or 50 marks, I fail.
Does this mean I am struggling? I understand every bits of a topic, but in tests, my brain just.....sort of.....stops working.
My teachers said that it's okay. No one actually gets good grades at the beginning of year 12 because of the jump between GCSE and A-level but I have seen my classmates getting 100% where I am getting D's and C's
Am I dumb? Or is it normal at the start of Year 12? Will I improve? Or am I just not good enough?
Everyone copes differently under exam conditions therefore your ability isn't always shown to its fullest potential. Others may handle it better but it DOESN'T mean you're not good enough. Also some people need to put in more effort than others if they don't pick things up as quickly. At the end of the day you are not defined by your grades eg. Saying 'I'm a D grade student' or 'A grade student'. Exams don't really determine your knowledge properly which is annoying but don't worry!
Last edited by PeacockFeather; 1 year ago
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antarmstrong
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(Original post by sujana)
So, this question has been bugging me for so long. I am currently doing my a-levels and oh boy. Am i failing all my tests?
It feels so horrible because before tests, I actually do some revision. In class when we do practise exam questions, I get them all right. But whenever I do tests, whether it's out of 10 or 50 marks, I fail.
Does this mean I am struggling? I understand every bits of a topic, but in tests, my brain just.....sort of.....stops working.
My teachers said that it's okay. No one actually gets good grades at the beginning of year 12 because of the jump between GCSE and A-level but I have seen my classmates getting 100% where I am getting D's and C's
Am I dumb? Or is it normal at the start of Year 12? Will I improve? Or am I just not good enough?
Nope, it doesn't but because this is a test across the country it needs to be standardised. Therefore it does not actually show your true intelligence. Also you have to include the other variables such as how you feel on the day, how much sleep, have you eaten properly, stress, the variables is endless. This is why I conclude exams do not. Also now it's all memorisation, so no actual thinking on your own, in A levels it could be the case linking different information to others compared to GCSE.
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BFG9000
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Being consistently good in exam taking does mean that you are smart. Especially abstract ones, maths, physics, LNAT, BMAT, SAT and similar are essentially just disguised IQ tests.

You cannot be good exam taker and a semi-functional moron at the same time. Sometimes you hear things like you are "just good at taking exams" but those people are just butthurts .
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Rabbit2
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IMHO: How well you do on an exam, shows how good you are at predicting exam questions. You can study like crazy, and learn lots of stuff, but if you are never asked a question relating to what you have learned, your study time has been wasted. I only figured out how to predict exams half way through graduate school. Once i gained confidence in my new skill - my study time went down by at least 50%, and my results tripled. [Honestly, i don't think i would have made it out with a master's degree, had i not figured out what some of my classmates apparently already knew in elementary school. They were getting straight A's, and were ALWAYS out in the pasture - playing around with their horses - whilest i was booking it constantly - and getting C's, D's, and F's. The first time i tried to do this, i hit the guy teaching my grad school course 100%. I had every question he put on the real exam on my 'sample' exam - with NO extras. My wording was nearly the same as his. I showed my sample to the two guys in my study group on a Sunday - the real exam was Thursday night. They would have NONE of it. Oh, he wouldn't ask us this, or that.... After the exam, i hung around on the street outside. All they could ask was "HOW did you know???" "G"G"
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Bixox
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Not at all. Just shows how good you are at retaining and regurgitating facts.
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Rabbit2
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(Original post by Bixox)
Not at all. Just shows how good you are at retaining and regurgitating facts.
Plus, your ability to pick the correct facts to retain & regurgitate! Cheers.
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TensorTympani
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(Original post by sujana)
So, this question has been bugging me for so long. I am currently doing my a-levels and oh boy. Am i failing all my tests?
It feels so horrible because before tests, I actually do some revision. In class when we do practise exam questions, I get them all right. But whenever I do tests, whether it's out of 10 or 50 marks, I fail.
Does this mean I am struggling? I understand every bits of a topic, but in tests, my brain just.....sort of.....stops working.
My teachers said that it's okay. No one actually gets good grades at the beginning of year 12 because of the jump between GCSE and A-level but I have seen my classmates getting 100% where I am getting D's and C's
Am I dumb? Or is it normal at the start of Year 12? Will I improve? Or am I just not good enough?
No your IQ shows how smart you are.
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