MightyBjorn
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Hello. Allow me to introduce myself as Bjorn (not my real name, but I value my privacy). I am 18 years old and I dropped out of secondary school when I was in Year 8 and pursued a homeschooling route through Oxford Open Learning, this was primarily due to issues I was experiencing with my old school and a lack of support placement.

I suffered some personal problems (again, would you believe it) during my homeschooling route and ended up receiving grades B in Mathematics, A* in English *Language (not Literature, my mistake), C in Biology, C in Chemistry, D in English Literature and E in Physics. I sat all of these exams as an external candidate at my old secondary school, and they were IGCSE courses.

I have never entirely been satisfied with these results, even up to now. I was allowed into the local sixth form to study at Level 3 despite only receiving 4 GCSE qualifications above grade C, and I pursued A-Levels in Graphic Design and Computer Science along with a Single Diploma in ICT. My end results were a Distinction in ICT (remarked up from a Merit), a B in Computer Science and a B in Graphic Design.

I honestly feel like I've been dragged along too much by personal problems and my naivety for the past 4 or so years and I really have always wanted to be more prestigious. About 2-3 weeks ago I decided to fast track three A-Levels online with CloudLearn, these being A-Level Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. I'm going to take the exams for these in about June 2020, which I am more than pleased with, but I still have misgivings about my GCSEs.

One thing that has occurred to me is that I stunted myself by taking GCSEs at home. It would have honestly been a better idea to attempt them at an actual school but I was too nearsighted to realise that, namely because I would obtain 10-13 or so of them in a state school instead of only having the potential to obtain 6 through online courses.

Putting dwelling aside in the past though, my main point is that I have always wanted to redo at-least some of my IGCSEs for better qualifications. I hate only having 4 of them and I have a feeling that I could've done better. What are my options for redoing the exams for them? Something attainable in a short time and low in terms of cost would be delightful. I am conscious that I am studying for three A-Levels in a year as-well, so I may need to do them afterwards.

It may be an entirely ridiculous idea altogether, so please do not hesitate to tell me if it is. I greatly value opinions of any kind.
Last edited by MightyBjorn; 4 weeks ago
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sam4858
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Hi,
I'm in a similar situation to you, I left school in year 10 (and had previously barely ever attended school) and decided to take my (I)gcses myself, with cloudlearn, how coincidental. I ended up with a 3 in maths, a 6 in English and BCD in science. Rubbish and very useless.
So last year, I retook all but english again. Came out with much better grades. And am now doing A levels in bio, chemistry and psychology. Exactly what I wanted, however I only have 4 gcses.
Which is insane, I know how inadequate you might feel because I certainly feel like I'm at a disadvantage with the gcses I have. But then again, I think it really depends on what you want to do at University.
A lot of unis aren't particularly bothered with the number of gcses you have, heck I checked imperials entry requirements for medicine and all that's listed is that you have passed English language.
But then of course there are places that do score with gcses and having less than others might shoot you down a bit or even make you ineligible.
I'm kind of also in two minds about taking some more gcses to boost my applications for University, but with 3 tough a levels on the plate I feel it's probably not the best idea, I cant imagine it's gonna be any better for you either considering you're sitting your a levels next year!
But, it really is up to you, I'd recommend that you check entry requirements for the degree you want to do, make a list of the places that are an option, and decide from there whether or not you're happy with them or not.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, ps. If you haven't already done it, I've heard gcse religous studies is one of the easiest to pass.
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MightyBjorn
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(Original post by sam4858)
Hi,
I'm in a similar situation to you, I left school in year 10 (and had previously barely ever attended school) and decided to take my (I)gcses myself, with cloudlearn, how coincidental. I ended up with a 3 in maths, a 6 in English and BCD in science. Rubbish and very useless.
So last year, I retook all but english again. Came out with much better grades. And am now doing A levels in bio, chemistry and psychology. Exactly what I wanted, however I only have 4 gcses.
Which is insane, I know how inadequate you might feel because I certainly feel like I'm at a disadvantage with the gcses I have. But then again, I think it really depends on what you want to do at University.
A lot of unis aren't particularly bothered with the number of gcses you have, heck I checked imperials entry requirements for medicine and all that's listed is that you have passed English language.
But then of course there are places that do score with gcses and having less than others might shoot you down a bit or even make you ineligible.
I'm kind of also in two minds about taking some more gcses to boost my applications for University, but with 3 tough a levels on the plate I feel it's probably not the best idea, I cant imagine it's gonna be any better for you either considering you're sitting your a levels next year!
But, it really is up to you, I'd recommend that you check entry requirements for the degree you want to do, make a list of the places that are an option, and decide from there whether or not you're happy with them or not.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do, ps. If you haven't already done it, I've heard gcse religous studies is one of the easiest to pass.
Thank you for this advice, I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who has been in such a situation.

May I ask how you approached resitting your GCSEs for better grades? I've considered using my local secondary school or sixth form to do this, but these may be expensive options, I am considering if a nearby Workers Educational Association could be willing to take me for exams. This may be useful in deciding an exam centre for my A-Levels too.

Please do tell me how you went about resitting your GCSEs however, because that is an area I am short on ideas for.
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sam4858
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(Original post by MightyBjorn)
Thank you for this advice, I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who has been in such a situation.

May I ask how you approached resitting your GCSEs for better grades? I've considered using my local secondary school or sixth form to do this, but these may be expensive options, I am considering if a nearby Workers Educational Association could be willing to take me for exams. This may be useful in deciding an exam centre for my A-Levels too.

Please do tell me how you went about resitting your GCSEs however, because that is an area I am short on ideas for.
I resat my gcses at a college, obviously maths is obligatory so they let me take that, however i wasn't allowed to take English again because I'd already passed it, the only reason I retook science as well was because its college rules that you fill out your timetable. I'm not sure if they would actually take you on if you've already passed, and achieved grades in level 3 subjects, however there is no harm in contacting your local sixth forms and schools to find out.
I think if you retake English and Maths at a college or sixth form instead of an exam centre, it's much less expensive (some places may also do science resits) But if you're willing to fork out a bit of money, just go to an exam center
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AspireMPharm
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(Original post by MightyBjorn)
Hello. Allow me to introduce myself as Bjorn (not my real name, but I value my privacy). I am 18 years old and I dropped out of secondary school when I was in Year 8 and pursued a homeschooling route through Oxford Open Learning, this was primarily due to issues I was experiencing with my old school and a lack of support placement.

I suffered some personal problems (again, would you believe it) during my homeschooling route and ended up receiving grades B in Mathematics, A* in English Literature, C in Biology, C in Chemistry, D in English Literature and E in Physics. I sat all of these exams as an external candidate at my old secondary school, and they were IGCSE courses.

I have never entirely been satisfied with these results, even up to now. I was allowed into the local sixth form to study at Level 3 despite only receiving 4 GCSE qualifications above grade C, and I pursued A-Levels in Graphic Design and Computer Science along with a Single Diploma in ICT. My end results were a Distinction in ICT (remarked up from a Merit), a B in Computer Science and a B in Graphic Design.

I honestly feel like I've been dragged along too much by personal problems and my naivety for the past 4 or so years and I really have always wanted to be more prestigious. About 2-3 weeks ago I decided to fast track three A-Levels online with CloudLearn, these being A-Level Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. I'm going to take the exams for these in about June 2020, which I am more than pleased with, but I still have misgivings about my GCSEs.

One thing that has occurred to me is that I stunted myself by taking GCSEs at home. It would have honestly been a better idea to attempt them at an actual school but I was too nearsighted to realise that, namely because I would obtain 10-13 or so of them in a state school instead of only having the potential to obtain 6 through online courses.

Putting dwelling aside in the past though, my main point is that I have always wanted to redo at-least some of my IGCSEs for better qualifications. I hate only having 4 of them and I have a feeling that I could've done better. What are my options for redoing the exams for them? Something attainable in a short time and low in terms of cost would be delightful. I am conscious that I am studying for three A-Levels in a year as-well, so I may need to do them afterwards.

It may be an entirely ridiculous idea altogether, so please do not hesitate to tell me if it is. I greatly value opinions of any kind.
Hi there , I can understand your situation but you need to look into your future and hold the past , unless the past is holding your future .

What do you actually want to in university ? As Your level 3 qualification would get you in , and lvl 3 qualifications are much more regarded than lvl 2 qualifications , so a university would still consider you for your lvl 3 qualifications in lieu of your lvl 2 qualifications.

Ofc this is subject to your preferred course but have you spoken to the admissions teams of the unis your interested in ?
Hold on... you said you got A* in English literature and D in English literature again , so I’m assuming one of these is language and this is quite important so could you clear it up ?
Last edited by AspireMPharm; 4 weeks ago
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MightyBjorn
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(Original post by AspireMPharm)
Hi there , I can understand your situation but you need to look into your future and hold the past , unless the past is holding your future .

What do you actually want to in university ? As Your level 3 qualification would get you in , and lvl 3 qualifications are much more regarded than lvl 2 qualifications , so a university would still consider you for your lvl 3 qualifications in lieu of your lvl 2 qualifications.

Ofc this is subject to your preferred course but have you spoken to the admissions teams of the unis your interested in ?
Hold on... you said you got A* in English literature and D in English literature again , so I’m assuming one of these is language and this is quite important so could you clear it up ?
Sorry, I was slightly tired when I posted my original message. I received an A* in English Language, but a D in English Literature. This was particularly excruciating at the time, since I was one mark off of a C in English Lit and even a remark didn't raise my grade past the boundary.

For the longest time I have had this unhealthy investment in creativity, art and digital things that I now realise isn't very good and probably isn't sustainable, profitable or overall fulfilling in the long term. I found it quite painful to realise this, and it has occurred to me that I want to attempt something serious and practical. I don't believe I have the prowess to become an engineer (I am very inept at physically manufacturing things, likely partially due to me suffering from dystonia) so I am currently interested in becoming either a doctor or a dentist (my main reasoning for choosing Biology and Chemistry courses).

I feel strongly that this is an area I have always had a latent interest in, something that I could contribute to society with and something that would make me independent and capable of pursuing a profitable career (three things that would give me fulfilment).

I have only a vague focus on universities, although I've noticed many of them require at-least 5 GCSEs and sometimes at high A-A* grades. This is one of my reasons for opting to resit my IGCSEs at some point, along with a strong personal conviction that I could have easily done better on them.

(Original post by sam4858)
I resat my gcses at a college, obviously maths is obligatory so they let me take that, however i wasn't allowed to take English again because I'd already passed it, the only reason I retook science as well was because its college rules that you fill out your timetable. I'm not sure if they would actually take you on if you've already passed, and achieved grades in level 3 subjects, however there is no harm in contacting your local sixth forms and schools to find out.
I think if you retake English and Maths at a college or sixth form instead of an exam centre, it's much less expensive (some places may also do science resits) But if you're willing to fork out a bit of money, just go to an exam center
I'm leaning towards just resitting the exams in a centre without a course as I feel I could easily master the (I)GCSE material on my own and get an A-A* grade. I'm currently at a stage where I'm trying to find a suitable centre, my sixth form would be the most logical option but I've contacted the Worker's Educational Assocation too to see if I could sit my exams in one of their locations.

I do have a budget so I am trying to find the least expensive location to take exams. I will definitely sit the exams for my online A-Levels next year in a centre, but I am uncertain about handling GCSE resits or if it is a good idea at all. The cost of resitting is my main discouragement.
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AspireMPharm
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(Original post by MightyBjorn)
Sorry, I was slightly tired when I posted my original message. I received an A* in English Language, but a D in English Literature. This was particularly excruciating at the time, since I was one mark off of a C in English Lit and even a remark didn't raise my grade past the boundary.

For the longest time I have had this unhealthy investment in creativity, art and digital things that I now realise isn't very good and probably isn't sustainable, profitable or overall fulfilling in the long term. I found it quite painful to realise this, and it has occurred to me that I want to attempt something serious and practical. I don't believe I have the prowess to become an engineer (I am very inept at physically manufacturing things, likely partially due to me suffering from dystonia) so I am currently interested in becoming either a doctor or a dentist (my main reasoning for choosing Biology and Chemistry courses).

I feel strongly that this is an area I have always had a latent interest in, something that I could contribute to society with and something that would make me independent and capable of pursuing a profitable career (three things that would give me fulfilment).

I have only a vague focus on universities, although I've noticed many of them require at-least 5 GCSEs and sometimes at high A-A* grades. This is one of my reasons for opting to resit my IGCSEs at some point, along with a strong personal conviction that I could have easily done better on them.


I'm leaning towards just resitting the exams in a centre without a course as I feel I could easily master the (I)GCSE material on my own and get an A-A* grade. I'm currently at a stage where I'm trying to find a suitable centre, my sixth form would be the most logical option but I've contacted the Worker's Educational Assocation too to see if I could sit my exams in one of their locations.

I do have a budget so I am trying to find the least expensive location to take exams. I will definitely sit the exams for my online A-Levels next year in a centre, but I am uncertain about handling GCSE resits or if it is a good idea at all. The cost of resitting is my main discouragement.
Yep.... now I understand your struggle. Having the higher grade in English language is ordered by unis than language. What I would say is resit maths , take the sciences, but your English language grade is great. However, I will stress that if you get A* A* A* or atleast straight A’s it’s highly likely you’ll still get in , but it’s to the Uni’s discretion
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