Taking IGCSEs below nationally required age

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KawaiiUravity
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Hello to whoever reads this;

I'm now at a huge turning point in my life which I believe most people do not have to experience, and here to ask for some advice and comfort.

Due to personal problems and the current situation of Covid-19, I will be moving abroad for around 2 years; I will be missing out on core UK education (again, due to family problems, I cannot afford homeschooling via online or go to an international school). I will be attending a local school that studies a completely different language.

My family has pressured me into studying and taking IGCSEs in the following year 2021 to make it easier for me to get into a good school when I come back in a couple of years. I am currently in Year 8 (13 years old), whereas the national requirement is Year 11.

(I am not trying to brag or anything here just in case anybody dislikes this comment) - I have grown up in a good environment and have been given a good education. Thanks to my single mother's effort, I have attended private schools all my life with scholarships and bursaries. I have the reputation as the top student in the year, in one of the best schools in London.

Before I go any further, I want to also say that I have already gone through something similar like this before, when I moved to the UK at the age of 8. I managed to learn English in the space of 1 year (I became trilingual then) and got into various schools around London through 11+. Due to this fact, I feel like my mother thinks too highly of me and trusts me too much that I can complete my GCSEs.

I really don’t want to waste or let down my mother’s time, effort and sacrifices that drove me up till here.

I am almost angry that I can’t be like my friends and carry on with my daily life as a normal child. I get upset if I think that way, because I know my mother’s doing it for my good and I feel like I’m backstabbing her of what she did my whole life.

I have already looked through past papers, etc; the GCSEs seemed like a bit more difficult version of 11+...but wait until I saw the model answers that were posted in one of the forums. The level is absolutely different, it’s almost as if they were authors for textbooks. I feel intimidated, and doubt my books and online resources can take me up to that level.

This is my situation summed up here:
I am basically trying to take my GCSEs a couple of years earlier than most people. I will be attending a local school in a completely different country, therefore missing out on UK education. I am planning on studying at night after ‘school’ using textbooks.

Currently I am filled with doubt that I cannot get good grades, and scared that I will let down my family’s hopes in me.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or advice. I really don’t know what I can ask here.

Best,
KawaiiUravity
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Pichi
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First of all, I’d just like to say that you and your mother both seem like really hard-working and grateful people and it’s admirable.

I know some people take GCSEs early in Year 10, but those people usually only take some GCSEs and do the rest in Year 11 to take pressure off of doing them all in one exam season. GCSEs are usually a 2-3 year course, so it would be really hard to do in one year by yourself. And what would you do in Year 9 if you finished your GCSEs by the end of this year? Would they put you in an A-Level class?

Are you academically curious? Maybe you could start learning content if you really were interested, but definitely don’t stress yourself out by doing it all in one year. It’s probably not impossible but it sounds extremely draining. I was having fun in Year 8, being a child and pursuing my own hobbies. Maybe ask your mum if you can compromise by doing extra academic things like learning beyond the KS3 specification and venturing into studying GCSE content at your own pace, participating in essay competitions (I know Cambridge has a 13-15 category for a competition), doing what you love etc while still being a normal child like you want to be? Really, make the most of your childhood- you’ll miss it. It makes me kind of sad to see you’ll be sacrificing every evening after school to to self-teach; I didn’t start doing that until Year 10, and I was forced to self-teach the sciences because my school was behind and it was stressful. You’ll stress yourself out by doing all of your GCSEs early.

Maybe you could ask to do only a few of them early if you’re really confident in them? And I promise GCSE essays are nowhere near a publishable standard. :lol:

(Ooh, is Uravity a MHA reference?)
Last edited by Pichi; 1 month ago
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I can't quite make sense of the time line you describe but taking GCSEs earlier than 16 is not that uncommon although the UK government currently discourages it. I've known people taken individual GCSEs as young as 10, getting top grades and I've known people take them all at 14.

Despite this, if you're in Year 8 now and only going abroad for 2 years then you might well be better off keeping up with some UK specification work and just taking GCSEs at the normal time when you return. Finding a cenrte and paying to take the exams them selves isn't cheap.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by KawaiiUravity)
Hello to whoever reads this;


This is my situation summed up here:
I am basically trying to take my GCSEs a couple of years earlier than most people. I will be attending a local school in a completely different country, therefore missing out on UK education. I am planning on studying at night after ‘school’ using textbooks.

Currently I am filled with doubt that I cannot get good grades, and scared that I will let down my family’s hopes in me.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or advice. I really don’t know what I can ask here.

Best,
KawaiiUravity
Don't do it - it's highly unlikely you'll get good grades. You'll have to declare these grades when you apply to university even if you retake.
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mysk
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Just dropping by to say Good Luck! I'm also an iGCSE Student who attempted to take them early (I didn't in the end and I am currently still studying for them at the average age for GCSEs (15).), and so I know just how hard it is!
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