Receiving a bad grade in my first A level exam question

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ma15
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I've recently started year 12 , and just about to reach my first half term . Yesterday I received a question I answered for history A -level , where i received 6/10 equating to a grade C. I feel so upset , as all I do is come home and revise from 16:20 t0 21:20 . It just feels like nothing is paying off , and my dreams of going to study at top universities are far beyond . I understand that this is my first assesment , but I'm really cautious it'll go towards my predicted grades . I'm also feeling really down , as I can't seem to find the motivation to do my work ,without feeling as though I'm failing, and even if i try hard I'm still not going to do well.
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ashvinsingh
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(Original post by ma15)
I've recently started year 12 , and just about to reach my first half term . Yesterday I received a question I answered for history A -level , where i received 6/10 equating to a grade C. I feel so upset , as all I do is come home and revise from 16:20 t0 21:20 . It just feels like nothing is paying off , and my dreams of going to study at top universities are far beyond . I understand that this is my first assesment , but I'm really cautious it'll go towards my predicted grades . I'm also feeling really down , as I can't seem to find the motivation to do my work ,without feeling as though I'm failing, and even if i try hard I'm still not going to do well.
Don’t worry the only important thing of year 12 is the end of year mock assessments, do regular revision but revise smartly, practice questions, summary cards, pomodoro technique etc but 4 hours every day will drain you too much. What subjects do you do? I can give advice for maths chem and bio as that’s what I study - year 13 student
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JA_1
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(Original post by ma15)
I've recently started year 12 , and just about to reach my first half term . Yesterday I received a question I answered for history A -level , where i received 6/10 equating to a grade C. I feel so upset , as all I do is come home and revise from 16:20 t0 21:20 . It just feels like nothing is paying off , and my dreams of going to study at top universities are far beyond . I understand that this is my first assesment , but I'm really cautious it'll go towards my predicted grades . I'm also feeling really down , as I can't seem to find the motivation to do my work ,without feeling as though I'm failing, and even if i try hard I'm still not going to do well.
You're very early on into your A level courses and it's very normal to not perform very well in exams at the beginning. That's partly because your still learning the exam technique/how to actually pick up the marks in the exam questions, and also because A level is a big jump from GCSE so you'll still be learning what works for you revision-wise.

My advice would be to try and not stress too much. I'm in year 13 atm, and applying to study medicine with 3A*s predicted. In my first tests in year 12 I was getting C/Ds mostly, despite working very hard, and felt quite similarly to you. You'll have many opportunities to pick up your predicted grades- your teachers can literally change them right up until your UCAS entry deadline in Y13- so don't stress about that.

I'd say to try and get feedback from your teacher about what you can do better, and then actually re-write the exam questions and get them to mark it again so you can try and figure out how to get higher grades. Most importantly, this will help you learn but it's also useful to show them your working hard so that'll help with predicted grades etc.

Also, it sounds like you're working so hard that it's not productive. Whilst it's definitely great that your taking things seriously from the start of Y12, if you don't make time for yourself and make sure your de-stressing, your going to loose the motivation to do any work at all or likely to start feeling quite unwell mentally. There are lots of studies that relaxing is a really important part of learning, as well as being important for your wellbeing. So try and make some time to exercise, relax and watch TV, or whatever you want really Maybe if it's possible, it could be worth talking to someone at your school if you have any pastoral support etc?
Last edited by JA_1; 1 week ago
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ma15
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(Original post by ashvinsingh)
Don’t worry the only important thing of year 12 is the end of year mock assessments, do regular revision but revise smartly, practice questions, summary cards, pomodoro technique etc but 4 hours every day will drain you too much. What subjects do you do? I can give advice for maths chem and bio as that’s what I study - year 13 student
Thankyou ever so much for your kind response ! Also , your most certainly correct , since receiving my result I've felt really drained , as it was almost a slight realization that the way in which I'm working is not productive or beneficial . I've also either been not sleeping at all , or just getting 3-4 hours sleep ,which has taken a real toll upon things like my mental health -and also events with my friends ; as i just feel too drained to do things on the weekend without feeling guilty for not doing work , or telling myself that if I'm not working then I'm going to receive bad results in return . Which , i found to really upset me , as even though I haven't been seeing my friends or staying at my other parents house ( my parents are divorced) due to it being hard to move my stuff back and forth , particularly when I'm trying to work - I'm not achieving my ideal results . However , through responses on here / advice , I'm beginning to realise that achieve great results doesn't occur imminently , and I just need to chill out !! Once again , thankyou so so much for your response , and I hope you achieve your desired grades !
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ashvinsingh
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(Original post by ma15)
Thankyou ever so much for your kind response ! Also , your most certainly correct , since receiving my result I've felt really drained , as it was almost a slight realization that the way in which I'm working is not productive or beneficial . I've also either been not sleeping at all , or just getting 3-4 hours sleep ,which has taken a real toll upon things like my mental health -and also events with my friends ; as i just feel too drained to do things on the weekend without feeling guilty for not doing work , or telling myself that if I'm not working then I'm going to receive bad results in return . Which , i found to really upset me , as even though I haven't been seeing my friends or staying at my other parents house ( my parents are divorced) due to it being hard to move my stuff back and forth , particularly when I'm trying to work - I'm not achieving my ideal results . However , through responses on here / advice , I'm beginning to realise that achieve great results doesn't occur imminently , and I just need to chill out !! Once again , thankyou so so much for your response , and I hope you achieve your desired grades !
Aim for 8 hours of sleep, definitely prioritise your mental health once it gets awful it’s hard to heal it again, I suggest making a revision timetable, only do revision in those hours probably around 2 hours per subject per week? Spend time socialising and building connections, get some hobbies etc and most of all don’t be too hard on yourself, everything will work out. Thank you very much for your kind words and good luck for the future 😊
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ma15
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(Original post by JA_1)
You're very early on into your A level courses and it's very normal to not perform very well in exams at the beginning. That's partly because your still learning the exam technique/how to actually pick up the marks in the exam questions, and also because A level is a big jump from GCSE so you'll still be learning what works for you revision-wise.

My advice would be to try and not stress too much. I'm in year 13 atm, and applying to study medicine with 3A*s predicted. In my first tests in year 12 I was getting C/Ds mostly, despite working very hard, and felt quite similarly to you. You'll have many opportunities to pick up your predicted grades- your teachers can literally change them right up until your UCAS entry deadline in Y13- so don't stress about that.

I'd say to try and get feedback from your teacher about what you can do better, and then actually re-write the exam questions and get them to mark it again so you can try and figure out how to get higher grades. Most importantly, this will help you learn but it's also useful to show them your working hard so that'll help with predicted grades etc.

Also, it sounds like you're working so hard that it's not productive. Whilst it's definitely great that your taking things seriously from the start of Y12, if you don't make time for yourself and make sure your de-stressing, your going to loose the motivation to do any work at all or likely to start feeling quite unwell mentally. There are lots of studies that relaxing is a really important part of learning, as well as being important for your wellbeing. So try and make some time to exercise, relax and watch TV, or whatever you want really Maybe if it's possible, it could be worth talking to someone at your school if you have any pastoral support etc?
Thankyou so very much for taking the time to respond ! I found this to be majorly reassuring , as if someone truly understands the way I feel . Also , I'm going to take your advice , and re write my history question ,as I decided to try a new structure - which clearly didn't benefit me for my first graded piece (I don't know why i did that to myself ?!). However , I'm hoping my teacher will remark it for me , so I can see if I've improved , as like you stated it'll be useful to show to them that I'm working hard . Additionally , I think i've realised now that the way i was working wasn't beneficial to myself at all , I need to take the time to destress , as it'll make me want to revise rather than it feeling like something my future entirely depends upon (which it sort of does , but it's not healthy to attain that mindset) . Also , I really struggle talking to my friends and parents about the way I'm truly feeling , so it may be beneficial to talk to someone that doesn't know me entirely as I belive I'll feel less judgement; as the way I've felt after receiving my history result has took a real toll on me , and I've felt so incredibly low in myself .Thankyou once again for your response
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ma15
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(Original post by ashvinsingh)
Aim for 8 hours of sleep, definitely prioritise your mental health once it gets awful it’s hard to heal it again, I suggest making a revision timetable, only do revision in those hours probably around 2 hours per subject per week? Spend time socialising and building connections, get some hobbies etc and most of all don’t be too hard on yourself, everything will work out. Thank you very much for your kind words and good luck for the future 😊
I'm definitely going to try and do so , and thankyou for your thoughtful response , it's made me feel so so much better !!
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JA_1
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(Original post by ma15)
Thankyou so very much for taking the time to respond ! I found this to be majorly reassuring , as if someone truly understands the way I feel . Also , I'm going to take your advice , and re write my history question ,as I decided to try a new structure - which clearly didn't benefit me for my first graded piece (I don't know why i did that to myself ?!). However , I'm hoping my teacher will remark it for me , so I can see if I've improved , as like you stated it'll be useful to show to them that I'm working hard . Additionally , I think i've realised now that the way i was working wasn't beneficial to myself at all , I need to take the time to destress , as it'll make me want to revise rather than it feeling like something my future entirely depends upon (which it sort of does , but it's not healthy to attain that mindset) . Also , I really struggle talking to my friends and parents about the way I'm truly feeling , so it may be beneficial to talk to someone that doesn't know me entirely as I belive I'll feel less judgement; as the way I've felt after receiving my history result has took a real toll on me , and I've felt so incredibly low in myself .Thankyou once again for your response
That's okay! I think like that all sounds like a really good plan- it'll help you get the grades you want but also help you take care of yourself, which ultimately has to be the most important thing!

The fact your taking things so seriously from pretty early on in Y12 is really poisitve, it literally shows that you're doing a whole lot better than you think you are (lmao I literally know people who didn't do 4 hours revision in the whole of y12, let alone a night- definitely do not recommend that either though lol !!). Making mistakes early on your courses is completely normal and is actually good, better to make them early on rather than later. Balance is so important with revision- do a few hours a day of high quality revision and that'll really put you in a good position later on, but equally, as you said, it's not a healthy or useful mindset o be constantly worrying about things or working non-stop.
I hope things start looking up soon, i'm sure they will!
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Innitfam
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(Original post by ma15)
I've recently started year 12 , and just about to reach my first half term . Yesterday I received a question I answered for history A -level , where i received 6/10 equating to a grade C. I feel so upset , as all I do is come home and revise from 16:20 t0 21:20 . It just feels like nothing is paying off , and my dreams of going to study at top universities are far beyond . I understand that this is my first assesment , but I'm really cautious it'll go towards my predicted grades . I'm also feeling really down , as I can't seem to find the motivation to do my work ,without feeling as though I'm failing, and even if i try hard I'm still not going to do well.
I’m more worried by the fact your overthinking

Perhaps forget about the exams... speak to your parents about this affecting you and then consider if it's worthwhile continuing with these exams if they are putting you down like that.


And stop spending that many hours revising lmao. These exams are not a measure of barely anything especially your self worth so need to place less focus on revising and more on feeling better even if you don't go to university.

Your obsession is not good. Seek help. This is clearly getting to you for some reason.
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BrainDrain
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(Original post by ma15)
I've recently started year 12 , and just about to reach my first half term . Yesterday I received a question I answered for history A -level , where i received 6/10 equating to a grade C. I feel so upset , as all I do is come home and revise from 16:20 t0 21:20 . It just feels like nothing is paying off , and my dreams of going to study at top universities are far beyond . I understand that this is my first assesment , but I'm really cautious it'll go towards my predicted grades . I'm also feeling really down , as I can't seem to find the motivation to do my work ,without feeling as though I'm failing, and even if i try hard I'm still not going to do well.
Like you say you are only just into the course so please don't be too hard on yourself, and rather than toil over revision, find a period in history you enjoy reading about and make it a leisure thing.

I agree with JA I think the best thing to do is have a word with your tutor explaining your were unhappy with the result of your first essay and are eager to learn where you went wrong.
Suggest you are willing to go the extra mile re writing it until it is up to scratch, if they would be kind enough to remark it, you realise the original mark would stand, this would be extra effort by you to get on track for future good marks.....good luck.
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ma15
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(Original post by Innitfam)
I’m more worried by the fact your overthinking

Perhaps forget about the exams... speak to your parents about this affecting you and then consider if it's worthwhile continuing with these exams if they are putting you down like that.


And stop spending that many hours revising lmao. These exams are not a measure of barely anything especially your self worth so need to place less focus on revising and more on feeling better even if you don't go to university.

Your obsession is not good. Seek help. This is clearly getting to you for some reason.
Thankyou for your response , and similarly your concern ! I've spoken to my parents about it, but I'm not the best when it comes to vocalizing how i truly feel ;however I definitely want to continue with my A-levels , as I love the subject I'm doing ,and enjoy trying my best . I believe I found myself to get a little overwhelmed, as it was my first exam at A-level , and I felt as though it defined how I was going to do at a later date . Thankyou once again for your response
Last edited by ma15; 1 week ago
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Innitfam
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(Original post by ma15)
Thankyou for your response , and similarly your concern ! I've spoken to my parents about it, but I'm not the best when it comes to vocalizing how i truly feel ;however I definitely want to continue with my A-levels , as I love the subject I'm doing ,and enjoy trying my best . I believe I found myself to get a little overwhelmed, as it was my first exam at A-level , and I felt as though it defined how I was going to do at a later date . Thankyou once again for your response
But if its putting you down like this it might be doing you more harm than good because you can't rely on them
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ma15
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(Original post by BrainDrain)
Like you say you are only just into the course so please don't be too hard on yourself, and rather than toil over revision, find a period in history you enjoy reading about and make it a leisure thing.

I agree with JA I think the best thing to do is have a word with your tutor explaining your were unhappy with the result of your first essay and are eager to learn where you went wrong.
Suggest you are willing to go the extra mile re writing it until it is up to scratch, if they would be kind enough to remark it, you realise the original mark would stand, this would be extra effort by you to get on track for future good marks.....good luck.
Thankyou so much for your response , and I definitely agree with you . It's quite hard at the moment , as my teacher has been off for the last 5 weeks due to a rather extensive surgery ,so I can't really email them . However , they're due to be back next week, or after the half term, so I'm going to request to arrange a meeting sometime , and go over a few bits I found myself confused by . Also , I've rewritten my history question , and I'm feeling much better about it , so hopefully I'll go up a few marks (hopefully..) .
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ma15
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(Original post by Innitfam)
But if its putting you down like this it might be doing you more harm than good because you can't rely on them
Yes that is very true, but I know that 2 years of stress in order to achieve my life goal will be worth it . Also , like i say I'm really enjoying my a levels , I was just a little shocked by my mark, but I'm feeling much more positive now , and ubsequently 'back on track'
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(Original post by ma15)
Yes that is very true, but I know that 2 years of stress in order to achieve my life goal will be worth it . Also , like i say I'm really enjoying my a levels , I was just a little shocked by my mark, but I'm feeling much more positive now , and ubsequently 'back on track'
But you can find something you enjoy and doesn't put you down because what if you get another bad mark?
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ma15
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(Original post by JA_1)
That's okay! I think like that all sounds like a really good plan- it'll help you get the grades you want but also help you take care of yourself, which ultimately has to be the most important thing!

The fact your taking things so seriously from pretty early on in Y12 is really poisitve, it literally shows that you're doing a whole lot better than you think you are (lmao I literally know people who didn't do 4 hours revision in the whole of y12, let alone a night- definitely do not recommend that either though lol !!). Making mistakes early on your courses is completely normal and is actually good, better to make them early on rather than later. Balance is so important with revision- do a few hours a day of high quality revision and that'll really put you in a good position later on, but equally, as you said, it's not a healthy or useful mindset o be constantly worrying about things or working non-stop.
I hope things start looking up soon, i'm sure they will!
Thankyou once again , your response made me so happy ! Also , your points are all really valuable , and I'm 100% going to take them on board ; I'm going to continue to work hard , however incorporate some time where I'll chill out , and do things I like to do ! I'm feeling so so muuch better now , and I feel back on track with my end goal (haha that sounds so cringey).Thankyou once again, your responses have been so very helpful . !
Last edited by ma15; 1 week ago
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