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Why can’t I achieve higher than average grades?

I’m an average student, by average I mean I never have achieved anything above a B, most my exams I get Cs, occasionally I get Bs, in my GCSEs I got 6 Bs and 4 Cs, i really want to achieve higher than this, I want to be getting As, no matter how much work I put in I always get these grades and it’s so frustrating. I really want to achieve atleast As in my a levels but I don’t even know if that’s possible due to my average ability and it’s so unfair to see people getting As and A*s but I can’t because I’m jsut stuck on this one place of no progress.

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Original post by fareeda234
I’m an average student, by average I mean I never have achieved anything above a B, most my exams I get Cs, occasionally I get Bs, in my GCSEs I got 6 Bs and 4 Cs, i really want to achieve higher than this, I want to be getting As, no matter how much work I put in I always get these grades and it’s so frustrating. I really want to achieve atleast As in my a levels but I don’t even know if that’s possible due to my average ability and it’s so unfair to see people getting As and A*s but I can’t because I’m jsut stuck on this one place of no progress.

Which A-Levels are you taking this year?
what have your teachers said?

I don't teach at A level, but at degree level there are "layers", you go higher for the higher marks: broadly knowledge, application, synthesis / critique

Think GCSE doesn't worry about the latter, A level does
Original post by fareeda234
I’m an average student, by average I mean I never have achieved anything above a B, most my exams I get Cs, occasionally I get Bs, in my GCSEs I got 6 Bs and 4 Cs, i really want to achieve higher than this, I want to be getting As, no matter how much work I put in I always get these grades and it’s so frustrating. I really want to achieve atleast As in my a levels but I don’t even know if that’s possible due to my average ability and it’s so unfair to see people getting As and A*s but I can’t because I’m jsut stuck on this one place of no progress.

A lot of posters on here exaggerate their grades - you are well above average.

What year are you in?
Original post by fareeda234
I’m an average student, by average I mean I never have achieved anything above a B, most my exams I get Cs, occasionally I get Bs, in my GCSEs I got 6 Bs and 4 Cs, i really want to achieve higher than this, I want to be getting As, no matter how much work I put in I always get these grades and it’s so frustrating. I really want to achieve atleast As in my a levels but I don’t even know if that’s possible due to my average ability and it’s so unfair to see people getting As and A*s but I can’t because I’m jsut stuck on this one place of no progress.

Hm well how exactly do you revise and what does your routine look like in a day/week?

When you get a test back, do you reflect on it? It's really useful knowing what you do well in and what you need to improve on.

It's also important that you know that grades don't define you, you try the best that you can and that's all you can do. If you think you can improve then reflect on what you're currently doing and how you can adapt that to improve.

:hugs: you've got this!
Realise there was an assumption in my first reply - exam technique can have an impact too

My daughter was struggling to get good marks in the essay subjects when she first moved to A level, it was partly because she used up all her time on the early questions which earnt less marks - wider reading can also help here

With sciences and possibly even more with maths, there is a right answer and you need to have that understanding in your head to get there - revision matters here
Original post by flo_red
Which A-Levels are you taking this year?


Taking chemistry, biology and sociology, currently on a gap year after year 11, so beginning these courses in September
Original post by KA_P
Hm well how exactly do you revise and what does your routine look like in a day/week?

When you get a test back, do you reflect on it? It's really useful knowing what you do well in and what you need to improve on.

It's also important that you know that grades don't define you, you try the best that you can and that's all you can do. If you think you can improve then reflect on what you're currently doing and how you can adapt that to improve.

:hugs: you've got this!

I just get my homework done usually before lessons at school, only really revise when I have a test, and I revise after school about 2 hours a day when I have a test, revise by making notes from the textbook and making Flashcards, also I don’t really reflect on tests, thanks for the motivation!
(edited 1 year ago)
definitely think about timed practice exams then
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Muttley79
A lot of posters on here exaggerate their grades - you are well above average.

What year are you in?


Technically in year 12 but I’m on a gap year after year 11, also the uni course I want to do required AAA/A*AA in a level
Original post by fareeda234
I just get my homework done, only really revise when I have a test, revise by making notes from the textbook and making Flashcards, also I don’t really reflect on tests, thanks for the motivation!

This says a lot, this is why you're an average student. People who achieve top grades go above and beyond. They start revision 1-2 weeks before a test, they do a lot of wider reading. Making notes from the textbook is pointless, you're wasting your time. The blurting method is a way more effective way to study, read the topics you need to within the textbook 2-3 times, then write down on a separate paper everything you can remember and keep redoing it until you have it fully memorized.

Use the specification, that's all you need to tick off what the examiner wants.
Original post by fareeda234
I just get my homework done usually before lessons at school, only really revise when I have a test, and I revise after school about 2 hours a day when I have a test, revise by making notes from the textbook and making Flashcards, also I don’t really reflect on tests, thanks for the motivation!

Does the below help at all :biggrin:

General advice for lack of motivation:

Spoiler




My main advice when studying/revising for A-Levels:

Spoiler

Original post by oofya
I’m a below average student . Throughout primary I had to get 1-1 sessions for both math and reading ,my sat results were poor and placed me in the c-b classes for secondary.
Take this advice from me you don’t need to be smart to do well in a levels you just have to work harder than everyone else. For example I was prepared to sit my math exams 3 months before my actual paper.If you would of told me it was tomorrow I would of been ready. That’s the level of preparedness I had. I literally done past papers to the dinosaur age

What did you end up achieving if you don't mind me asking?
Original post by Imperviousness
This says a lot, this is why you're an average student. People who achieve top grades go above and beyond. They start revision 1-2 weeks before a test, they do a lot of wider reading. Making notes from the textbook is pointless, you're wasting your time. The blurting method is a way more effective way to study, read the topics you need to within the textbook 2-3 times, then write down on a separate paper everything you can remember and keep redoing it until you have it fully memorized.

Use the specification, that's all you need to tick off what the examiner wants.


Yea I did regret a lot of the ways I revised for my gcse, I literally had a whole folder of the regurgitated textbook in slightly different words, problem is I don’t really know how to study. I also find the specification to be difficult to understand sometimes. Any revision techniques you recommended?
Original post by fareeda234
I’m an average student, by average I mean I never have achieved anything above a B, most my exams I get Cs, occasionally I get Bs, in my GCSEs I got 6 Bs and 4 Cs, i really want to achieve higher than this, I want to be getting As, no matter how much work I put in I always get these grades and it’s so frustrating. I really want to achieve atleast As in my a levels but I don’t even know if that’s possible due to my average ability and it’s so unfair to see people getting As and A*s but I can’t because I’m jsut stuck on this one place of no progress.

Why is it unfair when you've already stated on another thread that you let yourself down by slacking in GCSEs?
Original post by KA_P
Does the below help at all :biggrin:

General advice for lack of motivation:

Spoiler




My main advice when studying/revising for A-Levels:

Spoiler



Thanks for that advice! One thing I struggle on past papers is motivation to actually do them or mark them, i know they aren’t pointless but sometimes I feel like I don’t have to do it because it’s not the actual exam and end up reading the mark scheme to complete every question and taking it as I would’ve understood the answer
Original post by oofya
I’m a below average student . Throughout primary I had to get 1-1 sessions for both math and reading ,my sat results were poor and placed me in the c-b classes for secondary.
Take this advice from me you don’t need to be smart to do well in a levels you just have to work harder than everyone else. For example I was prepared to sit my math exams 3 months before my actual paper.If you would of told me it was tomorrow I would of been ready. That’s the level of preparedness I had. I literally done past papers to the dinosaur age


Thanks! And I’m just like you, in primary school I find I was placed in lower sets, but In high school I was in higher sets, although I did the higher papers I still got an average/lower grade and never got particularly outstanding
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by ageshallnot
Why is it unfair when you've already stated on another thread that you let yourself down by slacking in GCSEs?


In my GCSEs I let myself down because I didn’t revise effectively, I didn’t “slack” but if I could go back I’d definitely change my ways of revising other than sitting down for 2 hours and copying out of the textbook.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Imperviousness
What did you end up achieving if you don't mind me asking?


In my GCSEs?
Original post by fareeda234
Thanks for that advice! One thing I struggle on past papers is motivation to actually do them or mark them, i know they aren’t pointless but sometimes I feel like I don’t have to do it because it’s not the actual exam and end up reading the mark scheme to complete every question and taking it as I would’ve understood the answer

Hm I do understand where you're coming from but I guess it's coming to the realisation that practice really does make perfect. I think of it in the way of simulating the real thing, so you're as prepared as possible for the test day.

Know that every question you practice and attempt yourself before checking the mark scheme simulates the real thing. In the real thing, you will not have the mark scheme to look at. You need to be able to think for yourself and draw on your current knowledge rather than depending on the mark scheme if you get me?

You won't be able to answer all the questions perfectly right from the start. So when that situation comes up, look at the question. Break it up into parts, what parts do you know and what links can you make? Give the question a go and see where it takes you.

After attempting it yourself you can check the mark scheme and see what points you got right or were close to getting and points you missed out and then you can try to go back and read up on it again. If you continue to get similar questions wrong, I usually just not down the main marking points in a little book or post-it note so that doesn't happen again.

I hope that makes sense
(edited 1 year ago)

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