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GCSE stress + are my grades good enough for my target unis

(sorry for how wordy evth is)
So I'm nearly at the end of gcses and I already know I'm like most certainly not getting all 9s like my original wishes..
But I know for sure I haven't fd up in the ones I wanna take for alevels: I think I messed up latin, geography and history (as in I might get 7s and 8s).


In terms of alevels I've picked further maths, maths, econ and chem and I am aiming for courses in uni that are like finance or economics (advice on how to pick between them?) I wanna go to Lse, imperial college, ucl, maybe oxbridge? I just want some clarity on whether getting those 7/8s in those gcses will affect my acceptance into my target unis. Ik there's a heavier emphasis on alevels and I'm obviously gonna aim for all A*s for them, but is there anything else I should be doing to increase my chances of acceptance?
Extracurriculars? work experience? etc

also how should i be dealing with this stress for results day * I'm going crazy from checking grade boundaries everyday to see if I can scrape majority 9s bc it's not like I felt amazing after all my exams, and even when I felt amazing everyone else did too so that just means grade boundaries are high and I might get a high 8 or sth... I had tutors in the lead up to gcses and I'm so stressed out that I will have disappointed my parents if I dont get like at least 8 9s out of 11... plus people around me have gotten all 9s in the past and my mum keeps bringing up how embarassing it'll be if I do really bad ☹☹ I am a good student in general I just got lazy recently under fat pressure so tbh I'm scared tuition was wasted on me.. I did decent in mocks and am predicted majority 9s anyways and I already have predicted my scores in most things to scrape a 9 at least but i can't help panicking...

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Hi, I'm not the best person to offer advice but I just wanted to say that I somewhat understand what you're feeling. I absolutely messed up my chem, maths and fm exams and I dont think I'll get the grades I wanted in those subjects anymore which is pretty disheartening since I was aiming for all 9s. I get what you mean when you say that you found some of the exams difficult; from what i have noticed so far, students who genuinely get grade 9s in their exams tend to think they did bad in a test, but thats because your expectations are set very high compared to others who found it easy because they managed to answer all the questions, but maybe not all of them correctly. So im sure that however you think youve done, youve probably done better. Plus, you're predicted all 9s and if you dont get the grades you want, Im double screwed because Im only predicted 3 9s.
Reply 2
Original post by seagull11
Hi, I'm not the best person to offer advice but I just wanted to say that I somewhat understand what you're feeling. I absolutely messed up my chem, maths and fm exams and I dont think I'll get the grades I wanted in those subjects anymore which is pretty disheartening since I was aiming for all 9s. I get what you mean when you say that you found some of the exams difficult; from what i have noticed so far, students who genuinely get grade 9s in their exams tend to think they did bad in a test, but thats because your expectations are set very high compared to others who found it easy because they managed to answer all the questions, but maybe not all of them correctly. So im sure that however you think youve done, youve probably done better. Plus, you're predicted all 9s and if you dont get the grades you want, Im double screwed because Im only predicted 3 9s.

aw thanks for the comforting 😭 I'm sure u'll be fine I just have very high standards for myself rn bc of all the tutors and the money that was invested into me basically to get all 9s.. hopefully what u said is true and I hope both of us get the amount of 9s we want!
Reply 3
Original post by y44nf3i
(sorry for how wordy evth is)
So I'm nearly at the end of gcses and I already know I'm like most certainly not getting all 9s like my original wishes..
But I know for sure I haven't fd up in the ones I wanna take for alevels: I think I messed up latin, geography and history (as in I might get 7s and 8s).
In terms of alevels I've picked further maths, maths, econ and chem and I am aiming for courses in uni that are like finance or economics (advice on how to pick between them?) I wanna go to Lse, imperial college, ucl, maybe oxbridge? I just want some clarity on whether getting those 7/8s in those gcses will affect my acceptance into my target unis. Ik there's a heavier emphasis on alevels and I'm obviously gonna aim for all A*s for them, but is there anything else I should be doing to increase my chances of acceptance?
Extracurriculars? work experience? etc
also how should i be dealing with this stress for results day * I'm going crazy from checking grade boundaries everyday to see if I can scrape majority 9s bc it's not like I felt amazing after all my exams, and even when I felt amazing everyone else did too so that just means grade boundaries are high and I might get a high 8 or sth... I had tutors in the lead up to gcses and I'm so stressed out that I will have disappointed my parents if I dont get like at least 8 9s out of 11... plus people around me have gotten all 9s in the past and my mum keeps bringing up how embarassing it'll be if I do really bad ☹☹ I am a good student in general I just got lazy recently under fat pressure so tbh I'm scared tuition was wasted on me.. I did decent in mocks and am predicted majority 9s anyways and I already have predicted my scores in most things to scrape a 9 at least but i can't help panicking...

Hii, I kind of understand how you're feeling, I'm in the exact same position. I'm also expected basically all 9's by family and teachers, and even some friends, and I've had so much money on me with tuitions, and everyone around me have achieved all 9's for their GCSEs.I also do the same on grade boundaries I've been checking EVERYDAY anxious and praying i have got enough to reach the highest I can as I'm aiming to do medicine. I've also messed up some GCSE like Maths im getting 7 for sure and biology paper 2 i FUMBLED 🥲. For stress on results day I feel it's better to open straight away or you'll keep wondering and worrying yourself more the longer you wait (what I'm doing the day). I hope this has put you at some ease as I'm also in a similar boat :smile:
Reply 4
Original post by tangriny
Hii, I kind of understand how you're feeling, I'm in the exact same position. I'm also expected basically all 9's by family and teachers, and even some friends, and I've had so much money on me with tuitions, and everyone around me have achieved all 9's for their GCSEs.I also do the same on grade boundaries I've been checking EVERYDAY anxious and praying i have got enough to reach the highest I can as I'm aiming to do medicine. I've also messed up some GCSE like Maths im getting 7 for sure and biology paper 2 i FUMBLED 🥲. For stress on results day I feel it's better to open straight away or you'll keep wondering and worrying yourself more the longer you wait (what I'm doing the day). I hope this has put you at some ease as I'm also in a similar boat :smile:

I forgot to mention I also did get lazy with revision until the exam stress got to me so i know i wont get the best, and my parents say the same with being embarrassed as I'll be the 'only one' who hasn't achieved outstanding grades too 😪
Original post by y44nf3i
(sorry for how wordy evth is)
So I'm nearly at the end of gcses and I already know I'm like most certainly not getting all 9s like my original wishes..
But I know for sure I haven't fd up in the ones I wanna take for alevels: I think I messed up latin, geography and history (as in I might get 7s and 8s).


In terms of alevels I've picked further maths, maths, econ and chem and I am aiming for courses in uni that are like finance or economics (advice on how to pick between them?) I wanna go to Lse, imperial college, ucl, maybe oxbridge? I just want some clarity on whether getting those 7/8s in those gcses will affect my acceptance into my target unis. Ik there's a heavier emphasis on alevels and I'm obviously gonna aim for all A*s for them, but is there anything else I should be doing to increase my chances of acceptance?
Extracurriculars? work experience? etc

also how should i be dealing with this stress for results day * I'm going crazy from checking grade boundaries everyday to see if I can scrape majority 9s bc it's not like I felt amazing after all my exams, and even when I felt amazing everyone else did too so that just means grade boundaries are high and I might get a high 8 or sth... I had tutors in the lead up to gcses and I'm so stressed out that I will have disappointed my parents if I dont get like at least 8 9s out of 11... plus people around me have gotten all 9s in the past and my mum keeps bringing up how embarassing it'll be if I do really bad ☹☹ I am a good student in general I just got lazy recently under fat pressure so tbh I'm scared tuition was wasted on me.. I did decent in mocks and am predicted majority 9s anyways and I already have predicted my scores in most things to scrape a 9 at least but i can't help panicking...

Right three major points:

1. It is totally normal to feel you have done badly after an exam. This is my 9th exam season on this website, I have yet to see a year without hundreds of very high achieving students (like yourself) thinking you have done badly. They all turn out fine.

2. Very few universities use GCSEs as part of their acceptance criteria. Full details here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6033950
But basically the answer is: you're fine. Pass English and Maths and majority of doors will be open to you.

3. Listen to yourself! "I think I messed up ... (as in I might get 7s and 8s)" THAT'S NOT MESSED UP. You are placing crazy high expectations on yourself, I teach plenty of students who dream of getting a 5 or a 6. Your ambitions are higher than that, and that is lovely - but nobody is putting that expectation on you, only yourself. As I've explained, getting an 8 instead of a 9 is highly unlikely to affect any university offer you do or don't receive. For me your last sentence says it all: "to scrape a 9 at least" There is no higher! You can't have a "9 at least", it's the best grade. There are no 10s up for grabs. You are expecting the highest grade in the land as your version of acceptable and are treating 1 grade below that as "messed up" <- your words. Look down from the top of this ladder you've climbed up, see how far up you are, if you are viewing an 8 as a disappointing grade then I can only sit here and describe you (lovingly) as a lunatic :tongue:
Reply 6
I finished my a levels recently. Don't worry one bit about your results. Seriously. Its clear from what you said that you've worked hard, and someone with majority 7-9's can easily get into top schools that u've mentioned (i would know lol). Honestly, since everyone who applies to oxbridge, imperial etc has great grades like that, its your a level predicted grades + personal statement that actually gets you into the uni.

So i am dead serious when i say -- stop worrying!!
Hi, I totally understand what you are feeling and I’m currently going through the exact same thing. I have wasted my whole day today thinking about my exams. People around me have scored straight 9s in their gcse and I naturally wished the same. But, I highly doubt that is going to be the case. Some of my papers didn’t go as well as I planned but everyone around me was very chill. I’m honestly really scared for 22nd. Reading this post made me feel a bit at ease thinking that I’m not alone. Hope you achieve all the grades you wish for! And thank you!
me too... i'm not even trying to mark harshly but I don't think I'll get a 9 for some of the subjects
Hey I'm in a similar boat as you right now as well, being predicted all nines and I think that I really messed up some subjects that I thought I'd do well on such as Maths. It's nice that you've come here to share your experience and knowing that other people feel the same. And I also keep checking grade boundaries too hoping to scrape a nine too but I feel like it'll just end up being high eights. To be honest now that exams are done we can only move forward and try and make the most of this Summer and deal with whatever happens on the 22nd. Wishing everybody on this thread the best of luck and well done for whatever you get because I'm sure you did the best you could based on whatever circumstance you were in because you need to remember that when you do an exam it's not just about what you know in the moment but so many other factors too that can bring you down like sleep, stress, pressure, and mentality. Just try and take a break even if it's difficult and know that you aren't alone.
Reply 10
Original post by 04MR17
Right three major points:
1. It is totally normal to feel you have done badly after an exam. This is my 9th exam season on this website, I have yet to see a year without hundreds of very high achieving students (like yourself) thinking you have done badly. They all turn out fine.
2. Very few universities use GCSEs as part of their acceptance criteria. Full details here: https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6033950
But basically the answer is: you're fine. Pass English and Maths and majority of doors will be open to you.
3. Listen to yourself! "I think I messed up ... (as in I might get 7s and 8s)" THAT'S NOT MESSED UP. You are placing crazy high expectations on yourself, I teach plenty of students who dream of getting a 5 or a 6. Your ambitions are higher than that, and that is lovely - but nobody is putting that expectation on you, only yourself. As I've explained, getting an 8 instead of a 9 is highly unlikely to affect any university offer you do or don't receive. For me your last sentence says it all: "to scrape a 9 at least" There is no higher! You can't have a "9 at least", it's the best grade. There are no 10s up for grabs. You are expecting the highest grade in the land as your version of acceptable and are treating 1 grade below that as "messed up" <- your words. Look down from the top of this ladder you've climbed up, see how far up you are, if you are viewing an 8 as a disappointing grade then I can only sit here and describe you (lovingly) as a lunatic :tongue:

ahh tyy my main worry for the long term tho was mainly whether it'd affect my ability to compete with other top students for the top unis ( plus my parents out a lot of money into the tuition so id get majority 9s and I'm worried they've wasted it on me) hopefully what u say is right tho and I'll get high grades!!
Reply 11
kinda new to posting on tsr so idk if everyone will see this response but

thanks for all the comforting messages 😸😸 lets just remember that we if we don't get all 9s it's not the end of the world and we can always make up for it with top a level predicted grades and so on. (that's what I'm telling myself lol)
Reply 12
Original post by tangriny
I forgot to mention I also did get lazy with revision until the exam stress got to me so i know i wont get the best, and my parents say the same with being embarrassed as I'll be the 'only one' who hasn't achieved outstanding grades too 😪

ugh I literally have contacts with multiple people in the yr above with all grade 9s, ne being super close w me, my parents will be fighting for their lives within the local Asian community if I don't get a decent amount of 9s (and the money... damn I relate to u on such a high level thank god I'm not alone with the worries about stress and tuition) 💀💀 at the end of the day though ig it's the uni and job I get in the future that will really show whether I am a successful kid or not tho 💪💪 let's focus on that
Hi! It sounds like you will be fine, the unis you talked about, I think Oxford is the only one that really make decisions based on GCSEs, but A) that's only one university B) they will take other things into account as well, expecially admission test results. You've got plenty of time to look at unis and things and decide which way u wanna go, but don't be disheartened if you don't get straight 9s there are always other options. They are your grades, not your parents', and if they do what you need them to that's all you really need. Good luck!
(edited 4 weeks ago)
Original post by y44nf3i
ahh tyy my main worry for the long term tho was mainly whether it'd affect my ability to compete with other top students for the top unis ( plus my parents out a lot of money into the tuition so id get majority 9s and I'm worried they've wasted it on me) hopefully what u say is right tho and I'll get high grades!!

I've already made clear how little that matters. :wink:

As for parents spending money - you're lucky that they've had the money to spend, that's very nice. But it isn't your fault that they were in a position to do that, you didn't compel them to spend that money, and you don't control their financial choices. So take that pressure off yourself because you didn't choose it.
Original post by y44nf3i
ugh I literally have contacts with multiple people in the yr above with all grade 9s, ne being super close w me, my parents will be fighting for their lives within the local Asian community if I don't get a decent amount of 9s (and the money... damn I relate to u on such a high level thank god I'm not alone with the worries about stress and tuition) 💀💀 at the end of the day though ig it's the uni and job I get in the future that will really show whether I am a successful kid or not tho 💪💪 let's focus on that


REALLL Asian community 😔👊🏽
Reply 16
Yeah, Asian pressure is nutty sometimes.
I was sorta in your situation last year. I managed to get 99s 38s, but in the run up to results day I thought I was going to get bad grades in English lang and lit because of how little I prepared for them compared to other subjects. Turned out I got 8s which was better than I expected. The point is don't overthink or worry too much about GCSEs. They don't determine all that much in the end, and one or two 7s here or there is not going to derail your oxbridge admissions. In fact, it may well give you the motivation you need to keep pushing during A-levels!

I also get the pressure of knowing people who got all 9s, I know several. In reality, it doesn't mean all too much in the long run especially as most unis see 8s and 9s as the same thing. It's a minor difference and while feeling a little bit inferior is basically a guarantee to begin with if you don't get all 9s, you come to realise that as time passes it becomes a less and less important factor to basically anything. One year from now, you aren't going to give a hoot who got all 9s and who didn't. A-levels and supercurriculars will be infinitely more important to you then.

Finally, I know it sounds like stupid advice, but just stop thinking about it GCSEs when you're done with them. There is literally ZERO benefit to stressing over what has already happened. What is done is done. You will find out what you got a few months from now on results day. Continuously thinking about it serves no constructive purpose and is a waste of one of the last genuinely free holidays before the uni scramble starts. Enjoy your holiday when it comes - don't waste it by being nervous and stressed!!

Also the thing your mom said about it being embarrassing if you don't get all 9s is typical Asian nonsense. Only insecure idiots and pseudo-intellectuals judge a person solely by their academic ability. I'm not on that hippie "judge by the soul" shtick but equally grades are a pretty garbage way to measure someone's worth. The people that judge you as a person by your grades are not the type of people whose opinions you should care about anyway.
Yeah, Asian pressure is nutty sometimes.
I was sorta in your situation last year. I managed to get 99s 38s, but in the run up to results day I thought I was going to get bad grades in English lang and lit because of how little I prepared for them compared to other subjects. Turned out I got 8s which was better than I expected. The point is don't overthink or worry too much about GCSEs. They don't determine all that much in the end, and one or two 7s here or there is not going to derail your oxbridge admissions. In fact, it may well give you the motivation you need to keep pushing during A-levels!
I also get the pressure of knowing people who got all 9s, I know several. In reality, it doesn't mean all too much in the long run especially as most unis see 8s and 9s as the same thing. It's a minor difference and while feeling a little bit inferior is basically a guarantee to begin with if you don't get all 9s, you come to realise that as time passes it becomes a less and less important factor to basically anything. One year from now, you aren't going to give a hoot who got all 9s and who didn't. A-levels and supercurriculars will be infinitely more important to you then.
Finally, I know it sounds like stupid advice, but just stop thinking about it GCSEs when you're done with them. There is literally ZERO benefit to stressing over what has already happened. What is done is done. You will find out what you got a few months from now on results day. Continuously thinking about it serves no constructive purpose and is a waste of one of the last genuinely free holidays before the uni scramble starts. Enjoy your holiday when it comes - don't waste it by being nervous and stressed!!
Also the thing your mom said about it being embarrassing if you don't get all 9s is typical Asian nonsense. Only insecure idiots and pseudo-intellectuals judge a person solely by their academic ability. I'm not on that hippie "judge by the soul" shtick but equally grades are a pretty garbage way to measure someone's worth. The people that judge you as a person by your grades are not the type of people whose opinions you should care about anyway.

Hii, I've read your reply and I just wanted to say thankyou because this is one of the first comments on tsr that I feel has actually been comforting when it comes to gcse advice. Thankyou
So many people who get straight nines and all a stars will be rejected from top institutions - honestly you’ve already done your exams and you’ve done everything you can do, so just relax :smile: Your personal statement, interviews, entrance exams(heavy on this) and predicted grades will honestly be wayy more important than GCSEs, really, only LSE and Oxford really seem to care loads about it. Once you get into 6th form you’ll feel silly for even worrying about GCSE grades trust me 🤣 Best of luck!
Reply 19
Original post by seagull11
Hii, I've read your reply and I just wanted to say thankyou because this is one of the first comments on tsr that I feel has actually been comforting when it comes to gcse advice. Thankyou

Thanks :smile:

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