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Archive for the ‘Exam results’ Category

Exam failure isn’t the end of the world

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Have you just taken your GCSE or A level mocks and didn’t get anywhere near your predicted grades? Perhaps you’ve exams after the holidays, and are worried you are just not performing at your best just now?

Yes, that’s me. What now?

First off, you’re not alone. Thousands of students like you will be feeling the same crushing disappointment, the same ‘punch’ in the pit of your stomach.

It’s natural to feel gutted that your mock grades don’t match your potential at this moment in time… However disappointing, it’s important to not let yourself feel too overwhelmed.

Instead, as our very experienced tutors and teachers will tell you, now is the ideal opportunity to dust yourself down and look at the big picture… Here’s our top three suggestions on how to handle mock exam disasters:

  • Learn from your mistakes

We’ve all made them. Trick is to use your exam papers to identify where you went wrong and how you can resolve these weaknesses by the final exams. Are you weaker on specific papers than others? Is it a question of timing? Was it your exam prep which might have something to do with it?

  • Fight back with positive action 

Once you’ve pinpointed where you went wrong, use that information to put together your ‘fight back’ regime! Perhaps you need to try different revision techniques? Perhaps you need to practise more exam questions under timed conditions? 

  • Keep your chin up

An exam is only truly a ‘fail’ if you let it. Accept this happened, and move on with determination that these pesky exams are NOT going to get the better of you! Having a positive outlook will help you more than anything just now.

Focus your mind on your long-term goal. Once you’ve decided THAT is worth fighting for, it will make it easier for you in the coming term to leap beyond this annoying blip, and achieve the future success you deserve.

Tackle tricky topics with targeted tuition

Aside from reading more of our exam success tips, you can always get in touch to arrange some focused tuition with one of our experienced GCSE or A Level tutors.

With a pick of the best tutors across Manchester or Cheshire, dedicated 1-1 personal tuition can help you revise all those tricky topics that have held you back before.

Struggling with SATs exam results?

Friday, July 15th, 2016

With just 53% of children meeting the ‘expected’ standard in reading, writing and maths, almost half of primary children underachieved under the new SATs exams. How did your child do?

Former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan stressed parents and teachers shouldn’t compare these results with previous ones since the threshold was raised – meaning it was harder this year to achieve higher marks.

While the government works on its remit to drive up standards by introducing ‘rigour’ into the curriculum, it’s important not to forget that our children really struggle when they ‘fail’ exams.

After giving their all, receiving news that they’ve not measured up compared to everyone else can be devastating. Our advice, here at 1-2-1 Home Tutors, is not to lose heart. Instead…

Celebrate achievement however small

At the end of primary school education – whatever your child’s results – let’s celebrate their fantastic successes:

  • Scoring a goal for the school team
  • Helping a friend in need out
  • Overcoming nerves to take part in a school play
  • Putting your hand up in class when you were too shy before
  • Improving in any subject
  • Moving up a table

Remember that SATs results reflect just one week of exams – not years of learning. Instead, focus on how far you’ve come, and what a wonderful person you are too.

Take positive action

Of course, unexpectedly lower marks might flag up a learning weakness in your child. Leaving it until the September term will only let problems fester. And with a new curriculum to grapple with, there will be little time to go over the basics again. Instead:

  • Spend time over the hols breaking down specific problem areas into chunks, then tackle each in turn
  • Consider summer tuition with a local tutor to turn things round in time for the start of term

We’ve a bunch of super tutors across Manchester and Cheshire who can help your child during the summer holidays to get them back on track. Get in touch!

Did you revise over Christmas?

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Last year the Government decided to remove the modular exam approach to GCSEs and A Levels. They also removed opportunities for unlimited resits and instead students sit all exams at the end of the academic year (in June). The aim of the changes is to make learning more rigorous and increase standards at GCSE and A Levels.

This is the first year we have seen the impact of the changes and we’re concerned.

At 121 Home Tutors we have seen a drop in the number of enquiries during the autumn term for GCSE and A Level tutoring. Normally the bulk of our enquiries would come in during this time as students prepared for the exams during the academic year.  There are some students who recognise that preparing ahead is important but we’re worried that as June seems so far away many are in danger of leaving things until the last minute.

Many of our students would have used the long Christmas break to revise for their exams in January. But this year there’s no (or very little) revision to do – for either mock or real exams.

Are we storing up problems for later in the academic year when we’re expecting a flood of panicked students who have left revision until the last moment. One benefit of the January exams is that they revealed weakenesses, which could then be corrected, earlier in the year. There’s now no opportunity to do this and we’re worried it’s leaving some students open to failure. So here are 2 things to think about in the next month…

– Where are your weak spots – look at them now and decide if you need tutoring help.

– When are you planning to start revising? At least think about when that might be and ensure you have plenty of time for all your subjects (and a life!).

If you think you like some help preparing for GSCE revision and A Level exams then drop us a line at 121 Home Tutors.

Round up on education and tutoring news

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

We’d just like to say good luck to everyone who is getting their GCSE results today – do call us if you need any help or support.

We post lots of interesting education soundbites on facebook – here’s a round up of what we’ve been reading in the last week.

The Economist discusses ways tutoring (and the success it brings) can be open to all.

The BBC – making it clear what you shouldn’t do when your child receives their exam results. 

We’re wondering if there might be a new reality series – Manchester Celebrity tutor?

Is our educational success determined from the day we walk through the school gate?

A Level Results week

Friday, August 16th, 2013

If you received your A Level results this week you might want to have a look at our blog posts on what to do if your grades aren’t what you expected and what happens if your grades are better than expected. We’re here to support you if you need additional tutoring for resits or exploring options.

Changes to GCSE scrapped

Monday, February 11th, 2013

In October we wrote two blogs about the changes to GCSEs proposed by the Government – changing from the well-known system to a controversial new English Baccalaureate qualification. In some camps the changes were welcomed, with many liking the idea of a more rigorous approach to education at 11-16 and a return to more exams and less coursework.  On the other hand many people felt it had been poorly thought through and that the exclusion of less ‘academic’ subjects would let many pupils down.  Lots of people were worried there would be a return to a two-tiered system that benefited more academically capable students.

Despite all of the controversy it was expected the new qualification would be phased in over the next few years. However Michael Gove, Education Secretary, last week announced a complete turnaround on the EBacc. This qualification will now not be introduced and instead we will see a reform of the existing GCSE system.

You can read more about the changes on the BBC website but the main points are:

  1. From September 2015 teaching for the new GCSEs in English, Maths, Sciences, History and Geography will begin.
  2. Coursework will be kept to a minimum and exams will happen after 2 years.
  3. There will no longer be easier foundation papers, less ‘bite-sized questions’ and the testing of extended writing in English and History.

Our advice remains the same, as students and parents you are unlikely to see much day to day change in what is taught. What your child may need is academic support skills and one to one private tutoring can be useful. If you’d like more information on tutoring at GCSE Level in Manchester call 121 Home Tutors.

GCSE Results Day

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

You’ve worked very hard and probably had a very nervous last few days but the wait is finally over, it’s  GCSE Results Day.

We get lots of calls on results day and in the weeks after, often from students who haven’t got the grades they wanted or expected and don’t quite know what to do next.

We’ve come up with a few hints and tips for GCSE Results Day and coping with less than hoped for grades.

  1. Keep calm.  Unless you have failed every subject across the board then there is no need for panic. Focus on the results that are important – so those you wanted to further study at A Level and Maths and English. If your results might affect your place at a college or sixth form then it’s a good idea to find an advisor or teacher on results day and talk through your options. Many colleges won’t automatically discount you if you have achieved slightly less than expected at GCSE.
  2. Get practical. Have you struggled all year with a subject and not got the grade you expected? Are you still planning to study it at A Level? Sometimes a weak grade can be a bit of a wake up call to seriously explore your options.  That subject might not be right for you but you could fly in another area.
  3. Deal with the basics. Most colleges and universities will want you to have at least a C in GCSE Maths and English so if your grades have fallen below that level then you need to talk to someone about resits or appeals.

At 121 Home Tutors we often start working with A Level students as they begin college or sixth form, particularly if they have struggled with their GCSEs. If you’d like more information on private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire (Heaton Mersey, Trafford, Wilmslow) then contact us today.  You can also call the exam results helpline on – 0808 100 8000

A Level Results Day

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

It’s the night before the big day, Thursday 16th August  – AS and A2 Level results day. Last year we blogged about what to do if things don’t go according to plan or you don’t get the grades you expected.

Some of you might be in a position to need the opposite advice – what do you do if you grades are better than you expected? It sounds like a great position to be in (and it’s one our students who work with tutors find themselves in) but what should your next steps be?

–          Before we get into the serious stuff give yourself a massive pat on the back. You just exceeded all expectations and you should be very proud.

–          Now down to the nitty gritty. If you have a firm place at university but have exceeded the grades needed then you can use the UCAS Adjustment service.  This allows you to reconsider what you want to study and where you want to study it. You can apply for adjustment but still keep your original offer.

–          If you now have excellent grades but there are no places at the university or on the course you want then consider taking a year off (working or travelling is a great life experience) and then reapplying for a place next year.

At 121 Home Tutors we can help with private tutoring in Manchester and Cheshire (Sale, Wilmslow and local areas) for those at GCSE, A Level and University. Call us today for a no-obligation chat. You can also call the exam results helpline on 0808 100 8000. 

 

Exams – what happens if it all goes wrong?

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

If you are in Year 10 (or your child is) then they are probably right in the middle of taking GCSE exams. Next year will be one of the most significant years of your life – when you will sit the majority of your GCSEs. What happens during that year can determine where you go to college or work and what career path you may end up taking.

Many people dismiss year 10 exams because they think they can just resit them or make up the grades in Year 11. However, what happens in Year 10 can have a real impact on your GCSE performance in Year 11. If you don’t put the effort in Year 10 exams and fail (or fail because of other reasons), it means you can enter Year 11 lacking in confidence and behind academically. Some schools may even recommend you take different college courses based on your Year 10 performance.

If your child starts Year 10 this September then they will take their exams in 2014 – there will no longer be the option to take some exams in Year 10 and then resit if they fail.  So with this in mind what happens if it all goes wrong and you fail an exam?

  1. Don’t panic. If you are currently in Year 10, you will have the option to resit the GCSE in Year 11. Do keep in mind this will mean extra work during Year 11 when you will already have a lot to deal with.
  2. Ask your teacher (or ask your parent to ask them) if you can sit down with them and talk about where things went wrong. It could be one area where you are failing and you can use the summer break and the help of a private tutor to get back up to speed.
  3. Although we need a break over summer considering using some of the holidays to work on weak areas so you enter next year ahead rather than behind – consider a private tutor or summer school.
  4. If you worked hard and still failed then focus on what you achieved – you studied well and actually sat the exam, don’t let one fail put you off how far you have come.
  5. If you slacked off and failed then maybe it’s time to put a study plan in place, one that fits around your life and having fun but ensures you get the results you want.
  6. Failing a GCSE isn’t the end of the world but it can influence what happens in the next stage of your life so if you are struggling now then ask for help.

If you need helping preparing for GCSEs or summer catch up tutoring help and you live in Manchester or Cheshire (Heaton Mersey, Trafford and more) then call 121 Home Tutors.

All change for A Level

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Hot on the heels of planned reforms at GCSE level (discussed on our blog last month) there are now rumours of changes at A Level. This is an often see pattern in educational reform, changes are made at school level and then followed by changes at sixth form/college/A Level. The suggested changes seem to be as a result of the continual rise of pass rates at GCSE and A Level over the last few years and the implication that the system has been dumbed down. Many educators now want to see a return to a more academically rigorous system where there are less modules and more end of year/course exams.

This summer Ofqual (regulator of qualifications, examinations and assessments in England) will consult on moving away from the A Level modular system. Recently Ofqaul compared exam papers over the last ten years and found they were easier – there are now fewer essay questions and more multiple choice (often referred to a multiple guess) questions.

So what might exam reform at A Level look like?

  • It might involve a return to traditional end of course exams which means slow and steady progress will be needed throughout the whole of the course.
  • The type of questions in exam papers may be changed to involve more essays and critical thinking.
  • There may be the introduction of other qualifications alongside the A Level including Diplomas.
  • There may be more focus on children learning independent study skills – this is where a private tutor can really help embed those skills.

If you need help with A Level study (English, Maths, Biology, and Psychology and other subjects ) in Manchester and Cheshire (including Stockport, Bramhall and Wilmslow) then contact us.