GCSE results

The long wait is over, and GCSE results  (and iGCSE results) are nearly out – but what should you do if GCSE grades aren’t as good as you’d hoped? Here are some tips…

Don’t panic!
Slightly disappointing results at GCSE aren’t the end of the world, especially if they are in subjects other than English, Maths or in the subjects not being taken to A Level. However, not doing as well as expected can be demoralising (especially if friends got straight A* grades!) and can be an indicator of an underlying problem that might cause greater difficulties at A Level.

As such, disappointments at GCSE and poor grades can be good indicators of problems that need fixing in the long term. Dropping a couple of grades in a subject that isn’t going to be continued at A Level is probably nothing much to worry about – unless that subject happens to be English or Maths.

Take action on Maths and English
The most immediate problems to face are if GCSE results in Maths or English (not English Literature) are poor. Colleges and Universities usually require at least ‘C’ in both subjects at GCSE for admission. Likewise, most employers want to see at least two Cs for anything except manual work. In practice, as a result of the grade inflation of the past few years, the cut off ‘respectable’ grade is a B – if a grade B  at GCSE in one of these subjects was narrowly missed you might seriously consider an appeal or a resit.

If either Maths or English have been ‘failed’ (strictly speaking, even an E or F is a ‘pass’ at GCSE, though nobody pretends that a grade below C is worth much, especially in English) they should be resat. School (and/or new sixth form college) will advise on this.

Check A Level eligibility
Dropping GCSE grades can have an effect on the subjects that can be taken to A Level (see here for tips on which A levels to choose). Many state schools and FE colleges ask for at least a C grade at GCSE in a particular subject before acceptance on to the A Level course (often higher for more traditional A Levels such as Maths and English). Grammar and independent schools will often require at least an A grade at GCSE before acceptance on to courses. However, it varies dramatically by school and by year.

If the grade has fallen below the notional standard for a particular subject but you/your child still wants to take it at A Level, the whole thing will have to be discussed with the relevant subject teachers. This might be easier if staying in the same school, as there will be existing relationships in place with staff who will know your personality and capabilities well – on the other hand, that could also work against you!

One way or another, an unexpected dip at GCSE indicates that not all is as it should be, and going into A Level you/your child could benefit from extra help. It could be that subject understanding wasn’t as it should be – or that the required effort and level of revision wasn’t put in but at 121 Home Tutors we have tutors that are used to working with A level students and with students who haven’t performed as well as they might – get in touch with us today (email or call 01625 531 360) for a no-obligation chat about how we can help with studies if you live in the Manchester, Stockport, Wilmslow, Macclesfield, Cheshire and surrounding areas.

*** Exam Results Helpline – 0808 100 8000 ***

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