I'm currently studying GCSE Maths at evening classes, and I have to say I'm shocked at how much they've changed the format since I left school.
The whole class is taught the various modules (Fractions and Decimals, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry etc.) in turn, and each module is followed by an exam. However, these days there is NO coursework (or homework), so your overall mark is 100% dependent on your exam scores. I find this a little worrying, as some people can loose their nerve during exams, and knowing that the exam is the only thing you're being assessed on makes them even more pressured. Surely the old way of giving out coursework to be marked makes more sense? Because that way, not only is some of the exam pressure off, but also you get to see how you are progressing via the teachers' comments and scores.
What really disturbs me about this new format, though, is this: once you've had the first two exams, they then average out your grades from these and give you an 'overall average' grade. Then the class is split into two groups. Those who average at a B or above go into 'Higher Level', while those who average C and below go into 'Foundation Level'. I have been put into Foundation. There are then two more exams, but despite my grades in these two, I can never get above a 'C' grade overall in my GCSE. Even if I get two 'A's in these next two exams, I simply cannot hope to acheive anything but a 'C'. Likewise, all the Higher students are guaranteed a B or above, no matter how they do in the final two exams. I find this terribly unfair, as it takes away all hope and confidence in the Foundation level students like myself.
I think the days when we were judged by how well we did on all exams, plus coursework, were much fairer. Of course, I would not be so annoyed if I'd gotten into the Higher level, but that's not really the point.
GCSE's are being described as the currency of qualifications. They are a baseline indication to employers and universities as to whether your applications are suitable and just how good you are to fill a position. It is the first major exam in a person's life that will actually matter towards careers and there is no better person to give a review on them, than a person who is currently predicted the straight A* grades and is in the middle of sitting them.
~~ It's not just the last two years of education ~~
GCSE years are officially classed as school years 10 and 11, where students are between the ages of 14 and 16. This is when the GCSE courses start to be taught and various GCSE pieces of work start to be worked on, in order to be submitted to an Exam Board.
However... For me, this is not your GCSE's. The whole of your education is leading up to your GCSE's and therefore for people who really do want to succeed, you have to put effort in right from the first days of school. I was lucky as my mum realised this and worked with me a lot pre-school and during primary school to make sure I was the bets achiever in the class and would have the highest chances in future years. At the end of my year 9 SATs I achieved highest levels possible, which is used as a target for the GCSE grade people should achieve.
~~ Options and how many GCSE's ~~
At GCSE level, all students have core GCSE's which they must do:
Applied / Additional Science *
On top of this, pupils choose a further four subjects which to study at GCSE level. I would always suggest picking a language, as it is becoming an essential point to join universities, and also employers look for qualities such as that. Afterwards, I would recommend picking options that give you a wide range of possibilities, however also are specific enough to one area that you think you want to work in. For example, pupils may choose to take drama and dance as the two are specific to anything to do with acting and film section. For me, I chose to do two languages as well as business and economics, so that leaves anything in the corporate world open to me. Of course, different schools can offer different courses, therefore I can't comment on subjects you can uptake.
The core subjects I listed with stars can be dependent on what options you choose, for example, you could do sciences seperate from one another and this would be broken down into Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
On average, most students do 10 GCSE's, however because of extra commitments I'm doing 11 and a half (half a GCSE is a short-course GCSE.)
~~ How GCSE's are graded ~~
GCSE's are based on a letter grading system over the course of exams and / or coursework.
The highest Grade is A* whilst the lowest grade is G, otherwise it is classed as a U (ungraded.)
Any grade above a G is considered a pass, however employers only class passes as a C grade or above. The average should be 5 A* - C grades, however some people will of course not obtain this and others will of course exceed this by far.
The top grades really are considered as A* and A, so for students looking for the best universities, these are the ideal grades to be getting.
~~ Exams and Coursework ~~
The above grades are awarded on performance over examinations and coursework submissions. Exams are traditional old fashioned, formal exams, where you are given a paper, a set time limit and you answer questions to get marks. The papers are marked and then SCALED compared to every other student in the country who took it, and the top whatever% of scores receive the top mark, then the next percentage get the next mark and so on. These marks will lie within the Grade Boundaries of A,B,C etc. so after all the marks for the exams in a subject have been accummulated, that is your final grade. Coursework is done in a similar fashion, however you complete an experiment / investigation / scenario and you are given feedback along the way. It is almost like a major project, though it does count towards the final grade.
~ End of Course Exams.
These exams are either one or two papers at the end of the two years, and whatever grade you get on the day is what you get overall. If your on form you do well, if you have a nervous day or underperform, then unfortunately it's tough luck and there are no second chances. These occur in most subjects.
~ Modular exams.
These are exams that are broken down into smaller pieces all along the course. A great example is maths. For our year, it was 5 modules. An exam in November last year; an exam in March; an exam coming up in November and two pieces of coursework. It allows the subject to be broken into different areas and can help as it means once you have been taught all of it the exam is soon after and you aren't struggling to remember it 10 months down the line.
Coursework is a very controversial topic, and is the reason why the syllabus is changing next year. It is an essay / project that you complete over a number of class lessons that counts towards your GCSE. An advantage is that you get feedback on it and how to improve, but in a way it makes it so much more tougher than what O Levels were 30 years ago, and is considered by many of those people as a soft option now-a-days.
~~ Major Coursework Issues ~~
As mentioned above, coursework had several issues, one of which was plagerism. Many people were posting successful pieces of coursework on the internet and students were copying these and claiming it as their own work. This is blatant cheating and therefore as of this year, coursework has been abolished in many subjects.
I believe this is a good thing, as coursework doesn't always suit everybody, as you can write a whole page and not be awarded any marks, though in an exam you could get a mark just for stating one word. It takes longer, puts strain on the teachers and so personally I think it's an improvement, but at the same time, for those people who don't cope with exam pressure very well it was an aspect that showed their potential and helped them through.
~~ Disadvantages of GCSE's ~~
Firstly, GCSE's can cause major strain on people emotionally as they struggle and many people have been sent into temporary depression due to the stress it can cause. In the most extreme cases there has been the occassional suicide, however it really isn't anything to get that pressured about, and so I don't blame the exams for this, but people shouldn't be so hectic and they should simply put the work in beforehand.
Secondly, if you are ill by very unfortunate conincidences, then tough. You miss the exam and you receive no marks and can not take a retest. I believe this is very harsh in extreme circumstances, though rules are rules I suppose, but that is a definite negative.
~~ Advantages of GCSE's ~~
The advantages for me outweigh the disadvantages:
Firstly, it is used as a baseline to compare just how good you are to your fellow peers and no one has an advantage over anyone else so it is fair.
Secondly, it is a simple structure which is easy to understand for all students, and everything is official, so you know when your exams are, how long for and what you need to do to achieve your target.
I could go on about how the formalities are, but I've rambled on for long enough.
~~ Summary ~~
I advise everyone taking GCSE's in the near future, people with children and in general anyone with GCSE experience: these exams and results are what will define your future. Put time in, you will be rewarded; choose other things and don't contribute time and effort, you will be disappointed.
Thanks for reading.
My iece just got eight A grades in her GCSE exams and half of these were A star results which is the top grade, it is really annoying when you see some of the idiots criticising the fact that students are getting better results, smacks ofa little jealousy from where I'm sitting with comments from people who failed academically and did not get to university or the careers they wanted, it is annoying when MP 's seek to make political gain out of such headlines.
I know my niece worked really hard and certainly got no help from her parents as they need all of their brain cells just to function in everyday life, she has had a tough upbringing and I'm sure that has in part provided the motivation for her to get on and succeed as a way out of an unhappy home.
The other thing that has helped her prepare for her exams is the fact that my own parents have motivated her and opened her mind to the opportunities going to university can bring, both academically and socially and this has given her something to aim for.
When it came to revision because the home was not great place gto study they made available the spare room at their house for her to study in, they even put a laptop in their for her and a sofa bed, during the exam period she practically moved in and this study area really helped her revise.
Finally her teachers were really supportive providing advice on he course work assignments and making sure she kept to the deadlines and this helped give her confidence and the fact that she knew some of her grades before she sat the final exams and knew what she needed to do to get an A.
GCSE's are literally "General Certificate of Secondary Education" designed to give you a step up in further life and to bigger and better things...if you pass, otherwise it's just a way of pointing out that you may be didn't try as hard as you could have or even that maybe you weren't destined to be great academically.
Eugh. GCSE's currently the bane of my existance, It's not that there difficult (well except maths anyway) but it's the fact that they can make you feel like a complete idiot and the fact that the GCSE's don't properly prepare you for the real world, because you are taught how to pass exams and not to learn vaulable life skills which will come in handy for the future
Currently I am about to go into Year 11 with what i would say is fairly good chances of getting okay grades, (Hopefully i'm going to get one A* because on my end of year report on teacher assesment and coursework I got two A*'s) however the simple fact is that most of my school year won't get the grades they want, even in simple subjects like Drama or Media Studies you could still end up with a rubbish grade.
**What is available at GCSE's**
Well I know that at my school our year group had the option to take 4 additional subjects on top of core subjects. There is always quite a lot of choice, and usually the option blocks are designed so that you can take the things you want to take and these options range from design subjects, to humanities to buisness studies to languages and even to things like Drama and dance, so there is something usually there for everyone. Although you kind of have to make the choice of do I want these to help my career or do I just want to have fun in my last couple of years in school. Unfortunatly now I feel like I chooe the latter of these two in half of my options.
Core subject list--
Maths (2 GCSE's one in general maths and the other in statistics but only if your higher tier) English(2 GCSE's again; English Literature and English Language but foundation tier only does English language), Science (2 GCSE's for the course i'm doing.) R.E(Half a GCSE, is also an option), ICT (Half a GCSE, but there is on option to do the full course if your get good enough grades half way through year 10) P.E (You don't get a GCSE in this but goverment legislation requires at least 1 hour of physical education a fornight)
**How and Why To Choose what you Choose at GCSE**
This is really for people of my age and stuff but it's still useful for other things.
I was given the advice that I should take something that I want to take not what my parents wanted me to take, because were at the stage where we can make our own decisions and we don't need our parents. Also we told take things that you are good at, that you enjoy or you are intrigued by because otherwise you won't want to do well in the subject if you don't enjoy them. Then of course we were also told that these are the foudations of any sort of career we want in the furture so we should take something that represents something to do with what we want to do in later life; that and if you don't know what to do you shouldn't limit yourself.
I know that I choose my options based partially on what I wanted to do and partly at what I'm good at, also my parents had no say in what I chose because I know they would have wanted me to things which I wouldn't really enjoy. I know that some people were quite heavily influenced by thier families; not just thier parents and now regret what they took because they don't enjoy the subjects their in.
(this information might be helpful for A-Level students picking their options as well)
**What's intailed In the courses**
Up until this year it has been a certain % coursework and a slightly larger amount of exam %, for example Science is about 1/3 coursework and 2/3 exam (i can't do percentages thier because i'm not entirely sure)
Oh and coursework is just a piece of work that answers a question or fulfills a requirement, e.g Media studies coursework is in 3 parts; one essay comparing two movies that are similar, the second piece is about something the teacher feels would get good marks and then the third piece is something directly releted to something that is happening in the media at the moment.
Next year however there will be no coursework in maths and science (still coursework in the other subjects) so maths and science will be comletely exam based.
After GCSE you can do pretty much anything you want; you could go onto A-Level then University, go out and earn a living, or even go to college and get a vocational degree which could lead to University or work, so the possibilites are pretty much endless.
Me, well i'm hoping to go into 6th form then go to uni then hopefully get a job as a journalist (this is why I like people commenting on how to improve my writing and whether it's enjoyable)
**My Opinion and Summary**
I really do hate GCSE's but unfortunatly they are going to help me in my future and whether I like it or not i'm going to have to just get on with them no matter how much they annoy me. Although I do quite like the coursework as it's somehting right up my alley as it requires no real test of memory unlike exams. Also jsut ot point out here, GCSE's would't be so bad if they were taught to teach life skills not to pass exams.
All in all GCSE's, very useful for the future, terribly annoying, but has given me some of the best times in school so far :)
To show just how easy it is to pass GCSE`s these days it took a tragedy to highlight that fact as the national results came out last week. Jimmy Mizzen, the teenager murdered by a group of boys from the other side of the tracks, has passed all nine of his GCSE`s, even though he was killed in early May, long before kids did the sit down and monitored written tests. Needless to say the boys that are doing the stabbing didn't pass any GCSEs.
Jimmy's results were based on course work and teacher evaluations, and although he was clearly a bright kid, it's a bit worrying if you can pass these exams on course work alone. It also came to light that he was awarded a pass mark for some of those written exams he couldn't have sat because he was dead, the bits containing multiple-choice questions, of which he had a one-in four chance of getting right by chance, so he was awarded 25% for those sections, pushing some of his pass marks to Cs. As terrible as his murder is it does highlight the fact that kids can pretty much cut n paste their way course to a GCSE pass via the internet. Clearly Jimmy didn't do that but if he can pass without doing the written tests then so can the kid who did the stabbing by default. BBC Magazine followed that up with a claim that students can get an A grade in GCSE Music without being able to read or write a note of music? Across the three exam boards so little of the course work involves the skill of the understanding and music reading skills that candidates are able to ignore those questions in the final exams. This means they won't be prepared for Music A-level and beyond, although it hasn't stopped the Spice Girls making zillions, of course!
We know schools are obsessed with league tables and we also know they don't want it to be that way. But they have to place high or people get fired and funding is cut. A friend of mine suffered that fete because he refused to pass history students who had no grasp of the course. The staff said if he didn't teach the new way-teach the kids the answers and not the subject-then he will have to go on sick leave. And once schools start dripping down the tables the middleclass parents move their kids away from those schools and Academies and so they go to pot.
Schools are given use of equipment that enables them to trace plagiarism and move against those students cheating. But sometimes they don't as they have to fail those kids and so lose their league table placing, and so funding. Copying from the internet in education is rampant and that's one of the main reasons why pas-rates are shooting up for GCSEs and A-Levels. If getting away with cut n pasting comes under the kids are getting more intelligent banner the government mantra drums out at results time then fair enough. But for me successive governments have made exams easier to pass and that is only for political reasons and not for the health of the nation. 60% of kids who took GCSEs get A-C grade this year whilst it's an embarrassing 97% passed A Levels at E-A.
There was an article in the Telegraph (yes, Im still cutting them out!) that explored the exam boards new regional maps that list who's passing the exams and where. Not surprisingly pass rates were lowest in the usual London inner-city boroughs and very high in the posh areas in the south east. Good parents, good exam results etc. The report found that not a single state school student in Darlington, Blackpool, Kensington and Chelsea and Rutland took GCSE physics in 2006. Instead the pupils were allowed to take a generic double science instead of taking the classics of chemistry, science and biology, the appropriate preparation for A-Levels and university. The dumbing down has now reached so far into the system that state schools are turning out drones. In 12 local authorities ,less than a quarter of pupils attempted GCSEs in the four core subjects of English ,math's, science and a modern language find it amazing kids can now opt out of English and Math's. They can, of course, because if they took them they would probably fail them, meaning no 60% pass rates. In fact under the current system kids on free school meals are *193 TIMES* more likely to not get any GCSEs grade higher then D.
If kids are steered away from the classics core tough subjects at a young age, even in middle class homes, having a degree that not very academic means it will be tough to find a career, especially in the coming years. Graduates have a higher rate of unemployment six months after leaving university than the national average. They are particularly likely to be jobless if they studied media studies, the creative arts and computer studies, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency. The ones that found work the quickest were those who did dentistry, veterinary science and medince. I suppose if you take those degrees you know exactly what you or your parents want you to do in life. I have always said that anyone doing history of art type degrees should do them in pay for them themselves and do them on part-time courses and after work. We need to put all the resources into getting then classics back up in ALL levels of education. We could do with less Kate Middleton's and more Marie Curies.
Perhaps the only use of GCSEs is for those who wish to leave school at 16 and spend the rest of their lives stacking shelves. GCSEs are an unnecessary hurdle for those who wish to go onto higher education. Students are expected to take more than 10 GCSEs, achieving anything less than an A is considered below average. With the most important subjects at this age being English, Mathematics, Physics, Science, modern languages and History, these are unnecessarily padded up with useless subjects such as media studies and psychology. Mathematics and Physics require far more preparation from a younger age. Attempting to build up a portfolio of useless GCSEs detracts from these subjects leading to much greater difficulty further on and a greater likelihood of failure. This is evident by the decreasing number of students taking subjects such as Physics in further education.
GCSE grades are also simply dependant on what revision aids the student uses than the time and effort put into the subject.
Most parents are over the moon when their hard working brats finally receive those A* grades for all their "hard" work. Unfortunately the poor child has been led to believe that a few A* stars will guarantee them a promising future with a high paying job. Yet even a high paying job won't necessarily guarantee a fulfilling future. No one seems to care whether they have developed an appreciation of learning, what counts are those certificates with the simple mention of A star. With all the emphasis on achieving "grades", the students often fail to realize that they haven't actually achieved anything. Instead a sense of false confidence is built up into the child's head which could be potentially damaging.
STARTING THE EXAM YEARS
Now is the time of year when youngsters all over the country are starting their studies for their GCSEs or A Levels. Over the next year or so they will be under constant pressure from parents and teachers to do well and hopefully will have been guided as to choosing the subjects they are good at. But less able children should not be looked upon as failures if they are not as bright as others. Everyone can be good at something, but the pressure is on and amongst other teenage problems kids are being told You must pass your exams... How many times do schoolchildren, students, trainees, etc hear this phrase?
YOU MUST PASS EXAMS
Is it true - MUST you pass exams? To do what? To earn a lot of money? To get a good job? To ensure a secure future? Do we REALLY need those exam passes to ensure success? Certainly there are some professions where exam certificates are the passports to getting onto the first rung of the ladder, but exam passes are not the only way to gain success and job satisfaction.
MONEY OR QUALIFICATIONS?
It is said that the best gift we can give our children is a good education. But does a good education these days ensure a satisfying career and the potential to earn a lot of money. Children are told from an early age to work hard for their exams so they can get a good job. Is this true? Do exams really ensure success?
Lots of successful people earn a lot of money yet have had very little formal education. Take a group of people in their fifties - who is driving the biggest car and who lives in the best part of town. Is it the boy or girl who, at the age of eleven, passed their scholarship to go to Grammar School? Or could it be the neighbourhood dunce, who was dubbed a failure at the age of eleven because he failed his 11 plus exam?
Quite possibly! Being classed as a failure at such an early age probably made him all the more determined to work hard and achieve something he was capable of. So what, even if it is dealing in secondhand cars or doing manual work? Who is happiest at the end of the day - the failure or the university graduate with a string of qualifications but little job satisfaction because he was expected to join in the rat race?
ARE EXAMS MEANINGLESS?
It is becoming more and more true nowadays that exam passes are meaningless. Ask any boss if his secretary can spell - or ask any secretary if the boss can spell! They will tell you that good spelling is not necessary now because everybody uses a spellchecker and the computer does it all for them. Yes, quite true, but the computer doesnt check if the word is correct for the meaning of the sentence!
I know the entrants who have achieved good grades in today's exams are fed up with the critics. There is no doubt the students have a good knowledge of their subjects, but what if they were marked down for spelling errors as used to happen? How many would get Grade A/s then? I am not blaming the children, the emphasis on correct spelling has been diluted until it is no longer considered important.
You may argue, someone with good exam passes must be able to spell. Not true! Ask a group of todays schooleavers to write a simple letter, then ask a group of pensioners to do the same. Interesting how standards in education have declined! The youngsters may have a qualification in English and Maths, the pensioners not a certificate between them but who will have written the letter with the fewest mistakes?
This again raises the question are exam passes really necessary? Many of todays pensioners left school at the age of 14. They may not have any knowledge of the technology todays pupils take for granted, but they will have the basic skills - neat handwriting (yes, the joined up stuff!), good spelling and they can do their sums without using a calculator.
It is time we took a long hard look at our educational system. We need to toughen up on standards, teach the basic skills of the three Rs and let todays children prove what they can do. We have already started this process with the Records of Achievement - recording positive outcomes of a childs ability. The GCSE system was supposed to do away with passes and fails, but how many job adverts still ask for GCSE Grade Cs or above?
Our children should be given the opportunity to develop their own talents, but they all need the basic skills first to give them a firm foundation to build upon.
Which political party can give this to our children? We hear people bleating about schools having a lack of resources. In the old days when I was at school - during the 50s and 60s - every child had a textbook each. A textbook that had been used by scores of other children and handed down to each successive class - labels in the front of the book usually told us the names of others who had used the same book years earlier. Do we have textbooks today like this? No! Why? Because so many changes take place in education these days that invariably a textbook is out of date as soon as it is published! So teachers have to resort to photocopying or writing their own materials. All extra burdens on already stressed staff. And if you took the photocopying machine out of schools the system would crumble because there would be no worksheets for the kids to use.
Stop messing about with our childrens education, teach them the basic skills of the three Rs at an early age and the rest will follow. But above all, don't brand kids with poor grades as failures.
How I wish on the day of choosing my GCSEs aged thirteen someone would've told me what I knew now. So hopefully I'm going to stop people making the mistakes that I did and try to show you that GCSEs are important despite what people say. Firstly if you or someone else is choosing your GCSE options, tell me which group do you fit under? 1) I would like to achieve the best grades I can. 2) I would like to do subjects I enjoy the most. Think carefully, and make this the basis of your descision. Don't choose both, one MUST be more important than the other. If you chose number 1, then think about: 1) The subjects you are best at. 2) Can you keep your interest going for 1.75 years? 3) And most importantly what is the teaching like? If you want to get good grades stay away from the departments with lazy teachers seeing as they often don't work much harder in the GCSE years. Those lazy ones wont mark and guide you with the all important coursework and will just send it off without you knowing. Oh how I know that. If you were at a school like me who stupidly gave out reports after option time, consider and ask your teachers how you are doing now, and how you'd cope with GCSE. I also advise you to start thinking of the grades you want. These grades you'd like could be a long way off and you'll need to start working hard to achieve them. Don't ever leave revision/coursework until the last minute. If you chose number 2, then you have little to consider. If you like the subject it is likely that you will excel however don't expect all the teachers to be so enthusiastic. Whichever option you chose, TRY and not cut your options off and I know it's difficult but consider what career you'd like. If you have a slight idea that a textile teacher could be your thing, but don't want to waste your options - you may regret it so take it!
Also consider your A-level choices (yes, really), it will be very difficult to take Chemistry A-level if you haven't done it at GCSE. Whatever you do, don't be stupid and take all the same options as you friends. Fair enough if these are the subjects you want to do, but even by choosing the same options you are not garanteed to get in their classes anyway and also that is the fun of year 10/11, most friendship groups are split up and all the year joints together meaning you can make new friends. I did and I'm not hugely sociable. The subject guide: You are very likely to be taking English Language, English Literature and Maths. Although schools have different policys on the science. My advice is to do at least 2 GCSEs in science whether that be Science Dual Award (covers all three sciences) or do two individual sciences. I would not advise you to take the single award, when applying for jobs and university they prefer you to have more knowledge than a single award can give. Don't be tempted by the schools idea of doing an easier GCSE and a single award to replace the double award. Languages: I cannot stress how important these are to take. It is no longer the law for students to take them but often you do have to take them. If it is a choice then take a language GCSE unless you are terrible at them. Why? We have language shortages in both teachers, A-levels, degrees and GCSEs and guess what? Employers love you to have linguistic ability, it will make you 1000X more employable than someone without. Hummanities: Traditional, respected and full of skills. These are great to carry on to further study and employers and universities alike will love to see these at GCSE and A-level. Technology: These are good for the practical people among us, they may not be of much use to those who are not or not intending to do a practical job, however they do show other skills and creativity. Definitely tak
e if you a re planning an Apprentiship in building, plumbing etc. Beware though, the technology subjects such as textiles mean a lot more work (which is harder too) than food technology. Modern subjects: Media Studies, Psychology, Sociology and Child Development: In my opinion these subjects are used by school to get the less able/less interested more interested and most employers do not value them. The first three should be left until A-level (although I would rather argue degree level or not at all), they can't teach to indepthly so I feel there is little worth learning. Child Development is suited to those who want a career with young children and I shall not argue with that. GNVQs: Approach with caution. The intermediate is worth 4 GCSEs and the Part 1 is worth 2 GCSEs. These can be taken in all sorts of subjects, which are made to look fun by schools to attract more youngsters and thus try and improve the percentage of 5A*-C. These are NOT suitable for the very able, and the Distinction grade (worth either 4A's or 2A's) is very much out of reach to all students. If you are clever and thinking of taking a GNVQ, then don't...take 2 GCSEs in good subjects such as history and a language. However, if you are a level 4/5 student or even 5/6 student this type of course may be for you, particularly if you are thinking of entering work after GCSEs or A/AS-Levels. At level 4/5 you may find it a bit challenging, however trust me, if you work you will be rewarded with a pass (c), or even a (b). There is little way of failing if you work. At level 5/6 you wont find it challenging although the workload is heavy for any student. Other GCSEs: Art is quite an easy GCSE or so I heard seeing as nothing can be wrong. It's a good GCSE to take, it's rather respected and shows you have creativity. PE isn't really much use unless you want to work in the sports sector when you're older in which it is a goo
d GCSE to take. <br > Starting your GCSEs: Anyone who says the workload is unmanagable is lying. You can put as much work in as you like but be warned, the more you put in the more you are likely to get out. There will be occassions when you have several subjects worth of coursework, but you can do it! Homework: You may find you get very little or lots of homework in the next two years. If you're teachers aren't strict you can decide not to do it, but beware this may lower their expectations of you and you may get little help when you really need it. Homework usually goes over the things you've learnt in class, and get a revision guide to help you with it - it's always easier that way! However if you prefer thirty mintues could be better spent doing some revision from a revision guide. Top tips for coursework: * Write English coursework on the computer in both draft and final plan. Why? It's so much more difficult writing it by hand seeing as you can't edit it so much, or change words so easily. * Another best tip is to get hold of a markscheme for coursework. Visit the exam board websites (www.aqa.org.uk, www.wjec.org.uk, www.edexcel.org.uk, www.ocr.org.uk) and find the specification for your GCSE, this usually has markscheme contained in it meaning you can match your work to the points. * Get it done on time, if not before hand. To be honest, coursework can be fun and you'll feel very proud getting it done early and to a high standard. * Use the internet. I do not encourage stealing coursework (and the teachers will know, honestly and you'll get unentered for all your exams) but looking at others' coursework can be helpful to getting an idea what it should look like. As I said don't copy, it'll be very noticable when teachers see it contain information which they haven't taught. Social life: Aft 14-16, the social scene hots up, and you'll
have to make your descision whether you want to be part of it. Alcohol and other illegal activities will have started to go on and you'll also start to settle with the same group of good friends. "Playing out", will now turn into cozy mature get togethers or a 'p*ss up in the park'. So what do you do? Firstly, your education should be made priority. And if you have good friends, they will understand that and hopefully have the same idea. If you can successfully manage a good social life and GCSE life, then good for you. But if you feel like your social life is getting in the way of your GCSE life, it's time to stop it/limit it and concentrate on your GCSEs. I wouldn't advise the "illegal activities route", you'll never be the studious year 9 you once where, and everything will seem so boring and pointless. You'll wont be able to go back, honestly - I've seen it happen. If you're social life can involve studying at each others houses, then great! A number one tip is to not listen to your friends when they say "I haven't done any revision", and think that makes it okay for you to not do any either. One they may be lying, and you'll know when they get 98%, two would you jump off a cliff if they did? And three, it's your grade and you should work for it! Mock Exams: Most schools have them at around Easter in year 10, and Christmas in year 11. Teachers will tell you to revise for them as if they were the real ones and you can do. Or you can not do, and hopefully you'll be disappointed and realise how much you have to work. Either way is a good way for motivating yourself to get higher grades. Revision Material: Firstly visit here: http://www.ldpride.net/learning_style.html . This is very useful and will show you how you learn best. If your an auditory learner, reading books may not be the best idea, but re
ading them out loud will help. Books: CGP: I absolutely hate these books and I know that they often miss parts of the syllabus out and add useless information in. The books practically underline everything, and the pictures/and jokes are both distracting and annoying. At £4.50, they test you on the useless stuff and they contain no practise exam papers. Letts: These are expensive, but worth it. Often books contain both revision and useful practise questions however you can buy just revision guide and just practise papers. These books don't go too overboard in colour or pictures. The practise papers/questions contain answers which you can compare yours to and have an indication of what grade you will have got. They also show you how to improve on this grade. BBC Bitesize: Like CGP books aren't syllabus specific meaning you'll get lots of useless things. These books don't go overboard on colour and pictures and contain brief comments from examinations with their practise questions. Interactive CD-Roms: Visit www.amazon.co.uk for a selection of different CD-ROMS. These are good as they often contain revision plans which tell you what to revise and when (how many hours you do a week is up to you). There are revision material which combines pictures, sounds and interactive quizes aswell as proper exam papers. The only problem with these is they are no exam specific again. Index Cards: Apparantly these are still avaliable in WH-Smiths and contain ready printed material although I have yet to find them. However you can buy index cards and print your own revision material on these to make revision more managble. Online revision: I assume you'll be used to using these sites before with your SATs. In order this is what I would reccomend. * www.schoolsnet.com * www.s-cool.co.uk * www.bbc.co.uk/revision The first two are quite good, if not syllabus specific meaning you
could be learning things you don't need. I cannot stress how useful it is to visit the exam board websites (as mentioned earlier) and look at past papers and markschemes. You can test yourself with these past papers which will be like yours and then check the markschme to see how well you did. Worship the markscheme and think of how the examiner will mark your test. The actual GCSEs: The time has likely to have flown by, and if you have been stupid and not revised whilst you were still at school it is likely you'll have study leave so use it wisely. Do not be stupid like I was and on the first week revise nothing because you have three exams which you 'cannot revise for' and also cannot learn anything else because the next exams are after half term. Revise a subject for half an hour a day, it makes it so much easier, you'll feel better and it is good to not have to cram so much. Remember, a bit of hard work wont harm you, you'll have ages off after they are over with no work to do at all! When you are actually revising the best tip is to not worry about it sinking in, because worrying makes it so much harder for it to go in. Just keep reading it like it is you're favourite magazine and you'll be fine! Comming out of exam believing you've messed it up is tough and very upsetting. But how many times have you come out of non-public exams and thought you'd messed it up but it wasn't so bad after all? Plenty? I have. You wont get your results back for another 2/3 months so there is no point in worrying. Why are GCSEs so important? My first paragraph mentioned their importance, and are you really still wondering how I could justify that? Not only do you learn so much of important stuff you usually need them to further your career. * A full set of A*/A and a few Bs is required for the top 5 universities - otherwise you have a lot of explaining to do and will need a
lot of luck. * A good set of GCSEs is needed for the other universities, and the same will apply above. * C grades in maths, English and Science is required for all university degrees. * At least 5A*-C's are needed to enter further education. * 5A*-C's are needed for aprentiships. * Apparently 5 GCSEs are needed to become a dustman. Results day: Results days are always on a thursday. In 2004, it's on a 26th so 25th it'll be for 2005 GCSE results and so on. Good results: Well done! Good results may give you more options in education and careers, so get informed! Bad results: Thousands of youngsters do resits and go on to get very far. You can do a couple of GCSE resist amongst AS-Levels or whilst working and it is really worth the time for your future. See you'll come so far from year 9-11, it's made me relive my school years over again. Now I just have to wait for the results.
I find that kids and exams are not unlike oil and water.... They just do not mix. Like oil and water you can shake them hard and get a sort of mix, at least the oil splits up and spreads into the water a little, but, like kids and exams, they very quickly separate again. My experiences have been that trying to make the impossible happen just is not going to work. We all remember our parents telling us "when we were your age" or "you only get this chance once" or "it is the foundation for the rest of your life". Of course we all learned these facts were true.. AFTER leaving school. It is no good trying to tell your own children the things you didn’t accept when their age.. it sure as heck is a mistake to ever say "when we were your age".... Oh yes we all make that mistake, often just the once.. the answers we get sure cut deep, and make us feel every day our age.... There is no way of telling a child that the exams, and time at school, will be important later in life, there is no way they want to know what may be once they reach 18+... most kids, at 15/16 think 18 - 20 is old, years away, of no importance, or relevance right now. Every kids goes through the "I hate school" stage.. I know I did and would bet many of you did too... So why try to get our own children to accept something we never would?? There are no right ways, or wrong ones either, to help, encourage or guide a child through school, or exams. We have to start to accept that the best expert on being a child in school today is the child themselves. Learning, on a full time, classroom based situation is no fun, there are so many thing we would rather do than sit there listening to someone rattle on about God knows what. Just think back, if you can, to when you were at school... what did all this French, algebra, Science, English and so on mean to you then?? How many times did you say, often out loud, "When am I ever go
ing to need this at work"?? Once you can do that you can start to help your child get through. Being open, honest and understanding is the only way a child will listen, let alone accept, you. It is of no help telling them "You have to go to school, it is the law" or "You need to make the most of your time at school" or "I would change places with you in a beat of the heart" because they will all say one thing in return.... "Okay... lets change then" What is needed is openness, the ability to admit that your child knows more than you already. If you can get them to accept you as a friend, or as an interested partner, you are half way there. Admit you failed, accept they are already brighter, better educated and more able in many ways than you and tell them. Then you can go on to advise them that by digging in now they will be better than you. My wife and I spend hours trying to help our children, one is in year 9, our youngest, and our daughter is at college, having gained 9 A-C passes at GCSE. We will sit with them, offer what advice we can, motivate or wake them up to the fun you can have but above everything we will just be there. We have found that the most helpful thing we can offer our children is just being there for them. It also helps to admit they are working at levels you have never done and that they can teach you, indeed by allowing them to tell you what they know can start them to better understand just what they are doing, and why. As parents we are life guides to our children, we are not, nor should we be, their only source of education. There is only so much a parent can do, this is why the child has so much support from so many areas. Never push, force or fight about learning. Let it be fun, exciting and enjoyable... just steer and let your child be the engine... it save masses of fights and arguments and can, with time, help your children get the best out of life... and that is, after
all, all any of us want for them.. isn't it??? Every child wants to do well but some will always do better than others. You need to accept that while you only want the best for your child their best may be different. For many a pass in their GCSE, at any level, is fantastic, they will have made massive progress to pass. For others hard work, and help, may get them into the A-C pass grades, and this too is fantastic, and then there are some who will get A* passes...again a great thing but this may not have taken any more work, indeed often less, than the lowers grade pass because the child is different, finds learning easy or has the ability to store knowledge. No level of pass means good or bad.. all pass marks are good and, as I say above, a lower pass (D-E-F) is often far greater, for some, than an A* is to others. My advice is simple... Be a friend to your children, try to guide them, advise them, steer them but, and above everything, never push them or force them to learn just because that is what you want for them... It is their life and they have to be responsible for it. By showing love, understanding and care your child will want to do well. They will want to get all they can from school and if that is an E pass then celebrate with them just as hard as if it were an A*.
Reading the Dooyoo introduction to this subject I was interested in the suggestion that parents might hold themselves responsible for how well their child performs in their exams. I have two separate takes on this, based on a comparison of experiences of when my own daughter took her O levels, as they were then, and my grandson who is working towards GCSEs now. ~~~~~ First Take; My daughter was always a very quiet and shy child, who when she entered puberty became very moody, withdrawn and almost quieter than she had ever been before. She never stuck out as exceptional at school, although she was very talented in art. (She subsequently went on to take an arts degree at university). She always came home and did her homework *before* going out or meeting friends, and all in all, her school years passed unremarkably. When it got to O levels, we never really saw her studying (although she must have been). She did spend a lot of time in her bedroom though, so this must have been when she was revising? ~~~~~ Therefore we didn’t really put much effort at all into helping her with her exams. Not because we didn’t care, but because she never asked for it, she never showed any signs of exam stress and all in all it was a very quiet time. When the exams came round she took them and waited for the results. Because she was always so self-contained, she sort of took everything in her stride and we didn‘t really know what to expect in the way of results. ~~~~~ Well, she got 5 O levels and 3 CSEs, which was fairly good we thought, considering she had had such an unremarkable school career. Plus, it was more than enough to get her to art school, which she planned to do. She went into the sixth form and because her artistic talent was so extraordinary, her art teacher arranged for her to go to Technical College to take her arts ‘foundation course’ at 17, rather than 18 (as was the norm),
but this meant that she would have to take 3 A levels in a year! Blow me down - she managed to get 2 A levels out of the 3! All this, without much help or great encouragement from her father or I, (rightly or wrongly). ~~~~~ Second Take; My grandson, on the other hand, has had a very difficult school career. He has been to a number of different schools because of disruptive behaviour and although he doesn’t do well with the social aspect of school life, he is above average in his grades. He has all the information in his head, but has great difficulties getting *how* he knows the stuff down on paper. This is where he is going to fall down, we think. HOWEVER, maybe he is going to surprise us all by getting a handful of O levels? My daughter did. ~~~~~ And this is the rub. How much difference does it make whether parents put in a lot of effort to help, cajole, encourage, push or hassle their kids into revising for their exams or if they don‘t. Do kids do better when their parents put great store (and pressure) on their kids to do well, or does it make little difference? Isn‘t success or failure ultimately down to the intelligence and motivation of the individual? There are many super-intelligent children who simply do not apply themselves and flunk most of their exams. Some will have parents that have given them a great deal of support, some will have ones that have left them to their own devices to ‘get on with it’. On the other hand, there are less able children, who work as hard as they can, apply themselves and manage to get a clutch of qualifications. Again, all will have different parents with different strategies as to helping them through their exams. ~~~~~ What I am trying to say is, at the end of the day _ I feel _ that however good or poor children do in their exams is 95% their own doing. There’s only so much pushing and gushing parents can do. At the en
d of the day. I don’t know whether I would have felt bad, had my daughter have done badly, but I don’t think I would have. She obviously had the capabilities to begin with, so it was her doing whether she passed or failed. ~~~~~ Therefore, I don’t think a child’s exam results are the responsibility of the parents at all. You can‘t live your children’s life for them. Also, at the end of the day, if they do poorly, it‘s not the end of the world! If they have the ability to get lots of O levels, but have only scraped a couple, there’s always sixth form college or night school. Every now and then we hear about a stressed out child worried about their exams, who commits suicide and it makes my blood run cold. I think too much importance is laid on paper qualifications anyway. Just look at some of the real high fliers of this world; Richard Branson, Robbie Williams ... there are loads more, I just can’t think of them .... who were complete duffers at school. They didn’t need ‘O levels’ to get where they are. ~ I know I’m going to get lots of disagreement to this opinion, but I am only expressing what I personally feel.
Been there done them got the grades and what next. I don’t know whether I an thinking about exams in this way but for me GCSE exams seem so easy, and it’s hard for me to understand why. But, that’s when you compare it to degree standard, GCSE’s seem like a breeze in the park. So, my advice if your doing GCSE’s be very lucky because they will be the easiest exams you will ever sit. But, don’t worry I know how you feel, I can remember when my GCSE’s I remember being so stressed out, I thought oh know what I fail, it will affect my A level subjects, my university course, my life…panic, panic. What I learned was that the exams weren’t meant to shock you, they were a test of your knowledge and how well you had taken it in. Most subjects had coursework and if you had good coursework you already had a pass grade at least. For GSCE Maths I got an A for my coursework, I sat my first maths exams which was fine, but during my second exam I felt really unwell and couldn’t do the paper because I was so unwell, although I wasn’t given any special consideration for being sick I still managed a B and was close to an A. If you have some GCSE exams left forget your notes, revise from the syllabus for Science exams ask the teacher for the syllabus, the exam board normally give them one, and revise from there. Trust me everything will be on. They can only test you on what’s on the syllabus and if you revise from the syllabus you can’t go wrong. It might be brief but if your revising now then you have no option. Revision we hate it, but we have to do it. We all have different techniques but use the one that works for you not the one that works for your friend. My top tip will be if you are going to revise history for example, revise three or four sections thoroughly, there’s no point rushing through all the subjects quickly, revise part but in detailed. You will normally get
three questions so you will have two to fall back on if the questions are difficult. Never be afraid to ask for help even if you have left school, ring the school, and ask for the teacher to explain it to you in more detail. The most important thing to remember is that GCSE exams are just a stage, they are not the most important thing in life, things will get harder so don’t make yourself ill over them. Because they are just not worth it. Try your best, revise well and do the best you can because that’s all you can do.
GCSEs are horrible, they expect you to remember everything you have learnt from over the last 5 years, which is impossible. Also they're so boring and, to me, they're pointless. Yes they're for our future career but come on remembering everything from the age of 11 to the age of 16. Also us 16 year olds loose a lot of interest by the end of school, therefore we dont really put our best into the work we do. We are more interested in our private lives at this time, we want to experiment, i mean c'mon, we're legal!! Seriously though, I think we should do the same syllabus as France, where we do our GCSEs at the age of 13-14 (in year 9)and then doing our Alevels at 16. This is when the information from when we were 11 is fresh in our minds. This way there will be a lot of clever 16 year olds, and we don't have to waste our time doing stupid SATs which aren't really important for our future career. I understand that at the age of 16, it's the legal age of getting a jobwe may get a better job with Alevels. My French friend is the same age as me and she found th ework in the top classes really easy, so she actually had to change to a French schools to get the challenging education she needed. All in all, I'm just another 16 year old who's complaining about the horrible GCSEs I am suffering from and I just felt I should get my point across because its been boiling in me for the past 2 months. Well I feel better now.
My family suffer from hayfever and yes you might wonder what that has to do with GCSEs. Anyone who has suffered from hayfever will know how hard it is to concentrate on anything else but their sneezes and running eyes and how lousy they are feeling. So why is it that GCSEs are always taken in the height of the hayfever season. More and more are suffering from hayfever nowadays and although you can get tablets to help you over this time it is still hard taking important exams during this time. If anyone with children coming up to the GCSEs please think ahead for your children and dont leave it to the last minute to realise that these two come at the same time. Go to the doctors or the chemist at least a month before hand so that treatment can start early. There is nothing worse than taking exams and having your eyes running at the most crusial time.
<Sorry about the title, just couldn’t resist rubbing it in!> Yes, it's that dreaded time of year again isn't it! Its that time of year when students of all levels come under extreme stress levels, lack of sleep, anxiety, nerves, waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat (ok, so maybe that’s a little too far!). All in all though us students *hate* this time of year! Just think, the weather is lovely outside (ok, so maybe I’m wrong there aswell!), you’re stuck inside with trigonometry to revise, you’re friends in year 10 are all having a great time sunbathing and you’ve still not revised Macbeth properly. Itnt it horrid! I’ve been there, done that, so I’m lucky! (Ok, wrong again, I really, really, wish I was in you’re shoe’s right now). Mad?! You may be thinking, well yes you’d be right, but with these new AS levels I’ve got it all over again! (And it’s much more difficult this time around!) Revision can be fun though, well maybe not *fun*, but it can be made more interesting! That is, as long as you plan it well. My first piece of advice should be, and will be to…..yes, you’ve guessed it…. Make a revision timetable!! Planning revision time is important, after all, If you don’t you will (believe me!) put it off. Having said all of that, it *isn’t* as vital that you make a revision timetable as all of your teachers will be telling you it is. I didn’t make any sort of timetable last year (tut tut!), however I am fairly organised. I wanted/needed to do well in my GCSEs (wanted, still do infact! to be a Vet). So, I’ve known all along that if I want to get to vet school I am going to have to work my butt off! If you are less motivated, or shall we say, the lesser willing school child (be honest with yourself here), then *do* make a revision timetable. This dreaded tim
etable needn’t be the end to your social life. You can fit it to suit yourself (within reason). You can, and should, fit it around TV programmes (i.e. never say you will revise quantum physics when EastEnders is on….ok so you may not watch EastEnders, actually thinking about it, quantum physics doesn’t appear at GCSE!)….never the less, if you do schedule revision while there is a TV programme on you want to watch you simple (unless very, very highly motivated [and the TV is broken]) not actually get around to revising. Most GCSE students will have eight to ten subjects, so you need to focus on two or three a day. Otherwise you’re brain will end up in a right scramble! I was told at the time to mix and match the subjects you revise in one day, by this I mean: You should revise a subject that is considered to be difficult with a subject that is not considered difficult. I.e. revise one of your science subjects with English. Then the english gives you a break from the intense revision of science. This may well work for you, however, although science is generally considered to be the hardest subject out of all the common GCSEs, (along with maths of course!) I found science far more interesting, and generally easier than say Geography or IT. (Hence I’m doing Physics, Chemistry and Biology A-levels!….now they’re *not* easy!!) So whatever works best for you really on this aspect. One major piece of advice is to *not* listen to your friends. You know what I mean. You arrive at school on Monday with 2 weeks to go before your Physics exam, you ask: “have you started revising yet?” They reply: “no” “Have you?” You reply: “no” So you are then inclined not to start revising! It’s a vicious circle! Be brave, break out of this vicious circle!! I was lucky in respect to the f
act that one of my good friends at school was basically the whole school’s brainiest person there, she was basically a genius! (She ended up with straight A*’s!) So she started revising in the Easter holidays, of year 10!! So that was good for me! “But I forget everything that I revise” I bet you have said, or at least thought that line before, right?! Thought so! Think of it this way, the brain *never* forgets anything! So straight away you are wrong saying that! My main piece of advice is to actually do last minute revision. (I know they, <they being teachers, parents, friends, etc!> say not to do last minute revision, but it does help!!). As long as you don’t rely entirely on this style of revision you’ll be fine! You could try recording your notes and then re-playing them back to yourself (maybe when you are asleep?!), personally I never tried this, but some people swear by it. My all time best piece of advice is to RELAX. No, im not joking, seriously! Think of it this way, GCSEs *are* easy incomparison to what is awaiting you next year (assuming you are going on to study AS, A-levels!) If you know what subjects you want to do at A-level, or need to do, then id definitely concentrate more in these, which is often the case anyway. I certainly did. To be able to do well at higher levels beyond GCSE you really should be looking at A’s (or A*’s!), or B’s. However, don’t forget the other subjects, they’re just as important really. If you don’t do as well as planned, then its not the be all and end all – you can always re-sit, take more (different) GCSEs, leave it at that and carry on to AS, A-level, GNVQs, etc in alternative GCSEs. Whilst in the actually exam: 1) Don’t panic 2) Read the questions (yes, I know, I thought that was a stupid point at the time, but h
ey, it could help!) 3) If you don’t know a question leave it, then go back to it (make sure you leave yourself enough time though!) I did this in my unit 2 physics AS exam the other day, problem was I really really was short on time when looking through my paper, THEN I remembered id left one ‘til later! I only just finished it on time! 4) Like I just said, keep to the time schedule. I.e. for Science GCSE read the front page to see how much time it says you should spend on the essay questions at the end of the chemistry paper. 5) If you know the answer but just cant remember it, then to your left. Sounds weird? Well apparently it helps to trigger your memory. Cant say it works, but its worth a try! I came away with 3 A's, 4 B's and 2 C's. So maybe it worked?! 6) For further tips on just revision tips, then see my opinion on “Revision Tips”! Last, but not least, *good luck*!!
I know the GCSE’s are almost over but I have decided to go ahead and write this opinion anyway. I am not a parent and can only talk through experience of taking GSCE’s myself. I finished my GCSE’s in 1997 and to be honest I don’t think a lot has changed since. In this opinion I have concentrated on two important parts of GCSE’s, the lead up and the results day. MY STORY As soon as I went into year ten I was straight away faced with the teachers telling us how important our next two years where. Our lessons got more serious all of a sudden and the teachers seemed to take more interest in our work. My parents were very supportive and they used to ask if they could help me with my homework. Unfortunately in certain subjects I knew more than them so they wasn’t much help but they tried their best. As my mock exams approached in my final year I began to get slightly worried. My parents never nagged me to get worked done they just seemed interested and keen to get involved. I found the mocks an experience, which enabled me to prepare for the exams that really mattered. My mum bought me revision books to help me with my understanding in certain subjects. I didn’t stop going out with my friends, in fact I think I started to go out more but I still made sure I kept up with my work. In the last few weeks before my exams I increased my workload. I came out of some exams feeling upset about my performance. My parents assured me I had done my best and were already very proud of me and didn’t really care about the grades I had got. When I got my results back I rung up my dad to tell him and he cried, he was that proud of me. Without my parents support I think I would have done a lot worse than I did. You may have just read my story and be wondering how you can be supportive without putting too much pressure on your child. GCSE’s are not all about the exams. It may just be the grade from these e
xams that count but the two years leading up to the exams are just as important. This means that the minute your child goes into year 10 (age 14) they are starting to learn work that could be on the exam. Their teachers will be telling them at school how important they are so be careful you don’t put too much pressure on them from day one. I suggest you take an interest in what your child is learning about and maybe even take notice of the homework they are doing. By doing this your child may find it easier to talk about problems they are having with certain topics and you may be able to help. It may be a good idea to ask during tea if your child has got any homework and if they want any help. I think a parent needs to be supportive all the way through a child’s education. If they all of a sudden turn all supportive a few weeks before the final exams the children are going to feel more pressure. Some children are afraid they will do bad and let their parents down. You need to encourage your child to do their best and let them know it is not the grade that matters to you. I believe parents can influence their children’s final grades but they cannot always force their children to do well. GCSE’s are all about experience. For many it is the only education they will do. I think parents can sometimes motivate their children, which could lead to better results. Give your child something to look forward to. I went on holiday after my GCSE’s and this made me feel just a few more weeks of hard work then I will have a long rest. Some people say that you should get a tutor for your child so they can improve in their weaker subject areas. I think this is a good idea if your child wants to improve but a very bad idea if they don’t want help. The Internet can be very useful when it comes to GCSE revision. There are many sites, which help you revise and give tips on how to go about revisin
g. www.bbc.co.uk/education/gcsebitesize/ This site is often advertised on TV and I have to say when I went to have a look at it I was quite impressed. It offers just about every GCSE subject and enables you children to read notes on each subject and then do a test afterwards. This eases the pressure off pupils as it gives them the chance to revise at their own pace and check their progress by answering questions. You will find after completing a test it gives you the answers and tells you where you have gone wrong. www.gcsemaths.fsnet.co.uk This is mainly for higher tier candidates for maths. It gives you a chance to search for any topics your child may be having problems with and everything is explained in quite simple terms that are easy for sixteen year olds to understand. When it comes to results day be careful. Don’t force your child to rush out and get their results at the first possible opportunity. They may want to wait until the school post the results to them, as they don’t want any of their friends to know what they got. Let your child tell you their results in their own time don’t wait outside the school gates waiting for them to rush out and tell you their results. Be prepared for bad results. If you prepare yourself for the worst the good grades will be a surprise. If your child has done badly do not punish them or say anything bad about them. Your child is still your child and do not feel disappointed by them. I say don’t worry too much about your child and their GCSE’s. At the end of the day if your child doesn’t do too well they can always retake if they want to. I hope this opinion hasn’t confused you even more. It has been a hard one to write and I hope someone out there finds it helpful. Thanks for reading Grimsbygal