GCSE’s Aren’t Everything

gcse's aren't everything

I received my GCSE results in August 2015. I know from experience that the phrase ‘GCSE’s aren’t everything’ is thrown around a lot–and I know it means very little when you hear it now. It is, however, something I’ve found to be true in hindsight, so hear me out. 

I heard this phrase so many times while I took my exams. I was always told to do my best, and that whatever the outcome, it would be okay. It seemed like rubbish to me, but now I realise there might be some level of truth to it. There might actually be a reason why it’s people’s default phrase for 15-16 year old’s in England and Wales during the exam period.

Without going into too much detail, my exam experience wasn’t the best. I only took four GCSE’s in the end, and I still managed to fail two of them.

I wasn’t always predicted these grades. Before my mental health plummeted to a point where mainstream school was no longer an option, I was predicted A-C grades in every subject. My school were reluctant to support me because I was ‘too academic’, and my grades suffered as a result. I was officially a drop out at just fourteen years old.

I was lucky enough to be offered a place in a specialist school for people with mental health problems at the beginning of year 10. By this point, however, my mental health could no longer come after my grades. This would continue throughout the two years I spent at this school, and was another reason why I didn’t get the grades I was expected to.

I ended up meeting the conditions for my chosen college course by the skin of my teeth. This would not have been possible with GCSE’s alone, and I have to thank my three level 2 and few level 1 BTEC courses I took alongside my GCSE’s for helping me with the entry requirements.

However, despite this, I finished the course I barely got into with top grades (D*D*), and have been accepted onto a Level 3 version of the same course. I’m even looking into university once I’ve completed the level 3 course.

What I’m trying to say is that there’s always a way of picking yourself up once you’ve fallen. If you didn’t get the grades you want, it isn’t the end of the world. It’s okay to take the next few days to be upset about not reaching the goals you set for yourself, but perhaps it offers a perspective you hadn’t looked at before. Even if you think you haven’t got the grades to get into college, give them a call; they may be able to arrange something which can get you where you want to eventually.

Each year, the number of options to fix a bad grade are increasing. A bad grade no longer means the end of the road, or limits you anywhere near as much as you might be thinking it does. Determination and willpower are important qualities for your future that you aren’t tested on, but that are highly important in shaping your future.

Regardless of what the piece of paper many teenagers receive in August, you are still worthy. You are worth continuing with your dreams. Don’t let a letter spoil that for you.

Thanks for reading, and until next time,


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1 Comment

  1. 5 Easy Revision Tips To Help You Ace Your Exams - Rebekah Gillian

    13/05/2017 at 5:00 PM

    […] who is taking their exams in the next few months. It might be helpful to read my post about why exams aren’t everything if you need a reminder that your best is enough. Remember, exams can be retaken, your life can’t. […]

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