Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Truth About GCSEs

The dreaded GCSE exam hall

Weeks and weeks of teachers telling us that GCSEs are the most important thing ever in our lives, scaring students into thinking that if you didn't get good grades then you would probably find yourself with a future career working full time at MacDonald's, living in a squalid flat with nothing but a conscious that constantly screams at you 'WHY DID YOU NOT GET BETTER GCSE GRADES?'. The teachers also told us that the exams themselves would be extremely horrific and stressful.

GCSEs aren't that stressful
After completing my exams, I can say that they aren't that bad and they aren't that stressful. They are only stressful if you make them stressful. And they certainly are not scary or horrific because when you think about it, there's nothing scary about sitting at a desk in a hall writing words on a bit of paper. Yet again, the teachers exaggerated things. Two whole years of my life making notes for a few exams which are all over in a few weeks. Now they are officially over, I am left with a pile of notes I'm never going to look at again and a feeling that all that work might not have been worth it. Are GCSEs really that important? They may be important in the short term to either get into sixth form or college or maybe to get your first job but in the long term, employers and universities are only really going to look at your A level grades. You could possibly argue that if you do well in your GCSEs then you will do well in your A levels and although this is likely, it's not always the case. So GCSEs are really just the launching pad into Sixth Form and then University? Perhaps they are. Most universities will look for at least Cs in GCSE English, Maths and perhaps Science. So all you need is a few Cs in GCSE and your sorted? This may well be the case (unless you wish to go to Oxford or Cambridge). But of course, it always helps to have a few As and A*s to improve your chances.

GCSEs are not everything
If you really think about it though, many people have got happily through life and got successful jobs with nothing but charm, a good sense of humour and a good character. Many famous/ successful people in today's society didn't get good grades at GCSE. They probably just worked really hard at the thing they loved and became really good at it. They also probably had a clear career goal and knew what it is they wanted to do when they were older. So in order to really do well in life you probably need a clear career goal and you need to be a hard worker. GCSEs are not everything. They are just a starting point really and if you do disastrous in them then you can realize you made a mistake and work hard to make up for it or try and do much better at A levels. So to make the message simpler because I'm not sure how well this all translates: Good GCSEs help but they are not that important. They are not the be all end all.

You can only do your best
After completing my GCSEs I feel as if I have tried my best although I think I could have revised perhaps slightly more. I have done all I can now though and my fate is in the hands of the examiners who are probably crouched miserably over my exams, marking them now. I have a burning desire to see my GCSE grades in this very moment but unfortunately we all just have to wait until August which I think is too far away. On results day, I will most probably just open the envelope in the corner of the room hoping for the best whilst the hall turns into an eruption of shouts and cries of joy or pain as people go down on their knees as they see their GCSE grades on paper for the first time. It's a bit weird when you think about it isn't it? All that work for a few letters on a bit of paper. It's simply absurd but as I've said before in this post, GCSEs do matter to some extent but they are not everything... so just remember that if you are disappointed with your results in August.

I know that a few of my friends are currently stressing about how they need As and A*s... it's not worth the stress though because you've done all you can. I hate people who stress and say 'What if I don't get all A*s?' I mean come on! Just enjoy your holidays for goodness sake!

A quick few words from my classmates about what they had to say about GCSEs:

"GCSEs were stressful. All that revision and pressure to do well got a bit too much for me I think"
So some people did find them stressful... but then again this person really wanted all A*s.

"GCSEs were the easiest thing EVER!" 
Ok... A*s for you then.

"I messed up my GCSEs" 
Oh dear... don't worry though, GCSEs aren't everything.

"GCSEs were easier than I thought they would be. Everyone was saying they would be bloody awful but they weren't" 
Exactly my thoughts as well.

"They were OK I guess. Not too bad. I think I should have revised more though because I did procrastinate a lot"
See, they are not that bad after all. Just try not to procrastinate...

"I can't believe that's it. GCSEs are over! It feels great to be freeeeee! Bring on the Summer!"
That's right. Bring on the Summer!

How do you think your GCSEs went? Were GCSEs really that bad? I would love to hear from you so just leave a comment.

To all of you who have just finished your GCSEs (or any exams for that matter), I hope you have a brilliantly tremendous summer holiday and that you make the most of it!

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