As you may or may not have known, about a week and a half ago thousands of 16-year-olds across the UK received their GCSE Results, determining what direction they are taking on their step into further education. Just to explain the grades: we are a transition year, so our English Literature, English Language and Maths grades were marked from 1 to 9, 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. The rest of our subjects were marked on the regular A* to G system that is now on its way out, this being the last year it is being used. The new top grade 9 is the equivalent to a grade above an A*, or an A**, awarded to approximately the top 3% of the country. The grade 8 is an A*, 7 is roughly an A, 6 is a high B and 5 & 4 are high and low Cs respectively. Anything below a 4 is considered a fail.
Results Day was something that took so long to arrive that the anticipation had almost disappeared by the time the day actually came around. I’m just going to go over my Results Day thoughts before and after opening my results.
Thursday 24th August 2017
I awoke abruptly at roughly 5.30 am. Due to nerves I found it quite difficult to get back to sleep but nonetheless managed to sleep through until roughly 7.30 am. I quickly started looking up grade boundaries on the exam specification websites (Edexcel, AQA and OCR) so that I could know how many UMS I needed for particular grades. I found these quite reassuring in most cases, as many required far lower marks than I expected. I showered and dressed, ate my breakfast and then went off in the car at about 9.30 – to take my grandma to a dentist appointment. Anxious and excited, I sat in the car listening to Rutter’s ‘The Lord is My Shepherd’ (my calming song) until my friend rang me up about her results. I helped her calm as she opened hers – only to find she had done much better than she had expected, which was reassuring to me as well.
Finally, we set off to school to arrive at approximately 10.30. Many people had left at this point and this caused some anxiety to really kick in. As I walked into the Main Hall and started to approach the results table, my History teacher flashed me a smile. I find that if that happens to you, it’s almost certainly a good sign. I flipped over my plastic wallet with my list of grades and tearfully collapsed of joy in my dad’s arms as I read down the list.
Disclaimer: Just to clarify, I am not in any way shape or form boasting about my grades, I’m simply showing what can be achieved through perseverance and hard work 🙂
My GCSE Grades
I was absolutely thrilled with these results – especially Music given how many hours I had put into my coursework; 2 compositions, 1 appraisal, a solo and a group piece all paid off in the end! I was also so happy about the A* in Geography as that is the line I am looking to go down at University. I was very, very surprised about the A* in Biology, the exams for which I had thought hadn’t gone too well. It just goes to show you can never really judge how well you’re going to do.
I took a moment to calm down before a lady asked me for a quick camera interview where I told her my feelings, my grades and who I wanted to thank. It all went in a crazy rush because I was still in shock. I was given my yearbook by a member of staff which was full of lots of pictures of my secondary school journey. Other members of staff congratulated me which was so so lovely. I texted my mum who was at work at the time and absolutely delighted to learn that given my grades, we will be off to Amsterdam in the Spring ❤ I also texted my sister who has been absolutely lovely and wonderful throughout all of my exam stress. She’s about to start her GCSEs this year, so maybe it’s my turn to support her! One by one a wave of friends showed their support and congratulations to me, as I returned to them.
On the whole, my school did really really well – here’s a quick extract from a news article off the school’s Facebook:
Over the summer I had been trying to decide whether I was going to stay doing A-Levels at my current school or whether I would go to the local Boys’ Grammar school to do the International Baccalaureate. I simply couldn’t decide so I put off the ultimate decision until Results Day. I surprised many people when I told them that I had decided that I would do the IB. Of course, it means leaving some of my closest friends and greatest teachers behind, but I’m ready for a new adventure. I’ll meet my friends on the weekends and talk to them regularly, but I’ll also have the chance to make new ones. Going on NCS meant that I got to know more people who are also doing the IB which means that I do have friends there already and will make a far more comfortable transition. I felt that if I never gave the IB a chance, I would massively regret it. It’s amazing how supportive people can be – telling my best friends, who will miss me as much as I miss them, what I decided to do next year and having their full support has carried me far.
I’m also fortunate in that the Boys’ and Girls’ Grammar Schools are right next to each other, making it easier for me to meet one of my best friends who decided to transfer to the Girls’ School.
So, starting this Wednesday, I’m studying Higher Level Geography, Philosophy and English Literature and Standard Level Maths, Physics and Japanese ab-initio. Will I encounter new and nerve wracking experiences? Of course I will. Is it going to be hard at times? Yes. But I am so very excited to see what the IB can throw at me – I’m ready as I’ll ever be for this new, two year journey.
To all those who got their GCSE (or A-Level or IB) I hope you all did fantastically well and that you are happy going forward. Remember that what you put in always comes out in the end – I believe in you! ❤
What are you doing next school year? Are you leaving your current school for college? A sixth form? Let me know in the comments below 🙂