GCSE Results Day


This is what you have been headed towards since school began

Since you donned your first pair of shiny black shoes and trotted off through the doors beginning your school career it has all been about you getting these results. A piece of paper showing the world what you can do if you apply yourself.

I will never need to know that

The problem with education is that it is (for the most part) wasted on the young. Of course we all know that teenagers already know everything they need to to succeed in life. Probably. Will you write BOOBS on a calculator more often than needing to know how to use long division. Also probably. Will you apply your knowledge of how to make an erupting volcano in any other setting than 1 homework project for your child. Unlikely.

Problem is though that if you didn’t recognise that the point of learning this stuff was to pass a test then maybe you didn’t apply yourself and are now looking at a piece of paper showing 1’s, 2’s and the odd E if you are lucky. Don’t fret.

You are more than your grade

Of course you wanted better for yourself. I am sure your family did too. Those 1’s and 2’s do not show that you are passionate about things in your life outside of school though or your sense of humour and willingness to get the job done. You can blame your results on all kinds of things if you want to but when all’s said and done, they are YOUR results. The results of whatever effort you did or did not put in. It’s ok to feel badly about them – it’s also Ok to accept that this is a blip in the great scheme of things.


You now have a choice. Carry on as you have been or you can take this as a learning curve and do something else. If you have received a grade of lower than 4 in Maths or English you will have to re sit those exams. You will be given a year of lessons alongside your full time college course to help you to improve your grade when you retake the exam so you have a chance. My advice would be to grab it with both hands!

If you never fail, how can you measure success?

The thing about GCSEs is that I am now 35 and it has been many years since my results mattered. Some people aren’t academic by their nature but education works best when it lights a fire rather than filling a bucket.

You should find something you enjoy and do it. If you are a practical sort of a person then find something vocational. Want to see the world? Why not study travel and work in another country. Some – maybe even most things – cannot be learned in a classroom. So go and find what makes you smile.

Its been a while

Its not just me. Hear what other bloggers have to say below and comment! I would love to hear how you did and what you want to do next!

Katie: I left school with no GCSEs. I’m now self-employed, earning more money than most people I know and super happy, confident and comfortable with how my life is panning out.

Abi: I got pretty good GCSE results, and wasn’t disappointed or surprised with any of them (although, the geek in me would think I can always do better!) I went on to do A Levels, which is what I wanted to do, and now have a good job with a good wage, even though it’s not my “dream job”. I think the fact I was so academic at school stopped me doing something creative that I loved, such as writing for a living. So whilst I earn a good wage, and I’ve no doubt that my good grades play a role in that, I also think they probably squashed my creativity a little in the strive to continually “perform well”.

Vikki: I did reasonably well in my GCSE’s , but certainly not as well as I could have done. My results did enable me to do everything I wanted to but they certainly wouldn’t have been make or break – there are so many options and alternatives available to young people now. My advice to the young ones would be to always do your best – to make yourself proud. And to not panic if your results aren’t what you hoped – you will be just fine – look at all your options

Alana: I did better than I thought I would, but as my teachers expected. I went on to do AS Levels, but made the mistake of choosing subjects I thought I should do, rather than what I really wanted to. I ended up with an AS Level in Business Studies after a year of hating the subject, and dropped Human Biology for English Literature, which I loved.
I’d advise to do what you enjoy – there’s no sense in taking subjects you think are important or useful if you don’t like them … it’ll only end up being harder work!

Lynette: I didn’t care about my GCSEs and gave my future no thought. I did okay in the exams, especially considering I didn’t do any revision. At the time I had no end vision, no goals and I do think that is quite a negative thing. It didn’t really harm me, I went to the Open University in my mid-twenties.and now I own my own business. I do think that it did hold me back, but there are always different roads to travel

Pete: Don’t worry about how all your friends did, just concentrate on your own results. My GCSE results weren’t too bad. But I felt a little down when nearly all of my school friends received straight A’s and A*’s. If the grades are good enough for what you want to do, then well done!

Kate:  Family of 3 – me 10 0-Levels nearly all As and Bs – skint, my brother – average grades – travelled the world as singer and teacher , other brother only managed 1 o-level in woodwork and became a multi-millionnaire. Some of us develop in different ways at different times. That’s OK and there are more ways to be rich than career success and the funds that come with it




  1. August 24, 2017 / 7:36 pm

    Your GCSE results are not the end of your life. They are just a marker to your education is right now after NOW after years at school. For some it is a stark realisation that no matter what you think you know you may need to change your learning methods.

    Keep plugging away 16 year olds the world is your oyster and you can’t do much worse with it than out generation did.

    A really well written piece Natasha I love reading your work

  2. Charlie beswick
    August 26, 2017 / 8:09 am

    Lighting a fire not filling a bucket is a brilliant quote !!!
    Love the advice here. So true. Great blog

  3. August 26, 2017 / 10:35 am

    Love this post!! I was dreadful at school and now have a daughter heading into year 10. I keep telling her that as long as she tries her best then that’s all she can do. I’ll be proud of her whatever that piece of paper says.

  4. August 26, 2017 / 11:19 am

    GCSEs are useful for getting into college or getting your first job. After that, potential employers are generally more interested in college/uni results or actual experience. I honestly can’t remember the last time anyone asked me about my GCSE results

  5. August 26, 2017 / 1:16 pm

    Gcse results are definitely just a stepping stone to a different part of your life but if all else fails there is a lot more to learn and try out in this world. Great post x

  6. August 26, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    Well said! It’s such a shame we put so much pressure on kids to do well in these exams that really don’t matter in the general scheme of life.

  7. August 26, 2017 / 7:24 pm

    Great post lots of inspiration that it’s not the end of the world and you’re absolutely right! I did ok at school and was always hands on now I do a job I love everyday. Xxx

  8. August 27, 2017 / 4:36 am

    My daughter is just going into Year 8, they’re year is the first year to fully do the new GCSE curriculum, I worry for the pressures that are put on them, we try to be fairly laid back.
    Lovely Post.

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