GCSE results are released today, ending months of suspense as candidates finally find out what months of hard work and revision has achieved. Don't let the relief of finally knowing your grades become tainted by press reports of the first fall in A*-C grades in 24 years. The slip in A*-C grades is only 0.4%! In recent years the tone has always been that exams are getting easier and easier, the grading more lenient, so perhaps a more demanding marking scheme is simply a response to this, and may explain the minimal drop in top grades.
This is a time to focus on what you have managed to do and you should give yourself a pat on the back for making it through your exams. For those of you moving straight onto A-Levels, we wish you the best of luck.
But, if you feel your marks are unfair or an unrealistic assessment of your abilities there are things you can do. Should you wish to improve your marks there will be opportunities to resit exams - resits generally take place between November and January. Or, if you feel your exam results are at odds with the results you were achieving through coursework, teachers will generally be more than willing to help you appeal your marks. A more comprehensive overview of what to do in light of disappointing GCSE results can be found on the BBC website.
It should also be recognised that the academic environment is simply not for everyone. Vocational courses generally do not require exceptional GCSE results, and can offer more practical and enjoyable career alternatives to those who can't wait to leave school.
Whatever results you receive today, just remember that there will be plenty more opportunities to prove yourself! GCSEs are most definitely not the be-and-end all. If anything, the results you get today should help you make a more informed decision of what you want from the future, and what career may be best for you!
Finally, tutors, we know you will be nervous as well! Good luck as the results come in! We' round off with some of the feedback we've received so far this morning:
Lisa, ''Lisa has been working with our 15 year old son to prepare him for his maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs as well as helping him to master some study skills and to be better organised in his school work and homework. He has shown significant improvement in a very short space of time with Lisa's support. He enjoys his lessons and has gained a better, more in-depth understanding of the subject matter.''
Sue, ''Sue has been very helpful with our daughter's GCSE German, particularly speaking. Before this she was very hesitant, but following Sue's help she is now much more fluent and confident. Sue makes the subject fun.''