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Next stop - not necessarily university?

(14 Posts)
MixedMetaphors Tue 12-Jun-18 14:12:41

We're not even at GCSE Y11 yet. Thats next year ...

But unless your DC is very academic and dead set on university and/or can easily afford it - does it really matter if they get 7s or 5s or 9s. I appreciate trying to get above 5s are important as are a door to things post-GCSEs but apart from that?

And of course its good they do well and do themselves justice for its own sake. But otherwise is it really that important?

I'm not even sure I would be advising my DS to go to University. Who needs £60K worth of debt - £27K for the degree, at least £30K living expense? Unless you are very committed to studying for a particular reason.

Anyway, I'm writing this as I know I've been getting a bit uptight about end-of-year exams and the coming GSCE Year 11 so trying to get some balance. In the scheme of things isn't it worth remembering there are more important things in life, and sometimes isn't it easy to forget?

TeenTimesTwo Tue 12-Jun-18 14:33:38

I think 4s are the key, or 5s depending on what course you want to do after GCSE.
Then if you do well in your BTEC / apprenticeship that will count far more.

On the other hand, better grades are 'nice to have' I think, when starting out as you may still want to put them on a CV, e.g. 9 GCSEs including English language (7) and Maths (6) looks better than (4) after each of them. You never know when it might make a difference in the early years.

BarbarianMum Tue 12-Jun-18 14:38:09

<<But otherwise is it really that important?>>

Well that depends on what they want to do. And what the competition is. And what else they can offer. Relevant experience? A proven track record in something that requires commitment? A good reference?

BeyondThePage Tue 12-Jun-18 14:44:11

The debt that is the student loan is not "real debt" - go read Martin Lewis's pages on student loans.

And better grades leave more doors open to you.

MixedMetaphors Tue 12-Jun-18 22:53:09

It is real debt. If the student doesn't pay it, the Taxpayer does.

TheThirdOfHerName Tue 12-Jun-18 23:02:10

It depends a lot on what they would like to do as a career.

DS2 wants to be a physicist.
He wants to apply to do a four year university course to get an MSc.
These courses all require three A-levels, including Maths and Physics. DS2 also wants to study Further Maths and Chemistry at A-level.
In order to study these A-levels, his GCSEs grades need to be 7s and 8s.

BackforGood Tue 12-Jun-18 23:27:03

I doubt if anyone under 30 is going to do a 'job for life' anymore, so everyone will be moving around, and applying for jobs - quite likely jobs that don't exist now - for decades to come.

If they are academically inclined, and going on to get higher qualifications, then I don't suppose they will be asked much about their GCSEs, (although will need good grades to get on those courses n the first place). If they aren't planning to study after GCSEs, then it therefore seems to make sense to get the best that individual can possibly manage.
Of course, some people won't manage it.
It doesn't mean it is 'the last chance' if they don't do as well as they might, but it's much harder to study once you are an adult with a job and bills to pay and maybe other responsibilities, than it is whilst you are at school, so I'd just encourage everyone to do the best they can, when in Yr 11.

Soursprout Wed 13-Jun-18 06:52:39

It matters that they do well enough to progress on to the next stage of whatever they want to do
Be it A levels, uni,level 1 course, apprenticeship, btec etc
It’s not quite the same as a normal debt but it feels like it

titchy Wed 13-Jun-18 09:33:45

If he doesn't earn the minimum repayment threshold he won't pay anything back.

titchy Wed 13-Jun-18 09:34:09

Not quite sure of the relevance of the tax payer paying if he doesn't....

Needmoresleep Wed 13-Jun-18 10:17:31

Except when there is not enough taxpayer money to pay for care for the elderly...or a dozen other things than need funding in advance of an unmotivated student taking a random subject.

titchy Wed 13-Jun-18 11:41:18

That's hardly relevant to one individual though surely? Unless you think everyone has an individual responsibility to maximise the benefits of any public service they receive? Maybe the state should decide your career then?

pacer142 Wed 13-Jun-18 13:01:12

On the other hand, better grades are 'nice to have' I think, when starting out as you may still want to put them on a CV, e.g. 9 GCSEs including English language (7) and Maths (6) looks better than (4) after each of them. You never know when it might make a difference in the early years.

Future life is a competition. Whether it's applying to colleges, apprenticeships, universities or jobs. You're always going to be competing against others as there's always a limit on places.

Both my nephew and niece discovered this in their school exams. Both just "cruised" through their GCSEs because they were forecast to get C grades in most subjects. They were both bright enough to do better, but lazy, so they did the bare minimum and were happy with their strings of mostly "C"'s. Trouble was that the college courses they wanted to do were oversubcribed, so neither of them got their "dream" course and ended up in compromise courses, but again, they "passed". But they've been knocked back at every turn ever since. Nephew wanted to be a teacher and his GCSE's and college course results met the minimum standards (number of points etc) for all our local teacher training universities, but he was constantly refused, the reason always being other applicants with better/more appropriate qualifications. Same happened with niece. Both are now in their 20's and plodding through a succession of minimum wage jobs.

Kids need to get the best grades they're capable of, not just "do enough" to get the minimum required.

TeenTimesTwo Wed 13-Jun-18 14:29:18

pacer I agree with Kids need to get the best grades they're capable of, not just "do enough" to get the minimum required.

However, less academic kids shouldn't be made to think they are 'failing' if the best they can do is 4s. That's what I mean by 'nice to have'. If you can get better grades then try to, because you never know when they might help.
I don't see that any one grade matters much after education e.g. History being a 5 not a 6. But overall grade profile may well matter, so 'mainly 6s' is clearly better than 'mainly 4s'.

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