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Secondary school qualifications

(27 Posts)
OldScool Thu 20-Dec-18 18:14:57

I'm new here and looking for some advice

I've applied for an admin role with a local authority, the application requires my school education / qualifications, for the life of me, I cannot remember whether I obtained O / A or CSE certificates.

Can anyone clarify what qualifications I would've obtained during 1984?

I can't remember last year let alone 30 odd years ago

OP’s posts: |
MaidenMotherCrone Thu 20-Dec-18 18:21:48

If you were in set 1 or 2 for a subject you would’ve sat an O level. Set 3-6 or more then CSE.
If you stayed 2 years in 6 form then you would usually have sat an A level.

MaidenMotherCrone Thu 20-Dec-18 18:23:38

You can contact the examining body from that time/area and get copies of your certificates. They charge per subject. HTH

OldScool Thu 20-Dec-18 18:33:35

Thank you MMC, not sure why potential employer wants to go so far back given I've obtained NVQ certificates during the 1990s

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Thu 20-Dec-18 18:38:21

Would your parents remember?
Surely you know whether you did A levels?
You should have certificates somewhere.

OldScool Thu 20-Dec-18 19:00:44

Unfortunately, parents are no longer around

I'm almost certain they were A levels, but don't want to state this on an application form as I'm not 100% certain, having had a nervous breakdown 15 years ago doesn't help with my memory

OP’s posts: |
MaidenMotherCrone Thu 20-Dec-18 19:08:57

I no longer have my actual certs but sat mine in the same year. Did you stay on at 6th form (lower and upper forms) or go to college. Did you take resits ( they were sat in Nov). I’m just trying to help jog your memory. What books did you read for English Lit?

TheFrendo Thu 20-Dec-18 19:17:46

What age were you when you left school and what subjects did you study in your last year?

If you don't know, then I suspect you did not do A levels

OldScool Thu 20-Dec-18 19:35:12

It's embarrassing not being able to recall.

Left school 16, I'm sure I did Maths English Art Geography I don't recall doing any "by choice" exams, the above were recommendations by my teacher (if I recall)

OP’s posts: |
TeenTimesTwo Thu 20-Dec-18 19:38:46

If you left school at 16 it almost certainly wouldn't have been A levels.

Do you know what 'type' of school you were at? Grammar, Secondary Modern? (Or Comp if they were around then).

cantkeepawayforever Thu 20-Dec-18 19:42:41

1984 was O-levels / CSEs.

Do you remember getting 'letter' type grades or 'number' ones? Letters were O-levels, numbers were CSEs.

There were mostly comprehensives at that point - it was the 1970s when most counties went comprehensive, though there were (are) obviously a few exceptions such as Kent.

OldScool Thu 20-Dec-18 19:53:28

I'm very grateful to you all for taking the time to assist

I know the certificates I had were letters, my father was impressed I got As, almost certain it was comprehensive school (1977 - 1984)

OP’s posts: |
cantkeepawayforever Thu 20-Dec-18 19:57:45

1977 - 84 is 7 years, though, so are you sure that you left at 16?

Usually it would be 5 years to O-levels, 2 more to A-levels.

A-levels were also letter grades.

OldScool Thu 20-Dec-18 20:06:26

17, my typo error sorry

OP’s posts: |
catndogslife Fri 21-Dec-18 16:43:06

Did you go to school in England or Wales or was it in Scotland?
Scottish Highers are taken a year earlier than A levels (you leave school at 17) and have letter grades.
The number of subjects taken may also be a clue. For O level/CSE it would be 5-8 subjects and at A level 3-4. At some schools it was possible to take a mixture of CSEs and O levels.

BikeRunSki Fri 21-Dec-18 16:50:40

You could’ve got any of those in 1984

O levels - you took these at 16, at the end of compulsory schooling. They were academically hardened than CSEs, so yiu’d likely have been “top set”bornmaybe middjr in these subjects.

CSE- similar to O level but academically easier, probably too this if you were “bottom set”, or weaker in this subject. A CSE grade 1 was equivalent to an O level grade C.

A levels - took these at 18, usually after 2 yrs of 6th form or FE college. Not everyone stayed on for these, in those days you could leave school at 16 with no further commitment to education or training.

BikeRunSki Fri 21-Dec-18 16:51:23

My post above assumes you went to school in England or Wales.

Janek Fri 21-Dec-18 16:56:56

If your birthday is in June, July or August you could have left school at 17 having completed A levels.

blueskiesandforests Fri 21-Dec-18 16:59:02

If you left school before your 18th birthday the only way you got A levels would be if you have a late June/ July or August birthday and were very nearly 18, or if you were moved up a year.

Do you know how many subjects you did?

More than 5 will certainly be O not A levels.

You'd really be very likely to remember doing A levels if you remember anything at all. If you remember some of the subjects or grades but not whether they were O or A levels they'll be O levels.

Back then only about 25% of people got A levels. Only 10% of those got As at A level. It was far, far less common than now.

blueskiesandforests Fri 21-Dec-18 17:00:40

Scotland would be different yes - the posts so far won't apply.

Piggywaspushed Sat 22-Dec-18 08:27:36

I am afraid you will always need to state all your qualifications on any job application , OP.

Could you contact your old school? If you are lucky, they may have kept records that go back quite a long way.

RitaTheBeater Sat 22-Dec-18 08:34:44

Have you any school friends you could contact who might be able to remember anything? I wouldn't know what grades people I went to school with had got but I'd know who stayed on for sixth form and who didn't. And who went to the sixth form college.

PlatypusPie Sat 22-Dec-18 09:05:09

I came across my O and A level certificates recently when reorganising some filing - weirdly I had thought all these decades that I had done brilliantly in a subject that I had only scraped and only had a mediocre score for a subject that was in fact an A !

I have never had to state my school qualifications on applications from the point of getting a degree onwards so maybe that’s not so surprising

. A friend applied for a different job in the very large organisation that she had worked for since leaving school 30 years previously. For the first time since then, she had to produce her school certificates- long since mislaid, so she had to try and work out which examination board she had sat, prove her identity and pay quite a substantial fee for the copy of the record.

Piggywaspushed Sat 22-Dec-18 09:30:13

I have never applied for a job in education without providing all school qualifications. I assume it's to check minimum English and maths requirements are met.

blueskiesandforests Sat 22-Dec-18 09:43:01

I'm surprised it's so common to have lost your certificates and forgotten subjects studied and what you were good or bad at (not the OP as her breakdown is a specific reason, but that it's mentioned as par for the course by so many on the thread). I'm fairly scatterbrained and disorganised but all my certificates from GCSE to masters level are in one folder. I was in the second cohort ever to take GCSEs I believe, after they replaced O levels and CSEs in 1990 ish.

I needed my certificates most recently a couple of years ago, when applying for my current job but even more strictly required for a state registered qualification course I started 18 months ago, when original copies right back to GCSE level had be taken in to secure the place on the course. Yes, perhaps to show a minimum level in subjects not studied at a higher level, like maths in my case, but also just because of a "computer says no" tick box approach to meeting entry requirements ...

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