The GCSE mocks

After the high of his year 10 exams last year, in which his teachers perhaps realised for the first time that my son was more capable than he was letting on, it was time for his GCSE mocks.

The mocks are actually really important – because they determine his predictions and any offers of 6th form places are dependent on his predictions. As he would like to go to a grammar school for 6th form, good predictions are essential for my son.

But in the mind of a teenage boy, certainly this teenage boy, those big things don’t make him think ‘It’s really important for me to do my revision’. Somewhere along the line, the message turns into ‘Spend lots of time on Snapchat/ watching YouTube videos on your phone, go to bed really late and don’t do any revision’.

So we had a battle on our hands.

The resounding message from both his most recent school report and his parents’ evening was that my son is a very able boy. He is currently around a B grade in most of his subjects. With a bit of effort, he can push himself up to an A. But without the effort, he could easily end up with Cs.

Now I appreciate that for some people, Cs are a real achievement. But, actually, my son is brighter than that. For me, education should be about achieving your own potential – and for my eldest that is a mixture of As and Bs. If he achieves that, he can feel confident that he has done his very best and should rightly feel very proud of himself. I know we will feel very proud of him.

We realised the only way to get him to revise for his mocks was with a lot of encouragement, a lot of breaks and a lot of  checking and testing by us. He worked better if there was something he could do online (he did a lot of maths for that reason) or if there was a revision book he could work from.

Revision, GCSEs, GCSE mocks, Revision guides

I can say that he didn’t do quite as much revision as we’d hoped, but he did revise.

What were we hoping for in his mocks?

Good results, of course.

But there was a small element of us hoping for one or two shocks, just to remind him that things can go wrong and that he needs to work hard for the real thing to be certain of those top grades.

And I’m pleased to say that the results were very good. He got a lot of Bs, a remarkable A* (not even in what he considers to be his best subject), a 7 in his maths – equivalent to an A (maths and English this year are marked 9 to 1 – with 9 being higher than the old A* and 1 being the bottom grade), one of those shocks and one lost cause (a cause that we’ve known all along was lost, so we’re not wasting time worrying about it).

We’re very pleased with his results, achieved with not a lot of revision. Hopefully they will be enough to get him the predictions he needs to get into grammar school.

Now the challenge is to get him to keep working and to turn those Bs into As and come out with the results he is really capable of in his GCSEs this summer.


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Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Ah he sounds just like my brother. He coasted and did the least possible needed (although his teachers didn’t really come out and say he could do better, which of course meant he didn’t listen to our mum). He ended up getting his A levels at middling grades – amazing given he didn’t turn up to most of his geography lessons (the school didn’t even tell my mum this until an upper 6th parents evening).

    Hopefully because your son has the ambition to get to grammar school that will give him a bit of a boost…and maybe the thought of your determined daughter coming up behind him?

    Thanks for linking up to #schooldays.

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    • Your brother sounds like my brother! My husband didn’t exactly work hard either, so it’s not surprising my son is like this. I think the grammar school plans are definitely helping him to do better though.

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  2. Sarah,

    Two out of three at grammar school is good, but three out of three would be excellent!

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    • It certainly would, wouldn’t it? These results have made it seem a lot more likely! 🙂

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  3. I often wonder how I did so well at GCSE’s as although I thought I was revising, I really wasn’t! With my old teacher head on, the best thing that any child can do to improve their grades is past papers. I am sure he will do well. xx

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    • Thanks very much! Past papers sound good to me! Active revision suits him best as he’s not good at making notes or charts.

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  4. Ah that’s brilliant, well done to him! I have to admit I’ve always been exactly the same – entirely able academically, but not entirely willing. Sadly I still haven’t pulled my finger out and worked hard at anything in my life, but cruising through is working for me. I hope he’s got more about him than I ever had and achieves great things.

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    • Thanks very much! It’s reassuring to hear that cruising can work, though! Although I’ve warned him that you can’t cruise A Levels. My husband didn’t work hard at school or university, but has worked hard his whole working life and made a success of his career, so hopefully it will work out well for my son too. x

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  5. That’s amazing and well done to him. I think you might need to keep reminding him how great it feels to get those marks but it sounds like he’s on his way!

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    • Thanks very much! He definitely is! I’m so pleased. Hopefully the ‘prize’ of grammar school 6th form will keep him going.

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  6. I have never been able to get mine to revise. I only know my teen has exams because someone posted it on Facebook – apparently he is revising whilst at school. What did you do to get him to revise? And I hope he’s not using those GCSE Maths revision guides – did you hear about all the errors in them?!

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    • Glad it’s not just me who can’t get kids to revise! I never knew when my son had exams in year 7, 8 or 9 and, yes, apparently he was ‘revising at school’. There was a little bit of bribery involved in getting him to revise this time round! I hadn’t heard about the errors in the revision guides, but he was using something online anyway, which he actually really enjoyed!

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  7. Well done him. We’re having to look at SATS books already, and with a child at the other end of the spectrum, I see years of struggle ahead trying to help him through it all #SSAA

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    • Good luck to Monkey and you! I think it’s awful having to worry about SATs at such a young age. My son never excelled, it’s only recently both he and his teachers have realised he is pretty bright!

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  8. Well done him, that is amazing!! I think boys generally have an aversion to revision, my eldest certainly didn’t do a lot at GCSE. That is a really great start though and as it isn’t long now until the real exams, that should be a really good push in the right direction.

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    • Thanks very much! He’s done really well, we just need him to keep up a bit of the momentum now.

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  9. Well done to your boy, that’s fantastic! I hope the grammar school target is now closer after his great mock results. Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

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    • Thanks very much! We know that with those mock results he should be able to get in, he just has to make it happen now!

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  10. They are amazing results in mocks, I really hope he can carry these across and push himself a bit more in his exams. I’m sure however he does he will make you very proud. I really hope he gets the place he wants too #SSAmazingAchievements

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    • Thanks very much, we’re so pleased with him! Hopefully he can keep up the momentum and do even better in the real things and get his grammar school place 🙂

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