The A Level results

So my 18 year old son has only gone and smashed it with his A Levels. Lots of kids will have done. But for my son, these results really were against all odds.

To talk to my son, he comes across as a very bright boy. He has a wide knowledge and interest in things like current affairs and politics. In many ways, he comes across as way older than his years.

But he has never been good at schoolwork.

He won’t mind me telling you that he spent 13 and a half years in school underachieving. He has never been able to get things down on paper – never written legibly enough, never written enough words, never been able to express himself in a way that makes sense.

Not only has he struggled to get stuff down on paper, he has never had the motivation either. He is one of these kids who has sailed through school doing the bare minimum. He’s skipped homework or done it badly. He’s handed stuff in late. For 13 and a half years, he has had teachers tearing their hair out. Because they knew he could do more. We knew he could do more too, but we’d kind of accepted that this was just the way he was.

His GCSEs didn’t set the world alight. To be honest, they were fairly underwhelming. He achieved what he’d set out to achieve – a place at grammar school. But only just. He didn’t get a single A at GCSE and I think he was slightly disappointed about that. But in a strange way, he was quite proud to have the ‘second worst’ GCSE results in the year at his new school.

Year 12 started off well with the novelty of a new school and being around bright kids who were motivated to work. But he fell into the role of being the rebel and the class clown, something he had never done at his comprehensive, where there are many more badly behaved rivals ready to take that particular crown. He drifted through the end of year 12 and the start of year 13.

His target grades, based on his GCSEs and his performance in year 12 were CDD.

Only a few months ago we were giving a stark warning. He was on course to fail his geography. Not get a D or an E. To FAIL.

If there’s one thing my son likes to do, it’s to prove people wrong.

If you tell him he’s doing well, he will start to coast even more. If you tell him he’s doing badly, he will prove you wrong.

We were in awe at his mock results – an A in his best subject and Cs in his other subjects. He’d revised for them, but not VERY hard. Could he really get good A Levels?

He actually worked very hard for his exams. He went into each exam calmly and came out feeling confident. But was his confidence misplaced? He’s always been an optimist and always believed in himself (in some situations, believed in himself too much).

But between the mock results, the hard work and the confidence, we started to believe he could do well.

Absolute best case scenario would be A*BB, but a realistic good scenario was ABC. I felt we were looking at ABC or ACC. But we could just as easily have been looking at BCD.

His personal study in geography had come out at C/D. I think this is worth 20% of his final mark, so it was going to drag down his result a bit. If he got a C on his paper, it could still come down to a D. The chances of getting a B in geography were very low indeed. He would need to get an A in his paper.

In many ways, the results didn’t ‘matter’. He’d got his apprenticeship, which is unconditional. But he wanted good results for his own sense of achievement.

We were all feeling the nerves the night before and on the morning of results. Could he really get that ABC?

He went into school on his own and strolled out soon afterwards with his envelope. When he muttered the words, I couldn’t believe it. Yes, there were tears. Not many. He doesn’t like me to cry, it’s embarrassing. But I could have cried A LOT of tears.

He got the same as me. I was a ‘clever kid’. One of the cleverest in my year. Plus I always worked really hard.

Nobody would have ever said my son was one of the cleverest. And he certainly didn’t work hard.

My son got ABB in his A Levels.

I will be proud of that for the rest of my life.

A Level results, A Levels, Son, 365, The A Level results



Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Wow to be told her was going to fail in one subject and then totally turn it around certainly goes to show what kind of a person he is. He dug deep when it matters I guess, and he certainly proved people wrong. Well done, you must be so incredibly proud of the results he achieved x

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    • Thanks very much, I am VERY proud! He’s come a long way since his GCSEs and really dug deep when it mattered. x

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  2. Amazing!! Congrats, Sarah! Your son seems to have the potential to do great and he did in his exams!

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    • Thanks very much, he really did! We’re so proud of him.

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  3. Your son really has done well. It’s good that he does like to prove people wrong. hehehe It sounds like he went and showed everyone. hehehe
    Congrats to him with the fantastic results x

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    • Thanks very much, he really has done brilliantly. He likes nothing more than to prove people wrong, and he certainly did it with his A Levels. x

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  4. That is amazing news. It really shows that he has proved people wrong. Well done xx

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    • Thanks very much! It shows he was bright all along, he just needed to put that extra bit of work in. We’re so proud of him. x

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  5. Amazing how they are all so differnet, my eldest was bright and clever and could read and write before she started school at 4 yrs 6 months but found school boring and never needed to work hard to get good results. She by nature coasted through with little effort om her part but managed mainly good results, and if you told her she could not do something she would believe you and not even try.
    DD2 on the other hand was not so bright by nature and had to work hard to achieve at school. She struggled being left handed and use to read and write backwards until the end of P2 when it just clicked for her. The psychology with her was different, if you told her she could not do something then she would go out of her way to prove you wrong and worked long and hard to get the grades she needed to go to uni.
    DS1 was the “good looking” class clown who caused me years of grief running backwards and forwards to school.
    Well done to him for showing the world he could do it, but there is more to school days than grades and coming out a rounded mature person is a good outcome.

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    • Thanks very much. You’re right, they are all so different and I recognised my boys in your description of your daughters. There is more to life than school and grades, but good grades definitely give you more choices and a better start, so I’m so happy for my son that he has these grades.

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