Hi everyone, I hope you are all well.
I have news to tell you... As you may know, I took my GCSEs when I was at school, in 2013. On results day in August 2013, I went up to school to collect my results. All was good and as expected, apart from my English. Everyone thought I did really well, but when I looked at my English result, it was marked as 'G'. The marks were split into three sections: Coursework, Speaking and Listening and one question paper - I got marks for the coursework and the Speaking and Listening. Then we looked at the mark for the actual question paper, and that was marked as '0'... My school (Portchester Community School) agreed that there was no way I had no marks. We queried this and asked for it to be re-marked, but it still came back as '0'. So, we said enough is enough and asked what was going on. It turned out that the exam board didn't have my paper (??!!).
If an exam board looses an exam paper, they have to give the person their predicted grade. My predicted grade was a D, but suddenly the exam board "found" my paper... They gave me an 'F' overall. My mum, dad, and I think that the exam board never found my paper, and gave me an "F" because they didn't want to give me my predicted grade.
Just before I started college, in my interveiw, they said that if I didn't get the grade that I wanted, they would support me to improve my grade. A few months after I started, we asked why I wasn't put in a GCSE class, and their answer was because I "wouldn't be able to cope"
We made a deal that if I passed Level 1 and 2 Functional Skills English, I could then re-sit my GCSE. Functional Skills English has never been practical for me because the writing part has to either be hand-written or typed on a computer. Even though I am able to use a computer with my feet, when I get stressed or emotional, my mussels refuse to function effectively. As a result, I couldn't type very well or quickly and before I knew it, my time was up. Straight away I knew that I didn't write enough to pass. I took this exam twice, and the second time around, I passed!
They finally allowed me to join a GCSE English class after passing Level 1. I did well in the classes, but the college still would not let me take the GCSE. I took the class for two or three years before I was allowed to take the exam. I watched lots of other students; my peers gearing up for their exams, knowing that I wasn't going to be taking the exam with them.
By the time I was put in to do the GCSE English exam, in 2018, the system had changed completely. The grades changed from A* to G, to 1 to 9. I had to learn a new set of skills for this exam, which wasn't that bad, but it was still annoying. I was just lucky that I had a fantastic teacher!
The good thing about the exam changing is that it was a shorter exam. I still got double the time take the written exam, but because it was shorter, it was easier. I still did the Speaking and Listening exam with the same amount of time as the rest of the people doing this exam though.
When I came out of my last exam, I was so excited and proud of myself for doing it that I screamed at the top of my lungs. One of the things that I said was “in your face!”, I know that was a bit childish, but I don't really care because I waited so long to do it. I just want to thank the people who believed in me and gave me the chance to do this. It really was an amazing feeling!
It just goes to show that you should believe in yourself and you should never take 'no' for an answer. If you want something that much, you should fight for it!
I collected my English results today, and I got a 3 - only 4 marks away from a 4. It's way better than a G. Strictly speaking it's equivalent to a D, so putting that in, I did pretty well. I was predicted a D at school, so basically I finally got the grade that I was working at in the first place.
I would like to say a massive thank you to those people who have supported me to do this, it really means a lot to me!
Thanks for reading, and see you next time.