Question

So in college we do these mini end of topic tests about every 3 weeks. Anyway i just got my latest one back for biology (which is the subject i find hardest and hate the most) and i got a C. I told my dad and he told me off so much saying it wasn't good enough and i should be ashamed of it. I was wondering if you have any advice on how to explain to him that it was a good grade as anywhere E or higher is a pass unlike GCSE where it's C or higher?
 
 
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Answer

I'm so glad you emailed about your exam results and your Dad's reaction. I'm really sorry to hear that he said negative things to you about your grade. Although your Dad's opinion is important, what is really important is that you are happy with the grade you got and so I'm delighted that you have acknowledged that it is, in fact, a good grade. 

 

So, congratulations on getting a C in your hardest subject! I think it is something to be pleased with yourself for.

 

Your question was how do you tell your Dad about the difference between the grading systems of GCSE's and A-Levels and get him to understand that your grade is a good pass? One of the things that can make a real difference to the outcome of a difficult conversation is taking a moment before you start the conversation to prepare yourself and think about the timing of the chat. Maybe you could find a time when things are calm and try and explain to him firstly, how his initial reaction made you feel and secondly saying again (as you are completely correct) that A-Level grades A* - E are all considered passes. 

 

As far as I understand, with A-Levels, the different grades are converted into UCAS points with higher grades scoring higher points. The points, added up, give you your final UCAS score and then offers for university are based on the score you get in your A-Levels. University courses require a certain amount of UCAS points which are different for different courses and they are usually dependent on how popular the course is and the academic standard that the university wants for that course. I found the following online relating to A-Levels - 80+% is an A grade, 70-79% offers a B grade, 60-69% is C, 50-59% is D and 40-49% offers you an E grade. A-Levels are a higher level qualification than GCSEs and are graded differently. With GCSEs, grades A-C are considered a pass for continuing with education and other applications.

 

I've found two guides to A-Levels online which are written for parents, maybe they would help explain things to your dad? Have a look at these - AS and A Levels explained and a parents guide to A Level results

 

I hope that this helps explain. 

 

Take care,

 

Penny 

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