Did you fail your GCSE science and feel that's the end for you? Well, the simple answer is, that's not the end for you. This is not an attempt to get your hopes up for nothing but to enlighten you on the right steps to take. This piece contains everything you need to know about the Science GCSE examination, how to avoid failing and what to do if that happens. Also, it touches on whether you need to retake the examination.
What is Science GCSE?
GCSE is the abbreviation for General Certificate of Secondary Education. Science GCSE is a special certificate for science-based students. It can be viewed as a promotional exam from ordinary to advanced levels. It's the prerequisite for transitioning into a higher academic pursuit, especially in science-based subjects, including biology, chemistry, physics and maths.
In this exam, ordinary-level science-based students are expected to participate in six papers (two for each selected science subject). They are tested in different key areas of knowledge to ascertain their level of proficiency in these subjects.
Indeed, the exam is the yardstick for testing if students are fundamentally equipped for the next phase of learning in the sciences.
In recent times, students have been at liberty to select from one of two choices of science GCSE, including the Double Award Science and the Triple Award Science.
Students are expected to take two exams out of three science subjects, including Biology, Physics and Chemistry, for the Double Award Science, also called Combined Science. That's to say that students are to get two GCSEs in biology and physics, chemistry and biology, or chemistry and physics.
In the Triple Award Science, also called Single Sciences, Students are expected to get three GCSEs in all three subjects.
The reason for several choices of GCSE is because, at the inception of the exam, the subjects looked somewhat divided among the student's gender. While male students selected physics, females were inclined towards chemistry and biology. The need to balance this gender polarization led to the creation of the double science GCSE.
Do You Have To Retake Science GCSE If You Fail?
This is the million-dollar question in the minds of several students who have failed the GCSE exam at a point in their academic life. However, the answer to the question hinges on two perspectives.
Yes! If you fail, you have to retake your science GCSE, but this depends on one crucial factor. You have no choice but to go for a resit if you're interested in opting for STEM careers. STEM is the simple abbreviation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
So, if you want to take up any STEM career, that is, if you want to become a physicist, chemist, biologist, doctor, nurse or any science-based profession, you must retake your science GCSE.
On the flip side, the answer is NO! You don't have to retake your science GCSE if you're not interested in furthering your career in STEM. However, if you'd like to venture into arts and accounting, there are relevant GCSE exams you must sit for to qualify for advanced levels.
You're bound by an obligation to take a GCSE exam regardless of whichever course you take in as much as you want to go to college. You can't escape the exam even if you don't have to take the science GCSE. You'll only escape if you choose not to continue your education, and that would be to your detriment in the long run. This is because education is vital and key to progress.
How To Retake Your Science GCSE Exam?
Now that you're clear on the importance of having your GCSE certificate in science, let's get to what you need to do to pass the examination and pass with flying colours.
- Register for the exam
Your first port of call is to register again for the exam. Don't feel ashamed that you want to resit the exam. It's no big deal. Failure is not a failure until you decide to make it so. You might have failed in your first attempt or even failed to bag a C grade with a couple of attempts; that doesn't mean you can't pass the exam.
So, take the bull by the horn by registering again for the exam. You might not be able to take the exam at your former school, so you'll have to pay the examination board and get a good centre.
- Prepare for the exam
This is what you have to get right. Success doesn't come through magic tricks; you'll never pass if you misjudge or underestimate your capabilities. The first thing to do during preparation is to evaluate your level. Be truthful about your weaknesses and get conscious about turning these weaknesses into strengths.
Set a working timetable for reading and concentrate more on weak areas. This way, you'll be able to expand your horizon within a short period. All it takes is being determined; the goal is attainable when you are intentional about winning. It doesn't just stop at being intentional; you must put in the right amount of work required.
- Reach out for help
No one is an island of knowledge; some people find some things easier to do than others. It's best to reach out to friends or family members who can assist you in preparing for the exam. You need their help to further understand deficient subject areas. It's not shameful to do it since you'll have a good result to show in the long run.
However, when selecting a helper, avoid those who will demoralize you by talking you down or mocking your failure. Avoid these sets of people like a plague. Be positive and stay only with positive-minded people who see the best in you and challenge you to do more.
- Set achievable goals
The minimum required grade to pass the science GCSE is a C-grade. Once you get a C grade, you're good to do. However, nothing stops you from achieving an A-grade. After all, those who got an A-grade aren't special; they only put in the right energy and determination needed for an A-grade. You can do likewise, too. Don't feel you can't achieve this feat because once you do so, you might not have the mental power to pursue a C-grade. Choose the best for yourself always.
- Adhere to the stated instructions
During the exams, ensure to adhere strictly to the guidelines. Steer clear from anything that might disqualify you or get you chased out of the exam centre. Give your best and avoid every form of exam malpractice. In the end, you'll pass the exam and be able to further into advanced levels.
Never be tempted to take A-levels without passing your science GCSE. The workload would be overwhelming. Plus, it's not advisable to fight two battles at once. Even if you're studying A-levels, don't take the exams yet until you pass the fundamental science GCSE. Take it slow and steady, one at a time, so you can win conveniently.
Again, you can't run from passing your GCSE exams if you're interested in a STEM career. Brace up, and retake the exam; you will pass eventually.
This post was updated on 01 Aug, 2023.