Nell Frizzell | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 20 August 2015

Why Nobody Will Ever Ask You About Your GCSEs. Even If You Really Want Them To

Why Nobody Will Ever Ask You About Your GCSEs. Even If You Really Want Them To

The Debrief: Exams are important. Results are important. But it sure is hard to get anyone to listen.

Of course GCSEs are significant. Never again will you have such a broad reach of knowledge. You’ll never again be able to actually say intelligent things about chemical compounds, simultaneous equations, coastal erosion, Shakespeare, the history of medicine and what people eat for breakfast in continental Europe.

So, whatever grade you get today, you should start by celebrating that. It’s a wonderful thing to have spent all that time learning so much, even if it wasn’t necessarily reflected in your final grade.

But, more to the point, you should try to focus on the learning rather than the grade because, in a few years, literally nobody will give two shiny shits how you did in your GCSEs. The moment you get an NVQ, a job, a diploma, your A levels, an apprenticeship or even just some really impressive work experience, that will be the first thing people see on your CV. That’s what you’ll talk about in job interviews or when trying to impress people’s parents.

I should know – I’ve been trying to talk about my GCSEs for the last 15 years. I mean, literally, all the time. Every conversation. I am absolutely burning to talk about my GCSEs. They were the pinnacle of my academic achievement. And no bastard will ever so much as ask how I did in them.

I’m not even sure if they’re not still on my CV. I certainly kept them on for years – much longer than I should have. I’d got rid of babysitting and added some references that weren’t my teachers, and yet I kept my GCSEs there on my CV in the desperate hope that some potential employer would ask about them. No dice. Nobody. Ever.

We talk about my degree, I suppose. And what I learned during my jobs and freelance writing. I’ve talked about trips I’ve taken and people I’ve met. I talked about how I organise my time and what my ambitions are. I even, once, spent a job interview talking about the time the action movie star Dolph Lundgren taught me how not to get osteoporosis after the menopause. But I have never, ever impressed a potential employer with my GCSE results. I’ve never once been asked for my GCSE certificate. I can’t even remember the last time I managed to successfully cro-bar it into a conversation.


So, however you did in your exams today, whatever you want to do next and wherever you’re heading, take solace from my frustration – because nobody will ever ask you about your GCSEs. Even if you really want them to. 

Like this? Then you may be interested in:

Exam Hell You’ll Absolutely Remember

The Time List of Most Influential Teens

Malala Yousafzai Starts Her GCSEs Days After Offering Support For Kidnapped Girls

Follow Nell on Twitter: @NellFrizzell

Tags: Education