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Does it matter if you’re in a lower set for your GCSEs?

Will being in a lower set for your GCSEs affect your A-level and higher educations options? Yes, maybe – if it changes which exams you're put in for. Find out more...

It might be that the class set you’re in – say, for example, a lower set for maths – will only be entered for a GCSE paper where the maximum grade you could achieve is a C (find out more about how important GCSE grades actually are...)

This could pose difficulties later on, if you wanted to either:

  • take maths at A-level (or equivalent) – a C grade at GCSE normally won’t cut it
  • apply to certain uni courses – some will be looking specifically for at least a B in maths.

The same scenario could apply to other classes you’re in a set for, such as English and science.

If you think this might affect you, be honest with yourself. It may be the right set for you, after all, and there will still be plenty of uni courses to choose from later on (as long as you get at least a C grade…).

If you feel that you might be in the wrong set, be prepared to prove it – demanding to be moved to a higher set isn’t going to go down well unless you have the attitude and marks to prove it. Talk to your teacher about what they’d need to see before moving you up.


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