GCSE results: why bright, poor students fail to achieve top grades

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The fourth Thursday in August is a day that is anticipated with equal measures of hope and trepidation by hundreds of thousands of young people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This is when the results of GCSE examinations are released. These exams quite often determine the path these young people will follow – perhaps through upper secondary education, further education, or higher education. Small wonder people get nervous.

Like other exams, GCSEs act as a kind of sieve. Those who do well are presented with opportunities, while those who don’t do so well can…

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