• Question: Hi how are you? I have a question to ask you if that’s ok. My question is did you get good grades in high school like were you good at any subjects or bad at any?

    Asked by Anya A on 4 Jun 2021.
    • Photo: Gemma Singer

      Gemma Singer answered on 4 Jun 2021:


      Hi! Of course! That’s what we’re here for 🙂
      I did get quite good grades in high school. I was never the best in the class but I was usually above average. I tried my best to do all the homework set and made sure I set time aside to study before tests. Geography was my worst subject at the start of high school … and sometimes if I didn’t have time to finish all my homework this was the subject I would sacrifice and would give in my homework late (although I would always do it!). Funnily enough by the end of high school it was actually the subject I did best in!

    • Photo: Melis Duyar

      Melis Duyar answered on 5 Jun 2021:


      To be honest I was good at a few subjects in high school but mostly average in maths and science classes. I remember taking elective classes on psychology and photography which I was quite good at, but these were not necessarily what I wanted to do beyond high school. I think a lot of times my grades suffered from a lack of focus, but once I decided I wanted to be good at engineering to solve climate and energy related problems, I was able to get much better grades in university (although I had to work much harder because I had to make up for things I didn’t pay attention to in high school!). So I think it is important to recognise early on how classes can help you achieve your goals and stay motivated (and put in the necessary amount of work to get better).

    • Photo: Murat Islam

      Murat Islam answered on 5 Jun 2021:


      Hi Anya, I really struggled with history and greography but I also struggled with physics and maths in highschool. Mostly because I couldn’t remember things easily and my teachers weren’t really good at responding to my learning style. This didn’t stop me becoming a mechanical engineer which requires mostly physics and maths. Because I knew the job has nothing to do with my school marks, and I knew I really enjoyed most aspects of engineering. I persevered and tried my best to get better marks and go to a good university. You learn a lot after becoming an engineer, too.

    • Photo: Carys Kelly

      Carys Kelly answered on 7 Jun 2021:


      Hey Anya! I got good grades in high school, I was lucky to be quite academic but I also worked really hard in my final years at school. I was great at Maths, Physics and Chemistry, but really struggled with English. I worked extra hard on this, asked lots of questions and went for extra help after school. If your school does after school/weekend supported study, definitely go along to it! You’ll be able to get help from your teachers and as the whole class isn’t there, they’ll be able to spend more time with you one on one.

    • Photo: Abigail Seager

      Abigail Seager answered on 8 Jun 2021:


      Hi Anya! I did get good grades, but there were subjects that I found quite difficult so I had to study a bit more to get good grades in those. I was pretty good at the core subjects like Maths and English. But my GCSE options were Food Tech, PE, Latin and Spanish and I found all of those pretty hard except Spanish which I loved.

    • Photo: Sophie Dawson

      Sophie Dawson answered on 10 Jun 2021:


      Hi Anya,

      Yes, I got good grades in the subjects I chose to do for GCSE and A level but I wasn’t good at everything! I worked hard to get the good grades as I knew they’d help me get into a good university. I was especially good at physics but that was probably because I enjoyed it so much. The important thing is to pick subjects that you enjoy so that you actually want to spend your time studying them, rather than having to force yourself to do it.

    • Photo: Richard Totty

      Richard Totty answered on 11 Jun 2021:


      Hi Anya A.
      I had quite a range of grades at GCSE level (subjects studied between 13years of age and 15years of age).
      History was my favourite and I scored the highest grade obtainable at that time, an A*.
      I also loved Art and Design, Design and Communication, Geography (Human & Physical) and Mathematics, achieving an A in each of these subjects.
      For the sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and for English Language and English Literature, I achieved B’s in each subject.
      The only foreign language class which I studied, was French, and it was the subject I enjoyed the least, which I only got a grade C in.
      At A-Level (subjects studied between age 16 and 18 years of age):
      I studied Mathematics, I did worse than I expected to, as I love the subject, only scored a D.
      I also studied Physics, I really enjoyed the practical laboratory classes and scored very highly in those classes, but the written exam I did badly, and again worse than I expected to, only achieving a grade D.
      Where I excelled and the subjects I enjoyed most of all, where Geography, achieving a grade A (the highest grade available at the time) and in Geology.
      Geology, I only started studying at A-Level, and I took it on as an AS to begin with. But after I had completed the first 3 module exams and achieved A,A,A, I realised it was my best subject, so I converted it into a full A-Level, studying a further 3 modules for a second year of study. At the end of my A-Levels, I achieved a further 3 A’s for the remaining 3 modules on the Geology course.
      My school actually didn’t have enough teaching resources to teach Geology to me on a full duration of classes, so we only received half the normal hours of classes, but I still excelled in this subject, which helped me realise that it was and still is my favourite subject.
      I almost was convinced to study Geology at university at one point, but then decided to study Civil Engineering instead, as I could see more opportunities to apply Civil Engineering to a wider range of future projects, so I thought I would be more employable as a Civil Engineer than as a Geologist. Although as it happens, I now work for a company which employs people with both Geology or Civil Engineering degrees, so either could have meant I ended up in my current job.

    • Photo: Ruth McKinlay

      Ruth McKinlay answered on 17 Jun 2021:


      I got middling to good grades at school, 10 GCSEs at grades A-C with an A in maths and an A in physics specifically.
      I didn’t get great grades at A-levels, I got a D in physics, a C in further maths but got an A in maths. At the time the grades needed to get into university where less than they are now, however as long as you are good at the right subjects (maths & one science usually for engineering) there are always ways into the profession that aren’t just getting really good grades. You could do a foundation year at university which is an extra year to get you to the same level as the other students, or you could go through an apprenticeship route! There are lots of options that don’t just involve getting really good grades, but that is the simplest route if you can manage it.

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