August 20th 1974

“Got 5 ‘O’s including Spok. English”


Let’s review these results shall we?…..

Economics: Grade F FAIL
E.Lit. Syll.B: Grade E PASS (English Literature Syllabus B)
Physics: Grade F FAIL
Eng. Language: Grade E PASS (English Language)
Geography: Grade F FAIL
Rel.Studies: F FAIL (Religious Studies)
Spok. English: C PASS (Spoken English)
History: E PASS
Tech. Drawing: E PASS (Technical Drawing)

The back of the actual certificate (shown below) states “Attainment in an Ordinary level subject is indicated by a Grade A, B, C, D, or E of which Grade A is the highest and Grade E the lowest……. Grade E is the lowest level of attainment judged by the University to be of sufficient standard to be recorded

I think it’s fair to admit I was…. a somewhat less than an average student who somehow managed to barely SQUEAK by in some of these important examinations. It feels astonishing to me now that I could apply myself quite admirably the year earlier and take/pass Mathematics quite easily (albeit also with an “E PASS” grade) but then when the rest came around I was phenomenally sloppy and without any personal application.

I’m surprised in retrospect that I failed Economics (it being something I dealt with quite successfully later in my career) and amazed that I completely stumbled in Physics when, just 2 years earlier, I was flying high in the subject and was first in my class.

No surprises regarding Geography (my wife is nodding her head as I type) or Religious Studies. I don’t think the *ahem* things I was ‘studying’ during my church retreats were necessarily likely to turn up on the exam paper?

I’m afraid I can only be flippant about all of this 36 years after the event. I can’t be convinced that passing more of these O-Levels would have changed my life that much so there’s no point in being regretful after the event is there?

In a nutshell I seemed to adopt ‘slackerdom’ at an early age?!

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2 Comments

Filed under 1974 Diary Entries

2 responses to “August 20th 1974

  1. School was school – some good times – some (very) bad times. Sixth form was great fun. I don’t think B.P. did many of us any favours – these days they would have be crucified for results like ours! I firmly believe that we were allowed to slip through the net and our exam results were not a measure of our ability. That was life back then.

  2. Bee

    I can’t believe you still have your certificate!!!!
    Haven’t seen mine since my first job (which is a pity because I have occasionally had to stab a guess at the results – I know they’re generally correct but not necessarily wholly accurate).
    It was a mix of GCEs and CSEs and I passed 10 out of 11 subjects (failed Biology). I can list the subjects but not the grades and, in some cases, not sure if they were O-levels or CSE. As you say, XX years later, who cares?!

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