Dubai: What to do if you underperformed in your IGCSE exams?

All is not lost for students who have done badly in their International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations. Peter Davos, Founder and Managing Director at Hale Education Group suggests ways to do the best in the given situation:

* Ask for your paper to be remarked: If you have just missed out on a grade and feel that your examination has been wrongly graded, discuss the possibility of a remarking with your schoolteacher. You will have to pay a fee, which will only be reimbursed if your grade changes.

* Talk to the school about your options: Some schools have certain grade boundaries that you are expected to meet before you can take the subject at IB or A Level.

* Resit the exam: IGCSE exams can be retaken, although rules vary according to subject and exam boards. IGCSE English Language and Maths may be retaken as early as November. Discuss the options with your school; it is possible to retake IGCSE papers while pursuing other courses.

* Do not despair. There are alternative pathways to university admission and a successful career — instead of A Levels, you may consider pursuing vocational qualifications such as the BTECs, which give you the practical skills necessary to enter higher education or employment. BTECs are mostly coursework based, and offered in a range of subjects including business, information technology, construction and tourism.