#GCSEs2019 – the highs, the lows and what teens had to say

GCSEs are over for 2019, and your teen will be enjoying their new-found freedom from revision. When you finished your exams, you likely chatted about them lots with your friends and parents before moving on to the next one. That’s a far cry from today, where the end of each GCSE exam triggers a twitterstorm of memes, jokes and confusion about the hardest and strangest questions.

Forever to the rescue, our tutors chipped in with the answers to put teens’ minds to rest. Here’s our run-down of the toughest and funniest GCSE questions of 2019, and what tech-savvy teens had to say about it.


The question we heard the most about for Edexcel Maths was one to do with ratios. Pupils were asked to find the number of green pens in relation to the number of blue and red. While the consensus was that it was definitely a tricky question, teens were very sceptical that anyone could ever need that much stationary…

On-hand with subject expertise, our experienced tutor Tommy quickly made a video to explain how to work out multiple ratios. With the hashtag #GCSEMaths, he put some teens’ minds to rest about the right way to do it.

Using our online classroom, he explained the answer carefully while also working it out on the interactive whiteboard, just like in an online lesson.

There was also a question about the ingredients needed to make 60 biscuits which sparked an outburst of sugar-hungry memes:


After this paper, too, a Twitter tornado erupted. On finding a question about the number of moles per gram, teens were outraged that it was in Paper Two. They expected moles to be mentioned only in Paper One, and many had therefore not revised the topic since before the last exam. Their shock sparked only more creativity with memes, however, which spilled out all over #GCSEChemistry…

Quick to the scene, Science tutor Charlie offered a solution with her answer video to offer some resolution, if not comfort.


These papers prompted an online outburst too, with some especially long codes confusing teens up and down the country. As unprepared as some might’ve been for the questions, though, they were ready as ever to joke about it after.

As well as sheer confusion, we all remember the sinking feeling of revising a topic back-to-front, only to find it left out of the paper. Were you as quick-witted as this teen though?


In an English Literature IGCSE exam (the international option for GCSEs) at a school in Worcester, horror emerged when a group of pupils opened their paper to discover they’d been taught the wrong book for two years! This puts some other question worries into perspective at least.

Still, at least one student was happy with the questions – all those weeks of revision put to use!

While with the Creative Writing paper, they knew exactly how not to finish a story.

Let’s hope they were joking anyway!


With Physics Paper One, there was much the same post-exam venting as with the other subjects…

Paper Two, however, was the last exam, and for some reason the tweets didn’t mention questions at all.

Well done to everyone who sat their exams this year! While it’s helpful to reflect on how they went straight after, it’s important too that they can put exams behind them and enjoy the Summer ahead.

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