By the age of 16, many young people have struggled with dyslexia for several years. While some have had appropriate support from school or with a private tutor, many have gone without help or remained undiagnosed even at that late age.
At GCSE or at ICSE examinations, it is possible that results may be disappointing and do not reflect the amount of revision or verbal knowledge of the subject. Without access arrangements, students may have been unable to finish in time. Others may have had problems with the deeper underlying meanings of text or found it difficult to answer the questions correctly, if they were unable to read them accurately in the first place. With access arrangements students may do well but still sometimes the result may not be as successful as expected.
If the results do not reflect the student’s ability, then there is the option to re-sit, either at the existing school or a sixth form college. The student can do the subject again in the same year or the following year depending upon the options available. However, Indian Boards may or may not allow compartmental examinations and the student may have to re-sit all the papers. Choosing the right subjects is important and the step up from GCSE is often a huge one in terms of the amount of reading and written work needed. Being able to use study skills effectively is vitally important here. These involve note taking and being able to find key words in text, as well as the skills of skimming and scanning in order to read information more quickly. Many dyslexic students do not have these skills automatically and tuition in them can make a huge difference at GCSE and A level (ICSE /CBSE or ISC and CBSE+2 level in Indian Education System), where the amount of text being read increases greatly. Mind mapping (using diagrams to represent ideas) either by hand or with the use of software, may help some students plan their work better.
Many students struggle with maths at GCSE or at the Indian Board level examination – not just the concepts but the reading and processing of the question being asked. For others, maths can be real strength.
Dyslexia varies in severity and many dyslexics have average reading and spelling scores but struggle with their short-term memory, so they need to understand that cramming for an exam the night before is not an option.