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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:25 pm
Posts: 311
OK, 'tis me! :lol:

The fact is my eldest yr 13 is not doing too good with his A levels (AQA) he's taking English, Biology & Geography & has his heart set on doing Enviromental Science at uni. He received 5 conditional offers to all the uni's he's applied to. He is predicted AAB. 2 uni's have confirmed they will be happy with ABB, but everything has been going down hill for him. :(

He got 5A* 5A's & 1B(something asked him to take & which he didn't want to do :? ). Anyway he sailed through the GCSE's with minimum preparation & not managing his time properly.

When he started his AS level he told me they didn't really carry on from GCSE's & were much, much harder. I should have done something then :(
His results in English so far has been A's but, Biology & Geography have been B's C & after Jan's exam D's !!!!

Was blaming myself before because of family issues / separation & feel if I'd got him a tutor from last yr he would have done so much better.

His confidence has gone & his management of time wasn't great until recently.

Know I have to be strong in order to make sure that where there is a will even at the last hurdle there IS a way.

But which way, I don't know.

Anyone.........please :(


Last edited by zeinab on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:03 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11932
To get those predictions he must have done well at AS so he has a lot of marks 'in the bag'.

He needs to do as many past papers as he can and there should be lots of revision support at school.

He needs lots of encouragement now; help him revise and cook his favourite stuff. Last year many courses did drop grades as they do need to fill places.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:25 pm
Posts: 311
Just by responding Guest, I feel I am not really alone.

Thank you, I shall take on board what you have advised.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:40 am
Posts: 96
This is worrying for you, but not entirely uncommon. I have taught many students who have followed this pattern.

Were the January exams mocks, or modules?

A levels are a big step up from GCSE, and some students find the 'always do what I always did' approach won't get them what they always got. If he breezed through GCSE he may not have discovered a revision style that suits him, and is robust enough for the higher demands. I have a booklet I use with my students, if you PM me I can happily share it.

But I'm with G55... Lots of confidence from you. Don't worry now about what can't be changed, the next 12 weeks are all that matter for now. M


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am
Posts: 580
Hi

Not swallowing pride, you should be proud of your care and concern for your DS.

This is very normal, I've seen it happen a lot in my DD sixth form. As you say the step up is huge and it is a shift to make.......my DD said this week (midst history essay) " my god Mum, I've never found it hard before but it's ****** hard now!"

I think conversations with teachers may be ximportnant now so that he knows what he needs to concentrate on to get the grades he needs, what it is he needs to improve on? Is it technique? Is it content?

Then lots of sleep, lots of relaxation, healthy food and rest. My DD has an A* AA offer to meet and is also stressed and anxious. I think being calm, measured and loving is all we can do.......

Good luck and I will be thinking of you x and your son. :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2354
Get in touch with the school asap and speak to his tutor or Head of 6th form.
talk about your concerns and find out what they are doing at school.
They may be running booster classes (in school and in holidays/study leave) for pupils tha they think are in danger of getting their predicted grades.
Agree with previous comments above but try this as well.
A lot can be acheived between now and the exams - don't panic just get a plan of action and plough on.
Really best wishes.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:52 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:25 pm
Posts: 311
Adding to that I've got a throbbing toothache, see :mrgreen:

No, seriously I've just read back & have absorbed all your positive advice. Mindset, he got those grades for his modules in Jan.

Thank you all so, so much for your kind generosity, that has given me hope & strength to carry my 4 darlings & good luck & best wishes to you all.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:12 pm
Posts: 1300
Location: Birmingham
The AQA Biol4 exam (if that's what it was) in Jan was very hard - A lot of bright students at my son's grammar in B/Ham KEFW got significantly lower grades than expected (B's & Cs) and will have to resit in the summer. Interestingly, some of these thought that had done OK in the exam. My son thought it was a hard paper but he did ok. The Biol4 paper anyway is considered the hardest paper I understand from DW (who is a A Level Biology teacher)

Just needs to settle down for the summer exams and concentrate on the the questions and the mark schemes - unfortunately Biology is a odd subject, my DW finds that sometimes her brightest students don't always get the highest grades because of the odd mark schemes.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:21 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11932
Mark schemes and examiner's reports are useful too - you can find them on the exam board websites (PM me if you can't).

They often give good hints and explain how marks are awarded. In Biology it can often be specific words or phrases they are looking for.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
Posts: 3758
Location: Berkshire
What does your son think himself ? Does he know that he didn't do enough work or is he surprised?

The thing is, he is (probably) 18 and he needs to take some responsibility if he is to achieve.

Without a doubt there's still time for it all to turnaround - with some clever resitting and some extra help, but he is the one putting the effort in , and he's going to have to want to do it. If you've got one of those children who just doesn't understand what he needs to do, you might find you have a job on your hands, and then end up with resentment to cope with as well.

It is very tricky, and I do hope you get a good outcome, but if it doesn't all work out this year, he can redo y13 ( I know a number of students who've done this). It sounds as if the January modules were pretty tough - so some resits might be a good idea.

Geography has some coursework as well doesn't it ? Has he done well in that ? It might help to pull his marks up a bit.

Good luck!


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