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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:25 pm 
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Does anyone have the inside knowledge on this one? A parent with some good inside knowledge has been told by friends at various upper echelon universities that they look at the profile of GCSEs that a student has gained in one sitting. She has then been told by a Year 13 tutor at her daughter's school, that the number gained in a single sitting is irrelevant. With an increasing number of schools moving to 'personalised learning', and GCSEs taken at all sorts of times, this could be quite a significant issue. Does anyone out there have the inside track on this one?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:22 am 
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I would think that this may well be true for a number of universities - it certainly is for AS levels and medicine. However, I would think there would be some possible variation especially with extenuating circumstances.

The only way to be sure would be to contact individual admission departments and ask.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:34 pm 
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Am quite sure that different admissions tutors will have different attitudes - but they are part of a measure of abillty to cope with workload so taking them over elongated period doesn't demonstrate this so well.
However if the standard number are still taken together & extras are to add bredth then must be beneficial?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:22 pm 
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I think the smart money would say that GCSEs are generally easier than O levels . Most GCSEs are formulaic. It doesn't matter how many you take but it does matter what grades you get . For example 6 taken and 6 A*s gained or 12 taken with 6 A*s and some As and Bs. The latter will be less impressive. Taking some early will probably only cut it it if they are IGCSE Maths or English.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:26 pm 
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The thing is, that it is becoming standard practice in schools to take a range of subjects early, in order to allow time in Year 11 for 'personalisation of the curriculum'. In the school in question, students are encouraged to take 2 subject types early, and science is of the modular variety, so that many students will finish with science in the January of Year 11. Working through a typical student at this school, their exam profile (if doing 2 sciences, and not 3) might be like this:

Summer Yr 9 - one half GCSE
(Winter Yr 10 - early modules of science)
Summer Yr 10 - 3 GCSEs
Winter Yr 11 - complete 2 science GCSEs
Summer Yr 11 - 5 GCSEs

Total 9 1/2 GCSEs over 3 years. The trade-off for a less intense summer Yr 11 is the constant nag of external exams over such a long period; and students will be expected to do 'other things' in Year 11 in their 'spare' time. But might it be a problem to sit only 5 GCSEs in one go?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:35 pm 
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I think you would need to check with university admissions officers to get individual responses but given how competitive it is now I can well see them preferring evidence of the ability to cope with the volume & pressure of doing a greater number of GCSEs in one go.
Universities seem to take a while to react to changes further back down the educational system so you might find they simply don't have an 'official' reaction to this yet.


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