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 Post subject: Critical Thinking AS
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:46 pm
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Does anyone have a view on how useful or otherwise Critical Thinking is? My DD has done it for two years during her GCSE years and is due to take the AS in a few weeks, in the middle of her other exams. she got a B in the mock and should get an A if she does a bit more work. However she is now arguing that that time would be better spent on other subjects as if she did end up with a B this would be a definite point Against her at University entrance (you are clearly not allowed to be average in this!) and that no academic institution thinks it's a serious subject anyway.

The school is dropping the subject after next year and whilst relatively keen that she takes it, not insisting and indeed a lot of her friends aren't bothering. I certainly don't want to add unnecessary pressure at this stage, particularly when there is apparently a risk it could even be a disadvantage.
On the other hand she has done two years of work on it!
Help!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:47 pm 
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I would check whether if she takes it she needs to cash it in - if the school are happy for her to wait for the results & then decide whether to cash it in this might be an option. If she doesn't cash in then it doesn't have to go on her UCAS form - although there is some debate about whether it would need to go on her SAF if she applies to Oxbridge.

The Critical Thinking exam does seem to be better thought of than General Studies so if there is a chance of an A grade it might be worth a shot. It probably does depend on how much more work she needs to do to get the A grade & how pushed she is with her other subjects. Also how the exam falls - if it is going to make her tired for another exam the same day for example.

Apart from the fact that it seems a shame to have 'wasted' 2 years of work I would say if DD doesn't want to do it then don't worry about it - not a battle worth fighting at this time of the year! The course in itself is actually quite useful in the skills it teaches so DD will have benefitted from it in this way at least.

One last thought! If she takes the AS this year & misses the A grade will she have the chance of resitting in January or is the subject being dropped totally by the school?

Best wishes for the next couple of months - how does exam time always come round so quickly!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:58 pm 
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Thanks KB - I thought you'd have an idea. :D

It's about the same time as her French oral -which she got an A* in, in the mock but which she wants to do to A2 so is working hard for - and it's just before the science papers.
She can take it next year though I suspect she won't want to by then (esp as she is still toying with doing 5 ASs - or hopefully (I think) 4 plus Italian GCSE). The school will let those who started this year finish off and take it if they wish. I will ask about the cashing in thing, though I think she probably will have a shot at Oxbridge, especially now Scotland looking impossible.

Is anyone listening to or have they read The Lessons - by Naomi Alderman, currently on Book at Bedtime. A very good book to give to any aspiring Oxford applicants - or indeed anyone turned down!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:00 pm 
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ps I am glad you think that the skills are useful. Education for education's sake is a very good thing and she has had a great teacher so has got something out of it!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:00 pm 
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Clearly I'm posting too often if I've got a reputation :)

If it were me (& we have been in a not dissimilar situation recently) I would leave the Critical Thinking. The risk of having any kind of 'B' grade on an Oxbridge application isn't outweighed by any slight potential benefit of the Critical Thinking AS taken along with GCSEs. Better to focus on maximum number of A* grades for GCSEs & outstanding marks in 4 AS modules next year!

I know I'm repeating myself! but unless she is confident of being able to get 90%+ in the 5 AS subjects she will do much better to stick to the 4 & maybe even have time to enjoy 6th form life :lol:

I am so looking forward to a 'results free' August next year. This is the 5th year in a row for us - with 2 of them having been GCSE/A level double whammies!


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:57 pm 
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I'd be very interested to know why the school is dropping Critical Thinking. Perhaps they don't think it is very valuable?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:21 am 
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You are right. They are switching to what sounds Far more interesting to me. A non-examined course in classical literature and studies which DD would have loved (annoyingly!).

She has decided not to take CT. I talked with her teacher who felt, rather like KB, that it wasn't something to push for hard, although she could have got an A with a little prep. He didn't think that a B (esp taking it in year 11) was a disaster, but also said the skills learnt were useful anyway. Most of her friends are not taking it either...

Next is the how many ASs but the school are being very good about leaving it to her. Seems to me she is moving to dropping maths but not there yet.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:47 am 
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Do be careful - it is no longer the case that only module results which have been "cashed in" are available to universities. They are able to see the lot and good universities and the usual over subscribed departments are increasingly asking for the whole set of results. I obtained this information direct from UCAS.


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