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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:58 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:00 pm
Posts: 558
Location: Wales
DD will be taking her A levels in 2010: Psychology, Biology, Critical Thinking, Chemistry, General Studies. For her AS levels she achieved A, B, B, C in the first 4 in that order (don't think they offered General Studies at AS).

By her own admission she 'went off the rails a bit' during the first year in 6th form and didn't really put in the work. Pulling herself together with a couple of months to go before ASs she managed to achieve the C in chemistry despite a predicted U grade and the B in biology despite a predicted D grade. Imagine what she could do with a full year of application!

Now she has announced that she can't stand chemistry and wants to drop it! :shock: Surely this is crazy as sticking it out for another 9 months should earn her at least a C at A level and points make prizes? DD says that to make up for it she wants to take up maths with stats as an extra AS level (she got a B for maths at gcse). Isn't this a bit of a gamble and doesn't it bring fewer points?

Her teachers have said that if she continues to apply herself she could realistically achieve an A* in psychology and an A (or even A*) in biology. DD seems a bit paranoid that she could fail the chemistry and that would look bad on her Uni applications. She has now started saying that maybe she would like to fast track or take another year to get a full a level in the maths but to be honest I don't think her maths skills are as good as her chemistry skills (she had an A for chemistry at gcse).

We have been round and round this 'discussion' and are getting nowhere. DD is adamant and has started saying annoying teenager things like: 'I'm 18 now and it's my life' etc. Please help with any advice you have - my questions are:

1. Isn't it safer to stick with the chemistry given that she knows she is working at a C level at least and probably could do more?

2. Isn't it risky to embark on a maths course at this stage?

3. Am I right in saying she would get fewer points substituting maths AS for the chemistry A level?

4. Do universities favour students who get all their points in one sitting (normal 2 years of 6th form)?

5. Am I just being an interfering old parent and should I just let her get on with it at this stage?

* She wants to do psychology (maybe with something like forensics or criminology) or a more specialised subject like educational psychology at University and wants to go to a Russel Group.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:08 am 

Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 2:09 pm
Posts: 978
Location: Solihull, West Midlands
I believe most Russell group unis prefer three full A levels than two and two halves (and General Studies would certainly not count, Critical thinking I'm not sure, depends on the course) - however the only way you will make progress on this I think is if she finds out the entry criteria for herself for a few likely courses - presumably she is starting on UCAS etc, visiting open days, looking on the various websites which usually have very good information about the requirements for particular degree courses. Certainly Maths/Stats would be very useful to have at AS for any kind of degree with a scientific flavour, but also I would have thought Chemistry would be vital for forensics (a very competitive option, everyone's watched too much CSI!). Phone calls directly to admissions tutors at this stage might also be useful, rather than relying on anecdote.

And even if it doesn't work out this year, a planned gap year with perhaps part-time study and some relevant work experience might be a good option anyway

My nearly-16 year-old DD is already expressing very vigorous opinions about her future A levels and place of study which could cause angst for many months so I do sympathise!

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:38 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:39 am
Posts: 109
My niece is doing psychology at Plymouth - she only has GCSE maths, and has struggled with the stats element of pyschology. So there may be method in your daughter's madness.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:43 am
Posts: 118
Could she....... drop the General studies and or the Critical Thinking,this would free up extra time to spend on her Chemistry.

I think she should discuss the options with the Head of Sixth form.

Let us know what she decides.


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