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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:19 pm
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Hi All,

My son told me that GCSE Latin is considered more impressive than other GCSEs (including other MFL), by leading universities. Does anyone think this is true? @He has to select his GCSE and he was thinking of doing Latin for this reason...

Any advice appreciated.

Thanks
D


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Location: Reading
I think the best reason to do Latin is because they like it and/or are good at it.

As for whether unis like it, I'm unsure but it will likely depend on what degree if they do.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:45 pm 
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+1 on the do a subject at GCSE if you are good at it and enjoy it. Be warned, Latin is one of those GCSEs that gets much harder in Y10/11 than the basic subject studied in Y7/8/9.

A university is more likely to be swayed by good overall grades at GCSE than specifically being impressed by a particular subject (unless that subject is part of their general/degree entry requirements). And it is very difficult to answer a question that refers to "leading universities"...based on what? If you mean RG unis then they are not the most appropriate for all degree courses, and are a self selecting group anyhow - other "leading" unis are rated by how much research their professors do...research that takes them away from teaching undergrads...


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:22 pm 
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Latin GCSE is a tough one to get a top grade in so historically it has been considered a "good one to get" for students who want to demonstrate academic ability.

However it is available in only a very few schools now so while an admissions officer might well be pleased to see it on an application it is very unlikely to make a difference on its own as to whether you get an offer or not.

If you have an academic DC who likes to challenge themselves then it may well be a suitable option.
But I agree that it does get significantly harder in year 10/11 and there is a mountain of vocab to learn.

I would only advise taking it as an option if the student is motivated and able. Even so I would look at it in the context of other options to make sure the basics are covered along with good breadth.

Also remember that with the changes to the GCSE system the whole process could become more stressful ( changes to the assessments and also being towards the front of those experiencing the new system) so I wouldn't advise bitting off more than one can chew simply in an attempt to impress an admissions tutor who may well not be that bothered.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:40 pm 
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Location: Essex
Short answer - a D / 3 or whatever in Latin will be seen as just another poor grade GCSE, no more impressive than the same in French / History / Business Studies but less of a disaster than the same grade achieved in Maths or English, obviously.

What does your DS want to study at university? Various universities are regarded as better than others for certain things and very few will be regarded as the best for everything, self-selected club - sorry, Russell Group - or no.

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 10:00 pm
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Location: Surrey
GSCE subject grades in the previous years.
http://www.bstubbs.co.uk/gcse.htm

Latin is taken by about 10k students and have outstanding results. I suppose this is an exclusive self selecting group very much interested in Latin and Classical Studies.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
To choose to do GCSE Latin just because it seems impressive to others rather than because you really enjoy it could end really badly.

To do well at Latin you need to invest in it and enjoy it.

Universities want students who love their subject and want to spend time doing it. They also want to see evidence of ability to succeed at exams.

Choose GCSEs that interest you and you are much more likely to do well at them. An A or A star in any GCSE would be better than a C or D in Latin. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:37 pm 
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Thank you everyone, I think he finds latin harder than other subjects but didnt want to rule it out, as he thinks it may be more impressive.... but it seems that it's not obvious that Latin is considered more favourable by unis.

Thanks
D


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:57 am 
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A the risk of repeating myself, if he finds it difficult now, at GCSE option time, then I would absolutely recommend that he considers an alternative....it ONLY gets harder....


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:25 am 
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Location: Essex
d2001 wrote:
Thank you everyone, I think he finds latin harder than other subjects but didnt want to rule it out, as he thinks it may be more impressive.... but it seems that it's not obvious that Latin is considered more favourable by unis.

Thanks
D


But does he actually enjoy it? Does he have a burning desire to study something for which at least the GCSE or even the A level is a requirement (can't think what, off the top of my head, apart from the obvious BA Latin, or Classics at Oxford)? Nothing wrong with taking an option which one finds 'hard', but in which one is willing to put in the extra work needed to succeed. But just doing something because it 'looks good' isn't a good reason to do it.

Has a teacher at the school (the one who teaches Latin?) given him this 'information'? Or is it something that the boys have come up with for themselves?

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Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


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