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Should I let my Son sit an extra A Level?

(30 Posts)
Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 15:31:34

My DS wants to sit A Level Hebrew. Should I pay for his exams? Is it a valuable A Level?

Eastpoint Fri 11-Apr-14 15:38:38

Does he speak Hebrew at home?

It depends what university course he wants to apply to, have a look on the Student Room website and see whether the courses he is interested in include native languages, some discount them.

It all depends what university course he wants to take, or maybe it will help in certain jobs. However, an a level in Hebrew would most definitely stand out on a cv and languages are always a handy skill to have.

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Fri 11-Apr-14 15:41:16

What grade is he likely to get?

Educatingme Fri 11-Apr-14 15:42:31

Depends. What other subjects is he doing? Will the Hebrew stop him getting good grades in those?

Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 15:49:13

I speak Hebrew with him now and again but my wife will only speak it with him. I had a look on AQA and from a rough guess I think he could get a B no problem but I don't know. In his Sixth Form he is taking Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and French. I don't think it will stop him getting good grades.

Educatingme Fri 11-Apr-14 16:03:58

In which case, why not? Four strong A level subjects at good grades will be more than enough. Always useful to have an extra languages A level. Plus, if you have a son who is keen on his studies, be grateful grin. I wouldnt stand in his way.

Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 16:11:32

I am okay with him doing it but I was just concerned that it might not add to employability.

Educatingme Fri 11-Apr-14 16:21:20

Do you mean, it's not worth the exam fee/ a bit of tuition because it may not pay back in a job directly?

That's the wrong way to look at it, if I can be a bit direct with you. Your DS is about to enter into two years of 6th form and then probably 3-4 years of a degree plus perhaps grad study. It's hard work and they need to feel respected and valued while they do it. If you interfere in his subject choices, it needs to be for an excellent reason.

It would one thing to say, none of your A level is a strong RG subject; you mist have at least two. But he has three already plus psychology, so that's nor an arghument.

It would be another thing to say, I am concerned that it will dilute your effort and put your other grades at risk. but you say that's not an issue.

So you are just left with, meh, is it worth £50 entry fee, will it get you a job? I think he would be well within his rights to resent that as a reason for exerting your authority and preventing him doing something he wants to do.

As for how useful it will be: not specially. If it's ever relevant that he speaks fluent Hebrew, I doubt they will care if he has an A level in it: being bilingual will be the main thing. Having two MFLs isn't wrong.

Let him do it if he wants to. Save your authority for when it matters. Show him you are proud of him for wanting to do well.

Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 16:32:57

Money is not a problem. I know that A Levels are hard but I will contact some local schools for him and see.

I think he should definitely do it, my bilingual friend took the exam just because she could along with her others and got a good grade with very little effort. it will add to his UCAS points and look good on his CV if nothing else. In the case of my friend she did eventually use the qualification although it wasn't her original aim.

Oh friend sat exams at college, however it was distance learning and having the exam papers sent to her place of study

Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 16:39:44

We have a local Jewish school and they do Hebrew so he could pop over and sit the exam I guess.

JaneinReading Fri 11-Apr-14 16:43:46

Definitely. Also for many careers like law and most banking careers the type of A level is irrelevant as long as it is a proper subject. It doe snot have to be relevant to the career at all. He may well do 3 of the 4 subject he is doing at school for A2 as people tend to drop one in the upper sixth.

Also it will help him have more UCAS points. My lawyer daughter recently was doing job applications and even needed her music exam grades 6 - 8 in piano, singing and cello as they give you UCAS points and the on line application she was doing wanted number of UCAS points.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 11-Apr-14 16:46:28

If he wants to do it, and he already speaks it why not let him start and see how he likes it.

If you're worried about employability.... it would of course depend in what field. That's a slightly odd combination of sciences but no maths plus MFL(s) ... but who knows, there might be a perfect niche as e.g. a multilingual science writer.

Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 16:47:36

Really? My DS has Violin qualifications. I did not go to university in England so I am not familiar with the system here.

Educatingme Fri 11-Apr-14 16:49:37

I agree that not doing maths looks a little strange. Does he know what degree he wants to do? I would be swapping the psychology for maths, myself.

UCAS points: if you have four strong A levels then you will already have the total of what's wanted. Topping up with music exams is rejected by the selective universities anyway; and most employers only want a certain number which he would more than have if he has 4 As and a B at A level.

Nasherscot Fri 11-Apr-14 16:53:02

He said he wants to study Medical/Forensic Anthropology. He did a FSMQ at school and they said it was equivalent to a AS Level.

JaneinReading Fri 11-Apr-14 18:31:02

(Don't worry about the music exams. As said above it is your A levels which get you university places but some employers later want a tally of UCAS points so it does no harm to have extra points eg from the Hebrew A level (and higher music exams for those who have done them)).

Educatingme Fri 11-Apr-14 20:16:42

That's a very specific course. He would do well to have a very careful look now at the entry requirements and also at the employment statistics for the university he is considering. It would be sensible to have A level choices that provide a good Plan B in case he decides on a different Uni course.

I would encourage him to reconsider his choice of psychology rather than a full maths A level. I'm afraid that not all universities will consider his FSMQ, and anyway it's only equivalent to an AS level, whereas Unis will be wanting A level.

Your problem isn't Hebrew here, it's the lack of a proper maths A level, if he is thinking about a medical/scientific option.

MincingOnBy Fri 11-Apr-14 20:36:28

If he wants to do a Hebrew a level and there is no chance it will jeopardise any other grades I think you should be 100% supporting this. I would not be concerned about whether it will add to employability or university prospects - if he wants to do it as he is interested that alone would be good enough for me. By the by though I do think an extra language and an extra subject chosen out of interest will always be a positive as it just shows a motivation, interest, willingness to go above and beyond the bare minimum. To be encouraged.

anitasmall Sat 12-Apr-14 07:30:34

Do not stop him if he wants to sit A level Hebrew. If he is bilingual it won't affect his results.

(Many bilinguals are taking A levels in languages for in other countries universities are for free.)

boys3 Sat 12-Apr-14 11:47:29

OP - despite what some might say Chemistry, Biology and French (an MFL) are all considered strong facilitating subjects by the top universities - I'll not use "RG" as St Andrews, Bath, Lancaster, all top Unis, are not actually in the RG.

Link here to how different subjects are viewed.

www.kings.cam.ac.uk/files/undergraduate/subject-matters.pdf

My only advice would be to remember that the top Unis value quality over quantity, and pretty much all course offers will be based on 3 A levels, so if the course offer is A*AA as an example, taking 5 A levels and getting ABBCC won't be much help.

Recommend looking at entry requirements for the course he is interested in on Uni websites as they will say clearly whether any specific subjects (eg Maths) are either essential or highly desirable for that particular course.

BeckAndCall Mon 14-Apr-14 09:47:30

I don't know specifically about Hebrew, but all other MFL A levels have a significant literature or social science content - not just the language. If that's the case, you'd have to think how he would be taught those.

And I'm really surprised by janeinreading - I've never heard of an employer wanting UCAS points - never before. Most unis don't even want UCAS points - they're just grade oriented. But if that's the case, that's helpful as I have a 'soon to be applying for law jobs' DD!

hibatahir Mon 14-Apr-14 10:44:36

dear if your son is good enough in study then you have no need to do that.

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