Maths IGCSE/GCSE

(20 Posts)
Bunbaker Thu 21-Jan-16 10:36:55

My daughter has just sat maths IGCSE and feels reasonably confident about the exam. I received an email from school today saying that if she didn't get an A* she would have to do a resit in the summer.

How important is it in the grand scheme of things that she gets an A*? I know she will have passed, and she may get an A, or a B at worst. Does she really need an A* or is the school getting its knickers in a twist unnecessarily?

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 21-Jan-16 14:59:32

what would she like to do after gcses?

Needmoresleep Thu 21-Jan-16 15:09:11

Is she either Oxbridge material or a potential medic or likely to take STEM subjects at A level.

For the former the number of A*s can matter. My DD just failed the initial sift for Nottingham medical school by a single point. Essentially she needed an additional A* at GCSE. And if she is doing A level in a STEM subject she might as well make sure she has mastered the maths basics.

Otherwise it probably does not matter.

Bunbaker Thu 21-Jan-16 15:21:40

She wants to study geography, biology and psychology, but hasn't decided on her fourth subject yet. She isn't aiming for Oxbridge or a medical career.

Needmoresleep Thu 21-Jan-16 15:39:59

She might check University requirements. Some bits of psychology and biology can be quite mathematical, and presumably geography as well. If she does not plan to take A level maths it might be useful to have a top grade in GCSE.

FWIW DD's school took the same approach when she sat maths GCSE early. But they did not let kids sit unless they were reasonably confident they would get the A*.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 21-Jan-16 15:42:14

Hopefully Noblegiraffe will pop in.
I think if she got an A I would leave it, but a B I would probably get her to resit because maths is pretty useful for all of those subjects.

Bunbaker Thu 21-Jan-16 15:43:40

DD's school only let those that they thought would get an A* sit the exam.

I just wondered how much difference an A from an A* would make. She did tons of past papers for revision and was getting high enough scores for an A*, so hopefully it won't be an issue. She definitely does not want to do A level maths.

OkaZaki Thu 21-Jan-16 17:00:17

Maths would go really well with those other three subjects. If she is good enough to get an A* now she should at least consider it for A level - or AS

Bunbaker Thu 21-Jan-16 17:11:47

She really, really hates maths with a passion. The only reason that she was good enough is because she worked extremely hard and did umpteen past papers as practice - the pile is about 4" high (I admit to being a revision nazi and had to practically stand over her to make her do them). I also got a her a tutor because her maths teacher wasn't very good.

Oh, and she hated maths before I got her the tutor and made her revise. She is desperate not to take maths as a subject again.

OkaZaki Thu 21-Jan-16 19:39:24

Ah shame. Should stick with an A then!

noblegiraffe Thu 21-Jan-16 22:48:04

If she does get an A* then what would she be doing when she should be doing maths? I'm hoping the A* kids aren't just left twiddling their thumbs! Perhaps whatever they're doing (some sort of extension work?) they only want to offer to the absolute best kids, and let the rest concentrate on getting their A* grade in the summer (A* is v important for progression to A-level).

If she ends up doing geography, biology or psychology at uni, then she would be advised to take maths in sixth form; if not A-level, then the new Core Maths AS.

Bunbaker Fri 22-Jan-16 07:05:19

"If she does get an A* then what would she be doing when she should be doing maths?"

The IGCSE group now have private study periods instead of maths. DD is using them to revise for other GCSEs/do homework/catch up with other subjects.

TeddTess Fri 22-Jan-16 10:10:54

i did similar A levels and didn't do any maths beyond GCSE.
i really regretted it later.
those A levels open up a lot of degree subjects and post uni career options. I hated maths too but was actually quite good at it. anyway just sharing!

OhYouBadBadKitten Fri 22-Jan-16 13:10:13

Thats a long gap between now and september for a levels. i wouldn't be happy with that, its going to be a difficult restart for those that want to continue with it.

BlueBelle123 Fri 22-Jan-16 13:15:50

From my very limited experience of one! DD scraped an A at GCSE, always said she loathed maths and couldn't understand how anyone could possibly do it at A level. But yes she is now doing AS maths and whereas it was a definite to be dropped if she does well enough in her AS she is going to continue with it, she says its a lot better that GCSE maths and she begrudgingly admits that she is actually enjoying it. A lot have found that subjects they loved at GCSE they are not quite so found of or are now going to drop after AS's.

As others have said with your DD's A level choices maths would go really well particularly as they have upped the maths content in Biology, don't know about the other two.

noblegiraffe Fri 22-Jan-16 14:52:59

Private study periods instead of maths? For kids who will go onto A-level? Sometimes it beggars belief the idiotic decisions that some schools make about their curriculum.

She needs to think long and hard about her decision to drop maths. She will need it for uni course based around her A-level choices (whether it's an entry requirement or not), and is she aware that A-level maths would boost her potential lifetime earnings by up to 33%?

TeddTess Fri 22-Jan-16 16:00:05

can she do a stats based Maths AS ? lots of people struggle with the stats element of psychology. Geography & Biology has a fair amount of stats too.

Bunbaker Fri 22-Jan-16 18:22:01

"Thats a long gap between now and september for a levels. i wouldn't be happy with that, its going to be a difficult restart for those that want to continue with it."

They will be doing maths lessons for those who want to do A level.

Thanks for the feedback. I will have a chat with DD.

bbpp Fri 22-Jan-16 19:33:49

From what you've stated I don't think an A* would be of much benefit to her, in comparison to an A. I don't think it's worth it since she hates it and it requires tutoring. Ditto to carrying it on into a level.

An A is a wonderful grade, and a happy daughter doing subjects she enjoys at a level is much better (and will produce much better results) than a stressed out one overloaded with work, studying a subject she hates.

BlueBlueBelles Fri 22-Jan-16 19:43:49

I did my maths GCSE in year 10, and got an A. I then had private study periods, as I didn't do a level maths, and got my option subjects which were lower up to A grade by my year 11 exams, so for me it was worth doing it early, and sticking with an A.

And now fifteen years on I have nearly finished an entire maths degree, and teach ks3 and ks4 maths, so sometimes you can go back to maths grin

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