Any ideas to help my son get the grades for his university offer? Revision courses?

(26 Posts)
silver73 Mon 18-Feb-13 23:09:05

My son has always wanted to be a doctor. He has an AAA offer for medical school and I want to try to help him as much as possible.

He is hard working but still manages to have a social life/girlfriend.

Someone suggested Easter A2 level revision courses any thoughts or experiences? He is state educated at a good school but I'm wondering if these may help him with his exam technique as every mark seems to count.

pipsqueak Mon 18-Feb-13 23:23:38

Watching with interest as in the same boat with dd .

silver73 Mon 18-Feb-13 23:39:22

Pipsqueak are you finding this harder than your dd? My son does not bother worrying about anything he is just getting on with his work. In the meantime I am terrified he wont meet his offer by a few marks... I want to be drinking champagne on results day not watching my beautiful baby's dreams disappear....

Littleturkish Mon 18-Feb-13 23:55:12

What is he predicted? How 'off' his grades is he?

pipsqueak Tue 19-Feb-13 00:01:45

Yes silver now she has offer and the dream is attainable the requirement to get 3 as takes on new dimension . Previously it was not worth worrying about as all rather hypothetical in absence of offer . She is a little stressed as she is prob borderline in one subject too. So many hurdles !

silver73 Tue 19-Feb-13 00:23:47

Littleturkish DS1 is predicted AAA and is working hard but he really needs to get as many marks as possible just to make sure he gets his AAA.

Pipsqueak my DS1 should get AAA but you never know I just want to help him in any way possible as all they need is a rubbish paper ....

I am looking at Easter revision courses but don't know if they are worth the money. We can't really afford it but if it helps him achieve his dream....

Littleturkish Tue 19-Feb-13 05:45:53

Easter revision will probably not be worth it unless specifically designed for A grade students.

I would pay for/download as many past papers as possible and use Easter as a time of intense revision, using his (or her- for the other poster!) teachers and a private tutor to assist with the marking and identifying areas of weakness and development.

The problem with group revision is that they can attract the 'bright but lazy' or just plain delusional, and the tutors will have too much to do with them to focus on your son/daughter's individual needs.

Good luck and I hope your DCs get the grades they deserve!

seeker Tue 19-Feb-13 05:53:39

If he's getting on with his work and predicted to get the grades he needs, then let him get on with it. Honestly.

someoftheabove Tue 19-Feb-13 09:39:07

I would agree with seeker. If he is on top of his work, knows what he has to do and is on track to get his required grades, I would try to back off, not matter how tempting it is. He is under a lot of pressure and, though he seems to be coping well from what you say, if he has the additional burden of managing your expectations, that may throw him off track.

Sounds like he is on track to me if he is working hard and hitting the grades in practice papers etc. My DD thought about doing one of these courses at Easter, but actually one of her teachers at school put her off ( she used to teach on them) and said that they often attract a lot of kids who are struggling and whose parents have forced them to go so not very motivated.
My DD has approached her teacher in the subject she is most worried about and the teacher has said she will mark any papers DD does over the Easter break. Loads can be downloaded from the exam board website for free.

If you have no reason to worry about him and he is already motivated and working hard I will leave him be- one thing he does not need is your projected worry giving him stress. Concentrate on making him a nice working environment- homemade snacks/food, few treats out if you can afford them, for study breaks etc.
Really sounds like he will be fine!!

seeker Tue 19-Feb-13 10:53:17

My dd is revising for AS levels as we speak. I see my role as part cheer leader, part pitstop manager, but I don't get involved in the actual work unless she asks.

Regular supplies of nice things to eat and drink, and reminders to get out for some fresh air, as relaxed an atmosphere as you can create, then just keep your fingers crossed!

silver73 Tue 19-Feb-13 11:59:26

Thanks everyone for your comments. He is ahead of the game as far as revision and note taking is concerned but seems to be tempted with the 3 days of exam technique/past papers etc practice......In some ways it may be useful in the May half-term as he will already know everything by then and he does drop marks in papers (school got them back) from making silly errors... Will have a chat to him about it.

Theas18 Tue 19-Feb-13 19:56:37

Am a year behind here. DS studying for AS. My plan (as it has always been with all 3) is to stand back as seeker says - pit stop manager and cheer leader.

I suspect unless these are highly selective courses they aren't aimed at A/A* kids.

Also, I rather think that if they need extra help to get through this hurdle , maybe they are always going to find it needs and " extra push". I'm not sure if working at full tilt to pass enough exams/retakes to stay in med school is te best way to be? Is rather my kids were working at something that was well within their capabilities , they werent constantly stressed about, and that they had a "life" outside their studies.

Might feel different next year I guess- mind you he's got to ace the AS exams to even get through this hurdle lol

silver73 Tue 19-Feb-13 23:38:34

Theas18 sorry I am not sure what you are trying to say. My DS1 a A*/A grade student now without any help. I have not even implied that he is struggling with any of the subject matter of his A levels or needs to be pushed quite the opposite. I was asking for opinions because a friend of mine sent her son on one of these courses and it helped with exam technique practice i.e. you get more marks for using the words/expressions that the examiners like to see. Making sure that you are aware of what examiners are looking for in an answer will mean you don't drop marks even though you know the information.

webwiz Wed 20-Feb-13 09:07:17

If he's an A*/A student without any help then he doesn't need a revision course he needs a decent revision guide, plenty of past papers and to ask his teachers about exam technique.

TotallyBS Wed 20-Feb-13 11:45:47

Why the eye rolling from the usual suspect s? Some of whom have first hand experience of bright DCs not performing as expected on the day. Those peeps shouldn't be telling parents to leave their bright kids alone. The extra effort could be what gets that life changing extra point.

Obviously the DC shouldn't be over cooked exam-wise but IMO doing extra to be extra safe is no big deal

Lilymaid Wed 20-Feb-13 11:59:23

I have one DS who took Easter courses, but he was a middling student, aiming for B rather than C. He found them useful as they cleared up the muddly bits in his understanding!
Other DS was A grade student and found that doing exam paper after exam paper was fine for him.

TotallyBS Wed 20-Feb-13 12:16:08

confused at theas's comments. Med school is years of high pressure work. If a student is that delicate that a bit if extra pressure now is too much then its better the parent or DC realises this now.

Littleturkish Wed 20-Feb-13 15:00:42

Silver you can download the examiner's report yourself and read what expression/phrases/style they look for and penalise against.

I would still steer clear of 'crammer' and intensive courses.

Is his college running Easter revision courses? We do special A grade ones for top students.

ImperialBlether Wed 20-Feb-13 15:22:49

Which exams is he taking? Which exam boards? Does he have access to all of the past papers and all of the mark schemes and examiners' reports?

seeker Wed 20-Feb-13 15:37:41

Past papers are a good idea.

But if he is on track, he's obviously doing the right thing, so I wouldn't rock the boat! I think you have to be careful of too much intervention- it can shake their confidence and make them think you haven't got faith in them.

silver73 Wed 20-Feb-13 17:27:49

He is doing OCR biology and chemistry (not Salters). He goes to a normal comprehensive but they are pretty good with resources etc.

I feel I have to defend my actions to some Mnetters...all I am doing is asking him if there is anything I can do to help him as I know how much he wants to be a doctor. He decided at 5 years old and has never changed his mind for a moment. There has never been any parental involvement apart from support for his decisions.

I have talked to him and he says that knowledge is not his problem it is exam technique. His teachers will mark any past papers for him but he says he wants to go on these courses as they are early enough to make a difference to him as he does not want to miss his offer.

He is a lovely boy with a large social circle, a girlfriend he adores and hobbies he enjoys. He is working hard but still going out and about.

Littleturkish Wed 20-Feb-13 18:02:39

Silver, again, I would say- past papers and download the examiners report.

One person has been critical (and not even really critical), lots of good suggestions and shared experiences. I suggest you focus on that and ignore the one comment you disagreed with, and that wasn't applicable to your situation.

ImperialBlether Wed 20-Feb-13 18:43:41

Maybe the course would give him confidence. Is it very expensive?

Can I ask whether he scraped his A grades or whether he got through them with plenty of marks to spare? Because they average all the marks, it's quite important for you both to know that.

Are any of his teachers examiners?

Theas18 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:58:15

Sorry returning to this late. Op I totally agree I think the revision courses do probably work is your child isn't on target and needs pointers to move up to A/A* , rather then helping them stay on target.

Did that make sense? am I confused in my thinking? Maybe I'm wrong, but his teachers probably are best places to give him focussed advice rather then a generic course?

silver73 Thu 21-Feb-13 23:09:53

Son got a second AAA medical school offer today. He has asked to go on the courses as he needs help with exam technique. I have booked them for him and he now sounds much happier. He is completely state educated at a normal comprehensive and has never had any help before...

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