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GCSEs friends son wants to do more than nine school won't allow it.

(97 Posts)
megcleary Fri 31-Jan-14 17:52:11

Is there anything they can do? My children are much younger so not in that position. Advice appreciated to pass on.

SanityClause Fri 31-Jan-14 19:15:32

DD1 did drama outside school, when she was in year 9, although she is actually doing 12, now that she's in year 10.

DD2 is worried that she won't get much choice at her school, as they offer fewer options, but she can do music outside of school, at the place she has instrumental lessons, which will add another choice.

Can your friend's DS do similar?

curlew Fri 31-Jan-14 19:57:35

Morethan- I would be happy to be proved wrong, but I think that might have been the minimum requirement on paper for a very few courses at a very few places. I think that in reality the chances of getting into univr

lljkk Fri 31-Jan-14 19:59:13

DS school could not accommodate because they aren't going to run extra entire twilight courses for just one pupil.
You need to understand why, OP.

curlew Fri 31-Jan-14 20:09:33

Oops- into university with 5 GCSEs and 2 A levels are pretty slim.

hellsbells99 Fri 31-Jan-14 20:17:44

DD2 is doing 9 this summer - I think she has 21 exams!
Plus she has already done lots of controlled assessments.
So I wouldn't recommend taking any more than that.

intheround Fri 31-Jan-14 20:58:24

It could be worse- you could be in Scotland. Under the new curriculum some Local Authorities are limiting National 5 exams to 6 subjects while others are allowing 8 or 9. Guess where we live? So much for a level playing field! Goodness help you if you choose the wrong ones cos then you're stuffed.

DanFmDorking Fri 31-Jan-14 23:40:04

We had a presentation a while ago explaining that it was a waste of time youngsters getting lots of GCSEs and ‘A’ Levels. The Universities were preferring fewer ‘A’ Levels with better grades. I’ve looked on-line for evidence of this but, so far, I can’t find it. I’ll keep looking.

reddidi Sat 01-Feb-14 18:21:57

@Talkinpeace re. "if the typical entry is A*AA there statistically have to be significant numbers above that"

No, you are reading that COMPLETELY wrong - this is about offers, not grades achieved. Talk to a (presumably Cambridge college) admissions tutor, either by contacting them personally or at an open day to find out what they are looking for. Also read this noting particularly the statement that candidates getting offers average 95% UMS mark in their best 3 subjects at AS.

Your comment doesn't even make statistical sense: the 'typical' offer means the 'most likely' or 'modal' offer - there don't have to be ANY offers higher than that for this statement to be true.

The only way it would ever make sense to do 5 subjects at AS level for Nat Sci is if you are really good at both Maths and Biology so you can't be sure which you will do best in, otherwise the sensible combinations are Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Chemistry or Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. In any case there is no reason related to university entrance to carry any more than your strongest 3 to A2 (unless that's something odd like 2x maths + biology in which case you need help to talk to the admissions tutor and also check requirements for your backups).

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 11:43:19

talkin my DD is studying Nat Sci and was pooled for Cambridge. She hasn't got 5As and she was applying in the very competitive pre fees hike years. All her offers were 3As, apart from Birmingham which was AAB. I am pretty certain they are not even allowed to make offers based on more than 3a levels under the fair access strategies, as at some schools the pupils would not have the opportunity to study more. She did do 4 but that was really because she didn't want to drop any subjects. It is the normal practise at her very selective indie school, for students to take 4 ASs and then drop one and take 3 A levels.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 11:44:21

She did Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Psychology

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 02-Feb-14 11:48:44

Dd will do 9- it's the maximum her school does

She turned down a place at a selective independent school where they also did 9 (10 if choosing triple science or extra curricular drama)

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 02-Feb-14 12:00:12

If you do more than 3 the offer can include more than 3.
VERY FEW universities will take students with only two a levels. Most of our students do 12/13 GCSEs followed by a usual 4 Alevels with some additionals. We often have students who get straight A*s in up to 7 A levels.
I think it's sad if you only get to choose two GCSEs. But that's just me. I regularly see students cope with 15 GCSEs alongside their extra curricular activities. As with adults, if you want something done ask a busy person!

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 02-Feb-14 12:14:37

At the selective school they do 4 AS dropping to 3 a levels

If dd get a place in the 6th form at her current school she will do 2 a levels alongside a level 6 di

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 02-Feb-14 12:15:25

2 a levels alongside a level 6 diploma so she will have some difficult choices to make.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 02-Feb-14 12:28:37

Seems odd for a selective to drop to 3. It's the exception rather than the norm where I am.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 12:29:45

Doctor most indies restrict the number of GCSEs to 10 and discourage doing strings of A levels beyond 3 or 4. They do so because they aim to educate pupils in the widest sense rather than be exam factories. More than 10 GCSEs and 3 A levels are simply not necessary. They won't improve your chances of getting to the best unis, Oxbridge is full of students that prove that is true.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 12:31:23

Doctor my DDs school is regularly in the top 10 in the various A level league tables and more than 3 A levels is the exception.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 02-Feb-14 12:32:14

Our experience is different. We teach more subjects anyway. Many don't want to choose between being a linguist/humanities person at that stage so they don't.
We send plenty to Oxbridge and Med School. Despite being a state school.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 12:33:50

It does however encourage them to do the extended project qualification to help them develop the research and writing skills they will need at university.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 02-Feb-14 12:34:47

State schools often seem to do more GCSEs/A levels than independent schools for some strange unfathomable reason

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 12:36:28

But with 10 GCSEs you don't have to choose between specialisms. My DD is a Scientist but she did two languages, History and Geography and Resistant Materials technology at GCSE,she was more than able to demonstrate she had breadth as well as depth.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 12:37:17

pictures nothing to do with making the schools results look better?

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 02-Feb-14 12:37:23

We do the EPQ as well. It's rather a good one.

Shootingatpigeons Sun 02-Feb-14 12:39:38

"We teach more subjects anyway" more than what? What subjects do you teach that nowhere else does hmm

curlew Sun 02-Feb-14 12:41:51

Doing 7 A levels is stupid. Just....stupid.

<sits on fence>

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