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Is there anyone else out there whose DC is struggling with A-Levels?

(15 Posts)
Misfitless Mon 30-Dec-13 07:07:32

My DD is in her first year of A-Levels and is struggling more than she's letting on, I think.

She has spoken to me about it, and has said that she's finding it hard and we have discussed this. Her college offered her, along with many others, a set of three extra classes just before Christmas which she attended.

She is studying Biology, P.E., Chemistry and Psychology.

The fact that she's finding it so difficult is affecting her motivation to revise iyswim. It's so hard that she doesn't want to start revising because she feels like she won't be able to learn it, so she keeps putting it off.

I'll contact the college when she goes back after Christmas, but, in the meantime, I suppose I'm hoping that there might be somebody out there who's DC has found it equally tough, but has then gone on to be successful, and maybe found it easier once they'd got the first term out the way...

Also, don't know if I'm being unreasonable, but am torn between looking into private tuition to help her, and thinking that if she needs private tuition at A-Level, maybe she's chosen the wrong subjects in the first place...???

Any thoughts on this gratefully received.


RegainingUnconsciousness Mon 30-Dec-13 07:18:45

Chemistry A level is hard. Try the videos on Khan Academy and Chemguide

Khan Academy Biology here and Crash Course Biology might also help.

Tuition might help, and is worth a try.

It's definitely worth getting a few study skills sessions to build the skills of revising as she goes.

Misfitless Mon 30-Dec-13 16:05:14

Thank you so much - that's so helpful.

Can't wait for her to come home so I can show her your links.

When you mentioned study skills sessions, did you mean paying a qualified A-Level tutor to help her revise, or asking for them at college?

furlinedsheepskinjacket Mon 30-Dec-13 16:08:37

a levels are v v v hard esp compared to gcse. I would advise she should drop her least favourite/relevant subject now and focus all her energies on the others. decide what she really needs for her uni choices and aim for that - 3 good grades will be enough ucas pointswise.
ds did this - all worked out fine.

Mary1972 Mon 30-Dec-13 16:31:06

Of those 4 it is the chemistry and biology which are the core, facilitation subjects. A levels can be tough. Consider an Easter revision course which are very intensive and worth it if you can pay for it. 2 of my children did those.

RegainingUnconsciousness Mon 30-Dec-13 17:57:04

A good tutor should be able to give her a few sessions in study skills, how learning works, how to make notes effectively, revision techniques. Scaffolding it with activities to practice the techniques.

Misfitless Mon 30-Dec-13 18:02:08

Thanks so much I really appreciate your ideas.

I'll be discussing these with my DD and DH later tonight.

LJBanana Mon 30-Dec-13 18:08:19

Hi there,

I work at a further education college and we offer study skills sessions with a tutor in the college. Perhaps that is something that your daughter can access at her college. She may have the option to drop a subject as a previous poster mentioned. Any university including Oxbridge only look at the top three results anyway, and encourage students to focus on those subjects which they wish to extend their learning in. This is something that is actively discussed during the interview process at my institute. Students are encouraged to take 4 with the view to drop one after gaining the AS after the first year.
Have you had a parents evening yet? Can you speak to your daughters personal tutor.
There will be lots of support and options for your daughter. The college will want her to be successful and will help her if she is struggling with the workload or content.
Good luck.

hellsbells99 Mon 13-Jan-14 11:10:38

Hi Op.
I think quite a few of our DCs are struggling. There is another thread on this:

Misfitless Mon 13-Jan-14 16:58:10

Thank so much for all your replies. This has been really helpful. x

Totallydespairing Thu 23-Jan-14 20:07:48

I am glad that i am not the only one!! My son is not settling into 6th form at all! His grades have plummeted and his confidence is shattered! He is now getting extra help on all three of his subjects and is at risk of not being allowed to complete his a levels?! I just dont know how to help him we got a tutor for maths as that was his worst subject but now it all seems to be going wrong for him. What do i do i just want to help him

Totallydespairing Thu 23-Jan-14 20:13:52

Hi i read your post and think i may have chosen tbe wrong sixth form all together! My son is not getting any real support from the school !

Misfitless Fri 24-Jan-14 11:56:10

Oh hi totally.

I think they are so spoon-fed at GCSE, that they get these inflated brilliant results; it then comes as a real shock to them and us parents when they are expected to get on with it at A-Levels and haven't actually developed the necessary understanding, knowledge and skills at GCSE level.

I genuinely believe that GCSEs are much easier and less challenging than when I took mine, but the standards at A-Levels are as tough as they ever were, hence the problems that many of our DCs experience.

The college should be doing something to help, totally, are you having to pay for extra tuition, or are college providing the support?

My DD is getting some extra classes put on by the college.

Have you spoken to the college?

What is he taking along with maths,if you don't mind me asking? My DD has dropped one of her subjects, and is now doing 3 instead of 4.

Supermum222 Tue 15-Apr-14 07:37:03


I agree with Misfitless about GCSE's. I found GCSE's easy and the jump to A-levels was a BIG one. I went on to university (1st class and masters) after A-levels and have worked in the NHS for years now but A-levels were AWFUL.

I would try to get a little support for your DD to help her through them.

I would drop one of them and do 3. You don't need to do 4 just creates extra stress (chemistry is horrendous but it depends what she wants to do as a career).

emmamoo11 Tue 22-Apr-14 07:35:37

My girl is now sobbing at thought of going through with a.s levels. I don't know what to do. And she is refusing to go into school to complete them.
She is going for interview at college next week for foundation for art. Do I make her go to do exams. She says she will fail and hasn't done all the work.
What happens if she doesn't go in?! Please help! ! A levels have been awful and she had been top gcse student. I think she has burnt out....

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