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Doing a GCSE early

(12 Posts)
IndigoBell Mon 26-Sep-11 12:17:29

DS is in Y6 and is studying for a GCSE at home with me, to be taken this summer. It's for an extension subject, not a core one, or one that is offered by his high school.

I think that due to his age (the stress of sitting an exam, and the demands of writing for 90 minutes, which he's not used to) he'll probably only get a B not an A or A* (If close to the time I don't think he'll at least get a B, then I won't let him sit it).

But what I don't know is whether it's a good idea for him to sit it at all, and get a B, even if it's done quite young.

If he goes on to get a string of As and A*s will this B bring his average down? Will anyone who cares (universities?) see that he did this paper very young and realise it's a good mark? Or will they just see the 'B'?

(Of course rules are likely to change a dozen times between now and him applying for university anyway.....)

What do you guys think? He really wants to sit the exam. (I would prefer he just studied for it, but didn't actually sit the exam...)

lynniep Mon 26-Sep-11 12:24:19

I dont honestly think it matters - let him take if if he wants to and you think he'll get a 'b'. no-one ever took my gcses into consideration for anything (and I got good ones plus I took my maths at 14) but he'll be bursting with pride to achieve that so young (and so will you!)

happychappy Mon 26-Sep-11 12:25:55

My daughter did her Italian GCSE and AS level last year. She was in year 8. It was fine; she is fluent though. The teachers were very sensitive and helpful and she enjoyed it. The writing didn't really come into it. She got A* and an A.
This year she will do the oral part of the A level and the written part next year. The teacher feels she isn't mature enough to get the best result and we all want it to be a positive experience for her.
Her having done it I have seen she isn't fazed by exams and it has helped her in how she approaches her work for the other GCSE's which she started this year. I personally feel it was good thing for her.

However my son is dyslexic and although he too is a fluent Italian speaker I am not sure he will go his exams early when the time comes. We shall see.

Why not let him try, he can always redo it if he doesn't do brilliantly

happychappy Mon 26-Sep-11 12:26:11

tell him its a practice for next year!

iggly2 Mon 26-Sep-11 13:05:50

Personally I think it is worth doing GCSEs early if you will get the grade you hope to get if they were taken at the right time. I can see how it would give the child confidence for later on as well. I can fully understand MFL taken early (well done Happychappy's Dd) if it is a bilingual family/child is fluent.

I think lots of children are bright enough to take certain subjects early but it is an important observation you made about the length of time of the paper. Also is the subject essay based as here maturity is more likely to be important.

I do not think age when GCSEs are taken is that important or considered much/at all compared to grades and how many (if applying to difficult and competitive courses as these on likely have there own unique to university system for working out who to interview/offer to).

iggly2 Mon 26-Sep-11 13:09:24

Personally I do not think it can be justified VERY young children sitting these exams early and getting Ds and E. No Uni will want that (it will really how up on a UCAS form).

iggly2 Mon 26-Sep-11 13:09:53

Sorry typo: "show"

happychappy Mon 26-Sep-11 13:29:34

As I said I think it depends on the child. My DD loves school and anything school related and this was something up her street. We had just come back from Italy and it gave her the opportunity to shine where she is playing catch up with most of the other subject.
I would even consider it for DS now and not for a long time. He has enough trouble with everything else but sport and speaking Italian.
The school/parent shouldn't be setting them up for failure BUT if they are really good at something and can do it why not.

ibizagirl Tue 27-Sep-11 06:18:32

Hi indigobell. My dd took her gsce maths in year 7 and got an A* which was brilliant but as i said on other threads, she hardly got a "well done" from school as they said she "was expected to get that result". It deflated her a bit because of this and some of her classmates were a bit funny with her, but in the end it was fine. It gives them a good practice to take an exam early. At dd's school they tend to take their exams at year 9 or 10 anyway. Good luck.

IndigoBell Tue 27-Sep-11 09:29:49

Thanks guys.

I think we'll go for it. He understands it's a 90 minute written exam, and we'll just have to practice that aspect of it as well as the curriculum.

And of course a B is a good grade. And it's a long way away - if he works hard he might get an A smile

Because he's in Y6, they'll have lots of practice sitting 45 min exams, so it's not really that different.......

But I won't make the final decision till the day before the exam grin

blackeyedsusan Tue 27-Sep-11 14:28:27

errmmm stupid question indigo, but do they actually have to mention it on the form. are they not just interested in secondary education? ie if he does not do so well for some reaason, you can ignore it because he is still in primary? wink and you would not be telling a lie.

IndigoBell Wed 28-Sep-11 10:33:10

Just looked up the dates for the GCSE exam - and they clash with KS2 SATS.

(They have changed the timetable from last year)

So I guess he won't be sitting the exam smile

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