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Is it worth doing a GCSE early ?

(19 Posts)
ThePlEWhoLovedMe Fri 22-Feb-13 08:28:07

Title says it all really ...

Son year 5 is (apparently) 'G&T' in Maths. Been told he would be ready to take his GCSE Maths and achieve an A* in year 6 ...

Would you bother ?

richmal Fri 22-Feb-13 09:41:36

I've got the same dilema. I HE dd, but want her to go back into mainstream for secondary. What concerns me is what she would do maths wise if she already has a GCSE.

On the other hand, it would give a clear indication of her level.

I would say, try and find out from secondary what they would do. If he does not take it would he spend 5 years working towards a level he is already at?

weegiemum Fri 22-Feb-13 09:44:31

My dd1 is going to sit standard grade art (Scotland) in s2 and higher in s3 (higher is roughly = to A2) as she's very gifted. I'd rather she did that now so could do other options for her exams when the time comes. And keep art as a loved hobby, that I'm sure will one day be her career.

MrsSpencerReid Fri 22-Feb-13 09:46:58

I took mine a year early so not quite the same, and did an extra gcse in the year after, the challenge was good and although I resat as I only got a B the first time I'm glad I did, if your DS is up for it maybe give it a go, for fun? And if it doesn't go well nothing lost, unless he would get really upset? Agh, hard decision though

Littleturkish Fri 22-Feb-13 09:50:07

I would and then begin a level in secondary. We've coped with this with students in our non-selective comp as we have a sixth form- if your intended secondary has a sixth form or is a grammar offering A level maths I think you'd have no problem. Plus you then have further maths etc for him to study.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Fri 22-Feb-13 16:11:02

Thank you for your opinions - so much to consider. He will be going to a grammar school with a sixth form though ...

FIFIBEBE Fri 22-Feb-13 16:16:26

I would want to know what the provision would be after they had achieved the A*. With maths just taking a break after GCSE seems to not work, they need to be continuing and achieve the next level on a continuum. Can AS Maths be started early?

inthesark Fri 22-Feb-13 17:08:10

To continue on from what fifi says, I have heard comments that it's not good for really gifted mathematicians to take GCSE early, because then they take a break and get rusty. This isn't my area at all, but if he is that good it might be worth taking some advice and finding out whether this is now generally believed or not.

Littleturkish Fri 22-Feb-13 17:15:20

I would contact the grammar and ask what they will do for him in yr 7.

I agree, a break would be a bad thing.

A levels can be, and are, taken at any point.

ThePlEWhoLovedMe Fri 22-Feb-13 18:55:38

Thank you all for your time. I think I may speak to the senior school nearer the time.

Suffolkgirl1 Mon 25-Feb-13 11:26:03

He is obviously a bright boy and thus likely to be headed for a top university in the future. Many of the top uni's are now preferring pupils that sit all their GCSE's together as they deem this more difficult to achieve than if they are taken over a number of years. My DS is at a grammar and we have been told they will not early entry in any important subjects for this reason.
Also should nerves get the better of him at this young age and he not achieve his A/A* this result along with the resit will still have to be declared on his UCAS form when he applies to uni in the future.

richmal Tue 26-Feb-13 14:29:34

It does seem a shame that we are stuck with a system in this country whereby the children most advanced in mahts at age 10 are comparable with other countries, but have fallen 2 years behind by 16.

Littleturkish Tue 26-Feb-13 19:06:28

I've not heard that, Suffolkgirl- what have you been advised to do to stretch able students who have reached a-level/GCSE standard early?

learnandsay Wed 27-Feb-13 10:15:49

There is no reason why a child can't sit the exam more than once. The universities are probably right, a child who has fewer subjects to concentrate on probably does have an advantage. But that's no reason not to sit the exam if the child is ready to.

lljkk Wed 27-Feb-13 17:04:50

I would ask my son if he would enjoy the challenge and let him decide if he wanted to go for it, or if he was happy to bumble along instead.

Suffolkgirl1 Wed 27-Feb-13 19:47:59

For Maths they use:

My son has sat one every year at secondary school so far. The Maths is very problem solving orientated and generally much more interesting than GCSE. Those that do very well are invited through to the next round.

treas Sun 17-Mar-13 00:02:42

Future universities might not appreciate GCSEs being taken at different times as they prefer to see children coping with the revision / work load at the same time as other subjects - well according to friend's dh who is a uni tutor.

Don't know if actually true across the board but could be something to consider.

Idratherbemuckingout Thu 21-Mar-13 09:18:53

My son is now Year 7, but has been GCSE standard (he was HE for 3 and a half years) for some time. Now in prep school he is bored in his maths lesson but I am hoping that at senior school in 2014 he will blossom. He has not done his GCSE early as what on earth would he be doing now at prep school? Neither are good solutions for him and I am hoping that his current boring teacher is not going to put him right off.
Bit of a quandary really but now too late to do the GCSE early.

FriendlyLadybird Thu 21-Mar-13 10:27:25

How has he been learning/how would he learn the GCSE syllabus? Ability is one thing, but you actually have to be taught some of the concepts.

And who's telling you this? Is it the primary school, because they don't always know that much about subjects at secondary level.

True, if he's very mathematically inclined he might be able to pick it up from books. Or you may already have a tutor for him. If the former -- I'd be very wary and get him a tutor.

Mathematics is a subject in which it is very very easy to race ahead at an early level and then get a sudden shock when it all gets a bit more grinding. Taking the GCSE exam is neither here nor there but you really need to make sure that he has proper support, and that he really does have now the underlying knowledge that he appears to have. Taking a break would be a terrible, terrible idea so I'd just get a tutor to keep him going, off-syllabus, and get the background and practice that he's going to need further ahead.

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