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Predicted A level grades

(15 Posts)
emilyofnewmoon Sun 18-Sep-11 21:36:49

My ds1 didnt do as well as he expected in his AS levels. (ACDE). He needs BBB for the uni course he wants to apply for and is now concerned that they won't even consider him as he thinks his predicted grades will be too low. Anyone know how they work these out? He is talking now of taking a gap year and applying for uni in 2013 when he has hopefully got his grades he needs and wont have to rely on predicted grades. I am not keen on this as I think he may not settle into uni and learning again after a year earning (+ spending!) Any info/advice gratefully received.

Mowlem Sun 18-Sep-11 22:22:27

Why did he not do so well in his AS grades?

Your son's teachers should be able to log on to the exam board's websites and get a fuller picture of how he did in the exams (particularly edexcel).

I do this for my students, and if I detect a particular problem that I know can be easily addressed (timings, unfinished papers, problems with evaluations etc) I would just get the student to resit and it wouldn't affect the predicted grade.

Your son needs to talk to his teachers.

emilyofnewmoon Sun 18-Sep-11 22:35:36

He just didnt put the work in until it was too late. He now knows he needs to work to get the grades he needs. Problem is he can only resit one exam in Jan as he is sitting 2 other modules then and school only allow 3 exams to be sat in Jan. So he would have to resit the others in June with his other exams. He feels uni will just reject him as his predicted grades won't be good enough.
Have told him to speak to teachers but I also told him to do some work ages before exams so he has a track record of not listening to his mum!

jgbmum Mon 19-Sep-11 20:15:22

Would your son consider re-doing Y12? It might be easier than trying to learn and revise new stuff as well as rework and revise Y12 modules. It seems quite common this year at my DSs school so I guess it is fairly easy to do.

emilyofnewmoon Mon 19-Sep-11 21:01:40

Is not something he would consider as he cannot wait to leave school! Has already started Yr13 so would be a problem to change now I think. I just hope he will actually do some work this year!

kritur Mon 19-Sep-11 21:15:37

His predicted grades will be based on his prior attainment so his AS grades, any assessments he does this year (eg, internal mock exams, part module tests, practice essays) and any coursework for A2 he has produced. Most schools will predict very near to the AS grades already achieved since A2 more demanding than AS.

It really does depend on what he's applying for. At the university I now work at we will still make an offer to a candidate who might not be predicted our grades (and basically bank on them not making the grade so we know that we don't need to have an actual place for them). Rarely do we end up with one who has drastically improved and met our offer. This is not the same in all subjects though.

If he takes a year out then he needs to have a definite plan for it, not just working, spending and partying. Voluntary work oversees or a definite work placement or internship is best.

emilyofnewmoon Mon 19-Sep-11 22:48:17

He wants to do Radiography and has been told that they will look at the predicted grades and discard any that are not BBB or close. They said even ABC may not be considered.
He has just told me that parents eve is the beginning of Oct so I will ask his teachers then what they think his predicted grades are likely to be. Thank you for your replies. I suspect I will be posting frequently in this very stressful year!

unitarian Mon 19-Sep-11 22:59:22

You're likely to get a report with predicted grades on before the parents' evening. If not, ask.
Consider him dropping the one he got the E for then concentrate on the remaining three since three are all he needs. There's little chance of pulling that E up but the C and D could be improved to Bs if he got himself into gear right now - so ask.

He will have the chance to choose 5 uni courses on his UCAS form. OK so he favours a particular one but there may be others with less stringent grade requirements - and he should write a corking personal statement which makes clear why he so wants to study Radiology. It might help.

javo Tue 20-Sep-11 08:14:33

Don't wait to parents evening - talk to his teachers about his grades now (by phone or write) if they think he has the potential to improve and are convinced by his work ethic and your support they may up his predicted grades.

He can always apply this year and then again next year if he changes his mind - it will omly cost the ucas fee. My DD was convinced she didn't want to go to uni (for at least this year) but we persuaded her to put in a form and she is so happy now that she is off to uni at the weekend.

unitarian Tue 20-Sep-11 08:45:55

I just dug out DD's Y13 tracking report (Autumn 2008). On it she is predicted AABB - she had dropped Biology after A/S level because it wasn't necessary and one of the B's is for General Studies - she had never attended a GS lesson and had A's for the 2 module exams done before that point but the teacher didn't have a clue who she was. The point about that one is that the predicted grade on the tracking summary bore no relation to either actual module results or to the eventual final grade. It is a teacher covering his back.

The ones that matter for uni application were predicted as AAB which would have ruined her chances if the school used that prediction for UCAS. She needed 3As (predicted and real) - the B was for German. Even though she was applying for a science course she would have to achieve AAA and the prediction would have to be AAA.

Parents' evening followed and I quizzed the German staff about that B. They were being cautious as she had made a mess of the Aural exam though she had A's for the written exams. I explained that a predicted A was crucial.

The UCAS form went in the following month and we never knew whether they had predicted AAA or AAB but assume they opted for the A because DD did get enough interest from universities. She ended up with A*AAAA (one A is for Maths already passed in Y12) and is doing the course she always wanted.
Yet, although she was applying for Medicine, it was that German Aural exam the following summer that everything hinged on.

Tracking summaries are therefore veering on the cautious side but are not necessarily what the school will predict when the UCAS form is filled in.

Your lad has from now until the UCAS stage (a month or two) to demonstrate to his teachers that he can turn things round. Meanwhile he and you should make it clear to them that BBB is necessary and that he is doing all he can to achieve it. And ask how he can maximise his chances. It is in their interest to help him to do this.

unitarian Tue 20-Sep-11 09:02:39

Sorry - that was Autumn 2009.
The advice is the same though - drop the fourth subject, talk to the staff and work like hell.

ellisbell Tue 20-Sep-11 09:30:02

if he is sitting 2 A2 modules in January then the results in those will show what he might achieve at A2. However the school can't actually stop him resitting another subject if you and he want him to, he may need to find another exam centre to enter privately.

The suggestion that he drop one and concentrate on 3 subjects is sensible.

ParceQueJeLeVauxBien Tue 20-Sep-11 09:37:31

DS1 did badly in his AS levels - CCCE. As a result, he couldn't apply to any of the 'better' universities. He was, however, offered a university place to study what he wanted.

In the event, he really did pull his socks up, worked hard and achieved AABA*.

He turned down his place and re-applied. Of the 5 universities he applied to, 1 asked him for an interview, 1 I have no idea about (he wasn't interested in this one but had to put 5 down!) and 3 offered him unconditional places. He is off to Sussex on Saturday.

He took the unexpected gap year, and has worked for most of it, which has been very, very good for him - and also very good for his CV for later/when he graduates.

He is looking forward to going to university, thankfully. It was my fear, too, that he wouldn't want to go. But he said the other day that he is "looking forward to talking to people about something more exciting than what was on television last night"!

Being at work has taught him that without further qualifications, his future is a little bit more limited.

kritur Tue 20-Sep-11 20:05:38

A word of caution though, putting too much pressure on the school to predict the grades you want putting on the UCAS form won't make you popular at school. My colleague in biology predicted a Y13 a C this year which made his predicted grade ABC. His dad marched into school and demanded it was changed to a B as he needed ABB for Leeds, I was his form tutor so on the receiving end of much of the pressure. Eventually the Head of 6th did change the grade. The boy got a C as predicted by his teacher and ended up at his insurance offer. Parents' evening is coming up, keep an eye on him until then and see how serious he is about pulling his finger out, it is his future afterall and there's only him can change it!

emilyofnewmoon Tue 20-Sep-11 23:27:03

Thanks all for replies. Think I am going to wait until parents eve and ask the teachers what they think his predicted grades may be and if they are not BBB (he has dropped the E already) can he realistically obtain that. I dont fancy going through another year of nagging him to study and as kritur says it is his future and only he can change it! He knows he needs to study hard this year to get what he wants but I havent seen any sign of it yet. Is so frustrating!!

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