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Do all AS results have to be declared on a UCAS application?

(14 Posts)
stonecircle Wed 04-May-16 08:32:43

DS is in year 12 - possibly the worst year to be in in terms of the transition between the old A level system and the new. This summers he is doing the following exams:

AS maths (which counts towards the A2)
AS electronics (which counts towards the A2
A2 computing
AS physics (standalone qualification)

He is doing the full physics A level which is a two year course. His school has decided to put all students doing 2 year courses in for the stand alone AS, basically for formal exam practice.

DS wants to do physics at university. He got an A at GCSE (teacher said it should have been an A*). He's consistently been in the top 3 in class tests and has been predicted an A. HOWEVER..... they recently did the practice papers that come with the syllabus (new exam so no past papers). According to ds, nobody got an A or a B, 2 people got C, he and a few others got D and the rest got E/U. DS says the problem is not so much knowing his stuff but knowing what the examiner is looking for .... but no past papers.

I know there will be the same issue next year with the full A2 exams, but I don't want him to have to apply to uni with a low grade in AS physics on his form. So, does anyone know if he would have to declare it? If he would I'm wondering whether we could tell the school he's not going to do it.

goodbyestranger Wed 04-May-16 08:46:18

You have to declare it or opt for not doing it - no middle way.

hellsbells99 Wed 04-May-16 08:58:19

You have to declare everything but the vast majority of universities make offers based on predicted A level grades (Cambridge is one exception - there may be others). Your DS should start looking at university websites for where he may want to go and for the courses and see what their entry criteria is.

hellsbells99 Wed 04-May-16 08:59:17

In the past physics has had low grade boundaries.

mummymeister Wed 04-May-16 09:00:10

everyone will be in the same boat which might be a bit of a comfort. unfortunately you do have to declare it. has he looked at unis yet? does he have an idea of which one might be first choice? I only ask this because unis are much more approachable and open to discussions than in my previous experience. if he is worried it might be worth having a chat with them.

FiftyNineOhEight Wed 04-May-16 09:07:45

DS1 had good GCSEs, but took his foot off the gas in lower 6th and had weak AS results, and was still predicted good A2 results. He had good offers, but was interviewed by his first choice who wanted to know what had gone wrong (they still made him an offer). So in DS's case poor As's were not fatal to his university application.

As it happened he couldn't make up the ground and even though he re-took most of his AS's he didn't get his predicted grades. He went through clearing, and because he had good GSCE results which translated into UCAS points, and one good A2 he ended up on the course he wanted in a different place (that he hadn't looked at previously) and is loving it.

titchy Wed 04-May-16 09:22:10

You have to declare it. There ARE sample papers. There are also clear marking schemes. Having said that no-one knows what the grade boundaries will be and I'm guessing they're marking mocks very harshly.

DailyMailThicko Wed 04-May-16 09:36:15

All the other applicants will be in the situation so, if it's a hard paper, the grade boundaries will be low.

stonecircle Wed 04-May-16 16:16:20

Titchy - it was the sample papers they used for their mocks. I think there only is one set? It's not a question of DS taking his foot off the pedal - he really enjoys physics and has been getting top marks in all the class tests. I'm really hoping everyone will be in the same boat but worried that it's an issue with teaching at his school.

Yes he's looked at universities- most of those he's interested in are asking AAA - AAB

jeanne16 Wed 04-May-16 18:50:21

We are in exactly the same position. My son loves Physics and has been doing well but found the latest Specimen paper very difficult. I am concerned and I am wondering whether I can pull him out of the exams at this late stage.

I am planning on discussing with his school. Please update me on what you decide to do.

Teacherontherun Wed 04-May-16 18:56:50

You have to declare IF the school cash in the qualifications. However uni put a great deal of emphasis on teacher predicted grades-don't get me started on how many 'discussion' I have had with parents about why their dc is not being predicted higher grades!

stonecircle Wed 04-May-16 19:26:33

Oh jeanne that's really interesting. DS went to see his physics teacher today who told him not to worry. He said he thought the specimen papers had been put together too quickly, were badly worded and too heavily weighted towards mechanics. He's going to make up some sample questions for DS and others to try.

jeanne16 Wed 04-May-16 21:17:50

The problem is that all the teachers are in the dark. The specimen papers seem to have very weirdly worded questions. I keep being told by my DS's teachers not to worry but I am not convinced they really know what is coming.

Teacherontherun - I have been told that with these new exams, the AS results are automatically cashed in. Is that correct? Also my DS is hoping to apply to Cambridge in which case these results will matter as they look at the AS results.

titchy Wed 04-May-16 22:13:07

There's no such thing as cashing in for linear. They're stand alone qualifications. I honestly wouldn't worry - everyone is in the same boat. There'll probably be some spectacularly low grade boundaries this year and next year for the actual A level i hope Universities do know these are the Guinea pigs and will base offers on predicted, adjusting if necessary when results are out next year.

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