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DD isn't academic enough for uni but just won't accept this.

(142 Posts)
Lillians Fri 23-Jun-17 10:28:10

DD is 19 and got 1 A, 4 Bs and 3 Cs at GCSE. She went on to sixth form where she didn't pass the 1st year and had to leave, she went to another college to retake the first year (it was only maths as the other 2 subjects were 2 years) and failed again. She didn't get a chance to do any exams in the other subjects.

She works part time now and volunteers for childline. She says her volunteering has made her realise how much she wants to be a mental health nurse specifically to do with eating disorders.

I have said to her there are sooo many different ways you could get involved with that without being a nurse and she doesn't want to hear it, gets upset saying that she wishes I had faith in her etc. when I do!! She just isn't academic enough for uni.

I don't know how to offer her advice any more.

Phosphorus Fri 23-Jun-17 10:32:24

I think with those grades she probably is academic enough to do an access course and a nursing degree.

A-level maths is beyond many people who are more than suited to university.

It sounds as though her A-level choices were not the best for her.

What was her school like? Did they not advise her well?

tiggytape Fri 23-Jun-17 10:34:26

8 GCSEs at grade A-C surely means she does have the academic ability though?
Lots of people with sound academic ability do badly at A Level for all sorts of reasons unrelated to how clever they are: first rush of freedom, not experienced at independent learning, poor choice of subjects etc.

I would have thought having a career goal in mind will help her to make the right subject choices and give her focus to stick to it a lot better than when she was a 16 year old starting off with A Levels.

InLovewithaGermanFilmStar Fri 23-Jun-17 10:35:15

What do you mean by "not academic enough"? Different skills for different professions are required.

Maybe instead of not having faith in her, you could direct her to information bout university courses in nursing, with specialisation n mental health. Let her see what A Levels she'll need. Support her in working towards her ambition, by getting her to find the information herself, and help her in working out how to make her decision.

Don't make the decision for her, but help her to find ways to make the decisions, if you see what I mean about the difference between those two actions.

Or direct her towards a BTEC. They're great for students with practical aptitudes.

SuperBeagle Fri 23-Jun-17 10:36:56

I sure hope you haven't been telling her she isn't academic enough. confused

FauxFox Fri 23-Jun-17 10:37:16

A level maths is vicious. I got an A at GCSE a year early and took 3 years to scrape a D at A-level...she should maybe do some different A-levels at a local college and see how she gets on - don't trample on her dreams! Being a nurse is a brilliant aspiration to have!

Purplepotatoe Fri 23-Jun-17 10:38:22

She certainly does have the ability with those grades at gcse. You sound mean tbh, why don't you instead try to work out why she subsequently 'failed' in spite of clearly flying through gcse's? Maybe it was because she knows her own mother has no faith in her.

Lillians Fri 23-Jun-17 10:39:28

@SuperBeagle not that bluntly... Just saying there are other more suitable pathways for her.

I know a level maths is hard but uni is also really hard these days and I'd hate to see her fail like with her maths, it was very hard to watch because she tried hard sad her sixth form wasn't the best with advise. Great for her school, but it seemed like the sixth form was a bit neglected. The college she went to wasn't amazing either!

EssieTregowan Fri 23-Jun-17 10:39:57

My husband has a maths based degree and maintains that maths A level was harder than that.

Why are you being so unsupportive? Is there more to this?

Lillians Fri 23-Jun-17 10:41:06

I'm actually trying to be supportive... By offering her advice.

RosieposiePuddingandPi Fri 23-Jun-17 10:41:46

As previous posters have said, her GCSE results sound academically good so I wouldn't write it off.
I got an E in my A-level Biology exam and my teacher told me I'd never be able to get anywhere in science but I was accepted onto a foundation degree for Zoology and went on to gain a Masters in the same. There's a big jump between GCSE and A level work and sometimes it's better or people to take a different route.

derenstar Fri 23-Jun-17 10:42:30

Her grades at GCSE are not that far off mine, albeit a I got a couple more As. I also failed first year of Maths A Levels and Chemistry. My mother was like you a bit, told me I wasn't academic enough and should leave college and got a job. At that time I wanted to be a radiographer. A very kind advisor at college asked me what I actually liked doing. I started over with new A levels and sailed through them. I sailed through both my UG and masters as they were the right subjects for me, I enjoyed them and they clicked. If I had listened to my mum, I really don't know where I'd be. Please, please support your daughter by letting her find subjects she enjoys and is therefore more likely to do good at. Don't tell her she isn't academic enough, she is! My relationship with mother has never recovered (not just because of this but lots of of other reasons)

FruitCider Fri 23-Jun-17 10:42:30

I had no GCSEs, no a levels. I did an OU module (dd101) then went to university to study mental health nursing and finishes with a first class. Sometimes, people just struggle with sitting in a classroom for months on end. I liked the fact that most of my study was self directed and I could be creative with my learning and my work. Mental health nursing is an art not a science, I reckon she should try to do her access and go for it!

CostaCoffeeRoyalty Fri 23-Jun-17 10:43:39

I'm not 'academic' enough but I still went to uni... okay I withdrew in the final year but I still managed 3.5 years.

FruitCider Fri 23-Jun-17 10:43:43

Also why can't she take the new apprenticeship route into nursing?

Nelly5678 Fri 23-Jun-17 10:45:28

Access course will get her up to speed and then that will also help her for uni. She'll be fine

NameChangr678 Fri 23-Jun-17 10:45:49

This is the thing nowadays, everyone thinks they deserve a uni place.

Those grades are not good. A-level maths is not hard or brutal - my school did it in 1 year and everyone coped. If she can't pass first year of A-level, how would she ever pass a degree?

Of course, you can't really make her do anything, so if she wants to go for it then let her - she'll either (miraculously) pass or fail and end up in debt, and will learn a (expensive) lesson.

Brandnewstart Fri 23-Jun-17 10:46:34

I went down the arts route. Got 4as, 3bs, 1c and 1d at GCSE but flunked my a levels. The jump was so hard. I ended up with a b,c,e. Still got into uni of my choice and ended up with a 2:1 and masters.
I also maintain my a levels were hard than my degree!!!
I would let her try. She sounds like she has the interest and compassion to be very good at the job. My parents are both mental health nurses, fortunately before the time you had to get a degree - my dad is severely dyslexic and would never have got his a levels without substantial help.
An access course might suit her better but I think she has to be 21. She doesn't need maths a level either but needs to look at what is required.

Caenea Fri 23-Jun-17 10:48:00

The academic jump between GCSEs and A-Levels is the single biggest gap in a students educations career. So many people take subjects up to A-Level because they consider them "solid" options without considering whether they'll actually be capable of doing those subjects. If she got a C at Maths in GCSE, it's logical she'd fail it at A-Level. Take the subjects you're actually interested in.

She doesn't need Maths to be a nurse, so forget that. The first thing that needs to be done is look into what A-Levels a nursing degree might expect. However I did an English degree with a girl who had no scientific qualifications whatsoever and is now doing her nursing degree.

You also best not be telling her she isn't academic enough because at her age that is going to sound like "you aren't clever enough" and that's an unbelievably shitty thing to do. Support your daughter.

MommaGee Fri 23-Jun-17 10:48:33

You really need to support her to find a way in not suggest she gives up her dreams.
What A Levels does she need for Nursing? Is there an Apprenticeship route? Are there any open days to go to? Obviously she should be looking into this herself too.in assuming she's 18 or 19 now? Let her make her own potential mistakes, she might just soar!

NameChangr678 Fri 23-Jun-17 10:49:32

at her age that is going to sound like "you aren't clever enough" and that's an unbelievably shitty thing to do

Yeah, but for about 50% of the population, that's true.

It's not shitty, it's just being honest - either OP can tell her now, or she'll find out in 5 years time when she's left with 40k debt.

People are such snowflakes - some people simply aren't meant to go to uni!

user1493630944 Fri 23-Jun-17 10:50:15

I agree with poster above, a one year adult access health course (offered by many FE colleges) should enable her to get into HE for nursing. Sounds as though she chose hard A/AS subjects, maths is definitely hard at advanced level. Please don't discourage her, NHS needs nurses!

Ekphrasis Fri 23-Jun-17 10:51:29

I think where there's a will there's a way. Let her find out her own route in life and she may surprise you.

Education is a two way thing; some institutions aren't that great. Also, some students do better after some time in the real world then going back with more direction. If she fails you'll be there to support her, but I suspect she won't.

MommaGee Fri 23-Jun-17 10:51:42

People are such snowflakes - some people simply aren't meant to go to uni!
Its not being a snowflake to keep trying to do what she wants. She hasn't walked into a Uni and demanded a place, she's trying to get herself the right qualifications. Thereat no evidence she shouldn't go to uni, just that she's received crap advice and support.

Ekphrasis Fri 23-Jun-17 10:52:28

I only got c in gcse maths and have had a good professional career.

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