First year of A level grades vs final results?

(15 Posts)
Notsureabouthis Tue 15-Jan-19 21:52:08

Really struggling to gets feel for how my DS might do in his A levels. He’s just started in September 2018. He struggles with exam technique. His grades (marked at A level standard) in his November progress tests were B,C/D and E (latter being a bad test and I think a C/D more representative of where he is). He really wants to study history (currently sitting at a C/D).

Still a long way to go but we’ve started looking at Unis and I’ve got no clue of what he might get. GCSEs were 6-4s but he is a lot more focused now and doing subjects he likes!

Any words of advice?!

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Notsureabouthis Wed 16-Jan-19 14:43:07

Anyone got any experience or thoughts? Thanks!

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LoniceraJaponica Wed 16-Jan-19 22:57:55

DD's year 12 Christmas exams resulted in similar grades. By the end of year 12 she achieved AABB at AS level, dropped a subject and achieved AAA in her A levels.

catndogslife Thu 17-Jan-19 12:44:06

I think that there is a link between GCSE results and A level results though.
It's still early days but realistically I would be looking at unis that take students with Bs and Cs rather than those requiring As.
dd with Bs and Cs at GCSE (old system) ended up with A levels in the range B to D.

Mindgone Fri 18-Jan-19 01:13:36

Really, anything is possible! I’d go for a range of unis in the 5 choices.
DS got 6As and 4Bs at gcse, struggled in Y12, got CDDE in AS mocks, BCCC in real AS, then A*A*A at A2! In 2013 with a couple of retakes.

LookingforHope Fri 18-Jan-19 01:33:40

You can never tell. My DS is quite laid back and was a bit of a slacker in Y12 and his AS levels were BBC. Given that this was nowhere near good enough for his preferred University course, he pulled his finger out and ended up with 3 As. I think the surprise of doing worse than he thought (he was lucky with decent GCSE grades) actually made him work harder in Y13 so was an advantage in the end. Nobody was more surprised than us on results day grin

LookingforHope Fri 18-Jan-19 01:40:42

PS my DS also struggled with exam techniques and it is worth asking the college if there is extra help with this as it is so specific a skill. He found practising timed essays helped. And doing subjects he likes makes a huge difference to improving focus, as you say. Good luck to your son xxx


AlrightBabby Fri 18-Jan-19 13:33:56

I am never convinced of much by A level Y1 mocks, they have only been learning the content for 3 months or so, they won't have done much in the way of exam technique and depending on what the teacher set as the mock, they may not have known the answer to a number of the questions unless they were tailored to content taught.

I say this as a teacher of an A level subject for nearly 20 years, I think the thing to look for is gradual but continuous progress during the course, as their knowledge and technique develop. The two extra years maturity makes a massive difference as well.

LoniceraJaponica Fri 18-Jan-19 14:28:15

I agree with AlrightBabby. DD got an E in her first geography exam. It was the new spec A level and the paper threw nearly everyone. The type and style of questions were so unexpected and difficult to understand. DD told me that she didn't know what the questions required of her.

She got an A at A level.

FlipF Sat 19-Jan-19 09:01:33

How did his classmates do. Some teachers Mark mocks overly harshly and some don't mark them correctly.

Notsureabouthis Sat 19-Jan-19 21:04:30

Thank you so much. Really helpful. Also gives me hope! Well done all your children for their brilliant results! 😊💪🏻

He came home with 70% in his recent history essay homework. The penny seems to have dropped about exam technique and essay structure. His teachers are great and there’s only 10 or so in the class which is lucky!

The school are starting all the UCAS pupil information sessions in the next couple of weeks. I’m going in to chat to them and get a bit of advice. From talking to a friend who is a history teacher (and does UCAS ) at another school, a gap year may be a good idea. My son is dead keen to travel and we could try and get something history related in there too. Then at least we’ll know where we are results wise.

In the meantime we’ll come up with a range of universities that he likes the look and hopefully manage a few open days before the summer.

Thanks again! Nice to feel not so alone 🌟

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Xenia Sat 19-Jan-19 21:14:24

If he has 3 subjects he is good at he might well do a lot better in those than his other GCSE subjects eg if his history and English GCSE results were erally good but French and physics poor the favourite subject ones might be the best to use to assess it. My twins were lucky they were the last year to do AS levels so had those grades which were pretty good AAAA to go on).

History is a good degree subject but very competitive. He might want to do a less compettive subject at a better university in terms of improving his career prospects eg ancient history where fewer people are fighting for places at universities to get in for that subject than history. He should also work back from his career plan if he has one to find out which would be good universities based on his future career choice - look at which universities new joiners in the last 2 or 3 years to companies were at in careers he would like to emulate. You can usually find that out either on some organisations' websites or on linked in profiles.

Lara53 Fri 25-Jan-19 08:18:05

It’s well worth investing in a few tutoring sessions to hone exam technique/ essay structure etc. We’re doing this for GCSE now with my dyspraxic Ds who struggles to organise his ideas. After 3 sessions with tutor he did his mocks and all passed well grades 6 -9 😀

Fazackerley Fri 25-Jan-19 11:41:23

He might want to do a less compettive subject at a better university in terms of improving his career prospects eg ancient history this is good advice.

Notsureabouthis Fri 25-Jan-19 17:21:11

Hi thanks both. Luckily his first choice is Ancient History which I think normally requires a grade lower than History normally so that’s good.

Good idea about a tutor. We did do this for science GCSEs and it did help. The problem is we’re not in England so I’m not sure how easy it would be to get a tutor up to speed on A-level.

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