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For all of you in the know, whose children have year 12 under their belt?

(20 Posts)
strictlovingmum Mon 05-Sep-11 12:26:48

DS is starting sixth form this coming Wednesday, chosen subjects are:
His and mine question is, Can he drop the Economics in the year 13, and take up the further Maths?
So still to end up with with four A levels!
Distant plan is for him(grades permitting) to choose a degree, something to do with a Maths, either on it's own, or Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering.

tallulah Mon 05-Sep-11 12:47:30

Depends on the school and on whether your DS could cope with that workload.

Usually they take 4 subjects in Y12 then drop one to continue to A2 in Y13. At my DSs grammar school only the really super-bright boys got to do 4 A levels. A levels take 2 years so if he did further maths in Y13 it would only be at AS level.

IShallWearMidnight Mon 05-Sep-11 12:53:19

DD1 did Maths and FM - her school timetabled that as all of Maths in Y12 and all of FM in Y13. Friends in other schools did AS Maths and FMin Y12 then A2 in both in Y13. So her school could have accomodated that (provided they knew about it at the start of Y12 to allow double timetabling/teacher preparation), but not in neighbouring schools.

However, if you're asking can your DS do AS Maths in Y12, then A2 Maths AND AS and A2 FM in Y13, then tbh the workload is going to be astronomical, and won't allow for any module resits if needed.

FM is a whole extra subject these days, and not the add-on I remember it being way back. If he wants 4 A levels he'd be better sticking with the ones he's doing at AS.

strictlovingmum Mon 05-Sep-11 13:06:18

The dilemma he is having is, he unable to decide whether to go, maths/economic route for the degree, or to set his mind onto maths/engineering, he has interest for both, and he is very good at both for now.
He did statistics for gcse and found it fascinating(gained A in statistics)
Perhaps if he could make up his mind for engineering, would it be to late to drop economics, and take up further maths in year 12?

Talker2010 Mon 05-Sep-11 18:04:23

Depends on the school
Depends on the blocks
Depends on the people already in FM


He needs to decide now, not later ... I assume that he has A* in maths as most schools will not consider FM without

chopchopbusybusy Mon 05-Sep-11 18:14:13

DD1 also wants to do mech or chemical engineering. She's already done some university visits and the standard offers are AAA or A*AA. Maths and physics are essential and most universities don't seem to mind what the third is provided it's not general studies or critical thinking. TBH I don't think there would be any advantage at all in doing four. The admissions tutor we spoke to at Southampton was very clear that students should focus on three to make sure they got the grades.

cheekydino Mon 05-Sep-11 18:21:10

Hi - just to let you know (am teacher i/c higher ed at my school) there is no requirement for Economics A Level to do Economics at university - in fact many of the top universities favour further maths A Level - to be honest it very much depends on how bright he is as to whether he should do further maths, so speak to his maths teacher, but if he is thought to be up to A grade standard, then that would definitely be his best option - without FM he rules out a number of top universities for Engineering and Economics, whereas without Economics he doesn't rule out anything.

HTH smile

chopchopbusybusy Mon 05-Sep-11 18:37:37

Cheekydino - which universities require further maths for engineering?

cheekydino Mon 05-Sep-11 19:14:15

Sorry, require is perhaps too strong - it very much depends what school you have come from and what the option is to do further maths there. Both imperial and Cambridge 'favour' further maths as the third A2 (from memory some colleges insist on it but would need to check - am on maternity leave so don't have all my notes!), although they stop short of saying you need it as they know some schools cannot offer it or only do as an extra. From our school's experience (selective private) we would not expect our pupils to get offers from places that 'favour' FM if they do not have it. The main thing we say to our pupils again and again is check every part of each university's website if you are applying or thinking of it, as often their preferences are hidden away in the lengthy bit in the prospectus, and aren't flagged up on the ucas website (ie it may say requirements are AAB including maths and physics, and only say in the prospectus that there are preferred 3rd subjects, and extra conditions).

chopchopbusybusy Mon 05-Sep-11 19:18:28

Well DD has the prospectuses and spoken to the admissions tutors, so they must be hiding it well. Not sure why they'd want to hide it.

cheekydino Mon 05-Sep-11 19:57:55

Then I am sure she has done the research I'm talking about. It depends on the type of engineering, how popular the course and the university is that is being applied to. Of course admissions tutors encourage people to apply (they want the widest and best field they can get to choose from) and stick to the requirements that they advertise - but if they are faced with 6 applicants per place all of whom meet the basic requirements, then it is the other things that are not requirements that will get people offers. Which is why I say the type of school you are at is important (ie what opportunities they offer) as well as being aware that 'favoured' options (mentioned sometimes in admissions policies) will become much more significant if the field is very competitive. It is worth asking each admissions tutor how they rank applications (sometimes not done by them but by postgrads who 'shortlist')- for some this is done by giving points for particular things, ie number of A* at GCSE, others weight the personal statement more significantly. True for any subject, not just engineering.

Talker2010 Mon 05-Sep-11 20:04:07

mnistooaddictive Mon 05-Sep-11 20:53:39

Are you suggesting he does the whole of Further maths a-level in one year or just the AS?
To do the full alevel in one year is doable but is an immense workload. I have just tutored a student doing this and she worked 7am - 9pm every day from January - no days off. She was driven but it is beyond thre workload of the majority of 18 year olds!

strictlovingmum Mon 05-Sep-11 21:07:08

Well we have spoken to the school today, and apparently DS has a right/choice due to his GCSE results to change his mind(2 to 4 weeks into the course).
DS is not ruling out dropping economics for further maths, at the moment he want's to see how it goes.
He thinks he will not have a problem coping with further maths if he does decide to swap it, he is a very able mathematician, who gained string of A* and A at his GCSE's, at our local grammar school and is not impartial to studying and hard work.
P.S we have checked Imperial, Mechanical- Nuclear Engineering, requirements are, A* Maths, A Physics and A in relevant subject( they prefer Chemistry) and of course all depends heavily on the interview.

mnistooaddictive Mon 05-Sep-11 21:18:17

It is not the understanding, it is the amount of new material covered!

chopchopbusybusy Mon 05-Sep-11 21:55:36

OP, I'm glad he's checked directly with the university of his choice. That is the best place to obtain the correct information. DD is doing maths, physics, chemistry and biology at AS. Probably will drop biology at A2. None of her chosen universities see that as a problem provided she gets AAA or in some cases A*AA. If your DS does decide on engineering then a bit of relevant work experience or involvement in a related project (DDs college offers some opportunities) will be a help.
I think there is a lot of misinformation given to students and a fair bit of that is given by schools, DDs included, which is why we've researched it so much.

cheekydino Mon 05-Sep-11 22:31:16

OP - am glad your ds's school is being helpful and am sure by researching things early and checking with universities directly he will be in a great position when applying next year. It's so difficult making A Level
choices at 16 to cover all the things you might want to do two years later.

Chopchop - sadly you're right, lots of schools just don't have the resources to keep as up to date with HE advice as they need to in the current market, our school is just lucky to have the money to enable us to do the necessary research and form the links with universities that we need. Still, I should remember that the information I get directly from Admissions tutors (and the application analysis I do) is specific to our type of school and student, so I shall be more wary of posting advice in future.

strictlovingmum Mon 05-Sep-11 23:10:24

Thank you all for posting, for DS one hurdle at the time, all of this is still in the air, and all depends on A level results/predicted results, we remain optimistic and hopeful.
He has been lucky with his school so far, and chosen sixth form seems informed and helpful, so fingers crossed it will all go according to plan.
Providing he get's the grades, DS will apply to two of his first choice uni's and three slightly weaker ones, hopefully he will have an offer or two from latter ones, before interview kick off at top ones, which are slightly later in the year.
One more question, Does anyone has relevant experience in applying at two different courses in the same University?

gelatinous Tue 06-Sep-11 01:31:05

strictlovingmum, might it be possible for him to do all 5 at the start while he makes his mind up? Ds did the same subjects including f.maths last year to keep his options open (at his school 5 subjects were possible in the timetable, but no free lessons), he found the workload fine and kept them all up, but could have dropped one at any time if not. It's might be daunting to have lots to catch up with the maths if he does switch otherwise. One further thought is that the further mathematics network (I think that's what it's called) might be useful to him if he does need to catch-up any missed f. maths bits - it's designed to help children study f. maths if their school doesn't support it.

eatyourveg Tue 06-Sep-11 07:49:46

I have a friend at a super selective grammar who has dropped a 4th A2 subject to do Further Maths but its AS not A2 (as far as I know) It seems if you want to do maths related subjects in HE further maths is almost expected alongside Maths, not sure if he will be able to do the full A2 in a year, the school are trying to sort the timetable for him

On your other question. My son is applying to 2 different courses at the same university though they are very similar. I don't think its uncommon.

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