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Physics A level

(18 Posts)
spiderpig8 Fri 14-Oct-11 13:55:53

is anyone else's DC finding the jump between GCSE level and AS level massive? Ds got A* in physics and Maths at GCSE and is taking Maths too at AS, but he is struggling to keep up.
they seem to go through it at a rattling pace.they've already covered 2.5 out of 6 units for AS level.Does it suddenly click? we are hoping so!!

mumblechum1 Fri 14-Oct-11 13:58:26

DS isn't doing Physics but is doing A Level Chem and Bio, having always got A/A* throughout GCSE modules etc and it finding Chem particularly hard - the other day he was given a paper for a degree level Med School paper ffs!

He also finds the pace a bit too quick, and if he misses something doesn't feel that he can approach the Chem teacher as she's a bit of a dragon (also has a title - she's Lady S, apparently, not just plain Mrs. S!)

troisgarcons Fri 14-Oct-11 20:11:44

The jump between GCSE and A level is massive. Bigger than the jump between A level and degree (or so Im told).

I have pupils who flatlines A's and B's and they cannot cope with AS's - the look on their face when getting results and they have got E's or barely scrapped a D is quite sad to see. Often they think they can coast through A levels like they did with GCSEs. They dont realise the work needed - and the independent learning required.

ajandjjmum Fri 14-Oct-11 20:16:29

DS did Maths and Physics at A level, having got A* in both at GCSE. He eventually came out with good grades, but worked very hard.

DD got A in Maths GCSE but seriously struggled with A level. She stopped at AS having gained the wonderful grade of E!! grin

It is a big leap.

WhatsWrongWithYou Fri 14-Oct-11 20:24:19

DS is doing physics, only got a B at GCSE, but says so far it's mainly maths, which he has no problem grasping. Maybe I should be worried!
He's also doing further maths, though, so maybe that helps.

CaptainMartinCrieff Fri 14-Oct-11 20:26:02

I'm a Physicist and did these a long time ago, but do remember the jump being massive (and dint get me started on the jump from A-level to degree).
Your DC will find it harder, no doubt... But one thing to check - is it the same teacher, could it be that the teacher has changed and your DC is struggling to get used to a new method of teaching?

CaptainMartinCrieff Fri 14-Oct-11 20:26:38

Don't NOT dint?

troisgarcons Fri 14-Oct-11 20:27:24

I think,often the problem is maturity. GCSEs are often quite 'regurgative' with information - it is a test ofwhat you have learned, retained and can spew back out.

At A level - its much more analysis, putting foward opions etc, disecting and interpreting information given.

Vocabulary (lack of) is a quite frequently the biggest let down

Bue Fri 14-Oct-11 21:18:25

DH is a physics teacher and he also says the jump is significant. He's told me in the past that it's the point at which kids will really start to struggle if their maths isn't strong enough. At least you know your DS is not alone!

kritur Sat 15-Oct-11 10:42:57

There is a massive jump from GCSE to AS level in both physics and chemistry. Going through at a rattling pace doesn't really help (the local boys school does that here, goes through so quickly that they end up doing the syllabus twice, I don't think it helps the boys but it does improve demand for private tuition for me....) I wouldn't worry too much at this stage, he's only been doing it for a few weeks and he should start to see links between things soon. He needs to make sure he is organised, going over his notes, getting his homeworks in and acting on the advice written on them (not just bunging them in his file....), using his textbook alongside.

sillybillies Sat 15-Oct-11 11:25:11

yup, its a big leap from GCSE to AS particularly in Physics and Chemistry. I do find that for many it does click later in the year so its well worth getting your head down and working hard. Has he spoken to the teacher and let her know he's struggling to keep up? She may be going quickly so she's got plenty of tine to revise. I agree with Kritur that he needs to be organised and be going over his notes. For many AS students, its the first tine they ever studied a topic and not understood it first time and that can knock their confidence. He needs to understand that A levels are hard and some topics you just have to keep going over until you get it.

cat64 Sat 15-Oct-11 23:59:18

Message withdrawn

Yellowstone Sun 16-Oct-11 08:15:49

DD1 did Physics at AS, it having been chosen for her by the school (timetabling/ 'universities like breadth') rather than her choosing it herself. She had an A* in Physics and Maths at GCSE like your DS but struggled hard for this term only - her other subjects were Engligh Lit, Geography and History. It did fall into place in Jan or Feb, probably no later, and she got an A.

Yellowstone Sun 16-Oct-11 08:16:40

English Lit!

GnomeDePlume Sun 16-Oct-11 21:33:10

Different subject (MFL) but DD1 noticed a huge leap from GCSE to AS. She said there was another leap from AS to A2 but said she found that easier to manage - got a B at AS then an A at A2.

spiderpig8 Mon 17-Oct-11 00:01:16

Thanks for your very informative and mostly reassuring replies.He has got hold of a 2 inch thick book, filled cover to cover with Physics A level questions and has been attacking that!! So fingers crossed it will all click!

3boys1cat Mon 17-Oct-11 12:05:08

My Year 12 DS is doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and it is only the Physics that he is struggling with. He brough some homework home on Friday that had been marked, and got A1 (whatever that means, but I assume it's good!?) for his Maths and U for his Physics confused. He has an exam in January for both Physics and Chemistry, so we can't afford to wait very long for it all to fall into place!

I am hoping for a bit of breathing space at half-term where he can go through everything they've done so far and establish what topics he is having trouble with.

Any suggestions for books or websites that would offer additional support would be gratefully received.

spiderpig8 Tue 18-Oct-11 22:41:00

Try the khan academy website

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