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Any opinions on this combination of AS levels please?

(54 Posts)

DD2 doesn't really know what she wants to do and doesn't appear to like much about school, except Art! We've had an absolute nightmare trying to think what AS levels might work for her, not helped at all by a v poor combination of option groupings.

She's wondering about doing: English Lang/Lit * Art * History * Sociology

Any opinions?

Thank you. smile

Have all the parents of older children gone to bed? smile

ExcuseTypos Thu 29-Aug-13 23:25:11

I think they're pretty good. They are a mixture of 'solid' subjects and what some might deem 'softer' subjects. Can I ask does she want to go to uni and what grades she is predicted?

ExcuseTypos Thu 29-Aug-13 23:28:10

Meant to say both my DDs weren't sure what they wanted to do, but did know they wanted to go to uni. They both did 2 'academic' subjects and 2 'softer' ones and both got AAB at A level, so got into good RG unis.

HeavenstoMurgatroyd Thu 29-Aug-13 23:31:53

All I would say is get some advice about whether a combined English lang / lit is considered a Russell Group "facilitating" subject (their report is here. I know that Eng Lit is considered "solid", but not sure about the combined.

Thank you. smile

Grades-wise, it will depend on how much she decides to work. She is clever but not v motivated. Her GCSE results were Bs and a couple of As, but she didn't work v hard tbh.

I'd prefer her to replace the Sociology with a language, personally - but she's gone off the idea because she got a B not an A in it at GCSE, so has decided she's no good at it.

We'll have to see about uni but she needs to ensure that her A level choices will leave her options fairly open right now.

senua Thu 29-Aug-13 23:35:33

Have you only looked at her current school, would another place have better options groupings? If she doesn't like school, would college be preferable? Has she looked at non-AS alternatives eg BTEC.

Lang/Lit is fine, I think. Just Lang is less so.

senua Thu 29-Aug-13 23:38:56

Oh, are we talking about starting AS in Sep 2013, not Sep 2014?

She wants to stay at her school -that's her main priority. No to BTEC.

BlackMogul Thu 29-Aug-13 23:40:11

Hi! I am still awake. I thought English Language and English Literature were separate A level courses. The Literature course will involve in depth analysis of books/ poems. Does she like books? This is hard if you are not that keen. History is hard too but opens lots of doors as unis like it. If she likes art, why can she not do 2 art related subjects? Will she thrive taking 3 essay subjects? Art is very time consuming. My DD did Photography, Art and Business Studies for A2 level and has a place at The London College of Fashion. Sometimes doing what you like is far better than plugging away at harder subjects you are not interested in. Try and find out what she would like to do after school so you know the subjects she needs to do rather than guess at them. You can look at the web pages of art based courses at unis and see what might interest her, then go for the A level combinations they recommend. Basically this combination is fine but does not really say this person is an arty student. Some schools don't like people doing 2 art A leves because it narrows choice of degree right down ( as opposed to essay subjects that keep doors open). If she wants to do Art, go for another Art subject if you can persuade the school and have researched what she needs to do.

almapudden Thu 29-Aug-13 23:42:23

That sounds like a good combination - Eng Lang/Lit and History are both solid academic subjects; Sociology is less academic but good practice for essay writing and analysis; Art isn't necessarily academic but it's a big time commitment and I think universities recognise that it indicates motivation and dedication, even if it's not intellectually 'difficult'.

senua Thu 29-Aug-13 23:42:55

confused In your OP you said she "doesn't appear to like much about school" but now you are saying "she wants to stay at her school -that's her main priority".

You can do Lang and Lit separately or do a combined. She is good at English. Tbh she'll probably be okay with whatever she chooses, and is far less negative at school than she is about school! She doesn't know if she'll want to do an Art degree (and indeed what that might lead to), so it's probably best to keep her options more open.

ExcuseTypos Thu 29-Aug-13 23:47:01

That's a very good point Black. As your dd likes Art very much, would she be better to do Eng combined/History/Art and then another art subject at As level?

This may make school a bit more interesting for herwink.

Dd2 got mostly Bs and a few As at GCSE, without working her socks off. She then got 4 As at AS level because she loved the courses.

Senua - this is the mind of a 16 year old girl I'm reporting! Keep your confused face on, because it is just right! smile

Sociology is the completely random one that she's thrown in.

senua Thu 29-Aug-13 23:49:39


senua Thu 29-Aug-13 23:52:30

It does help if they have a goal to work towards.
DS only became focused when he decided which career he fancied, which then decided the degree, which then motivated him to get the A Level grades.

Vijac Thu 29-Aug-13 23:58:55

Sound like a good combination to me. Religious studies or psychology would be other options instead of sociology. The latter brings a bit of science in. I think I'd steer away from a language with a b unless she will have the opportunity to spend the summer living with a family speaking that language. I think that there is a massive step up with languages, more than other subjects (though I could be wrong as I didn't actually take one myself).

Senua - I know that, but I can't make her have one if she hasn't yet got one! smile

She really wanted to do RE, but it doesn't fit with the option blockings at all. English is only in one option block and RE and her language are also only in that block. Grrr. So she can only do one of those three, when she initially wanted to do all of them plus Art.

BlackMogul Fri 30-Aug-13 00:06:37

I think the goal is the key. Lots of schools are not keen for pupils to do a language A level with a B at GCSE because the jump to A is big. DD1 is a linguist and I think you have to really want to do languages to succeed in them. At both my DD's schools girls came up with odd subject combinations as they could not decide. DD2 had enough A* and A's in solid subjects at GCSE to go on to A level, but preferred Art subjects. She saw school as a vehicle to get her to the college of choice and was determined to make that happen. Succeeding in something you enjoy always seems easier and makes school a bit more attractive!

mysteryfairy Fri 30-Aug-13 00:07:54

Is Government and Politics a possible option? I think it is better regarded than sociology and goes well with her other choices. Also at AS level options evening we got told two things that might make it a better option than history
The paper is more granular so more shorter questions and the long essay questions not as heavily weighted (this could depend on he exam board though)
There is no unit on any aspect of Nazi Germany, Hitler's Rise to Power etc whereas picking history meant revisiting that again (again dependent on the curriculum at her school)

Nothing wrong with her options at all - just seems like one that might be a good fit if she is not totally convinced of current options

G&P not available and tbh I doubt she'd be interested in it anyway.


BlackMogul Fri 30-Aug-13 00:10:07

I was lucky that my DD's had free choice! This option blocking is hardly the key to success for students, is it? I feel sorry for her.

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