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Y13 support thread, anyone?

(701 Posts)
cardibach Sun 06-Apr-14 19:20:54

I remember our GCSE one 2 years ago. It was a haven! I hesitate to start this as I'm not totally confident of wanting to post DDs results in the end, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
So, how's the revision going? What are the tricky subjects for anyone's DC?
DD is revising steadily, but then she always does and has had some disastrous module results, so not filled with massive confidence. Biology is her issue - she knows and understands it but can't seem to give the examiner what they are looking for. We've had papers back and her tutor says she hasn't answered anything incorrectly, just hasn't said precisely what the examiner wants. Seems so unfair.
I'm stressing. Anyone else?

bruffin Sun 06-Apr-14 19:35:19

Ds off to a revision course for physics next sat for a week. His timetable is solid from 9 to 9. Just physics and time off for some sports. He has done some maths papers this weekend , so hopefully he will keep it up

FantaSea Sun 06-Apr-14 21:11:42

My DD is year 13 and taking Maths, Biology and Chemistry. I agree cardibach the Biology is very tricky to get right. DD is re-sitting an AS module which I had remarked as I couldn't believe she had done so badly on, but it came back exactly the same! For DD, it is the wording - she knows what she wants to say but has enormous difficulty expressing it on paper. What board is your DD doing for Biology? DD is doing OCR.

I'm stressing about it all too.

cardibach Sun 06-Apr-14 21:24:23

It's WJEC Fanta - and yes, that's exactly the problem! Has your DD's school got any suggestions?

FantaSea Sun 06-Apr-14 22:17:33

cardibach her biology teacher said that it was important to be concise in her answers, as if you answer a question correctly and then ramble on it is possible you could contradict yourself. He said there was no need to 'fill up' all the space given for an answer either. He also said it was vital to study the mark schemes together with the past papers to be sure she is answering what is required.

I tested her verbally for her AS biology exams and thought she had a good grasp of it. I wonder now if she had enough detail. This, together with the problem of wording it correctly, was likely to be the problem.

cardibach Mon 07-Apr-14 07:45:29

DD doesn't seem to be able to tell when the question wants detail and when it wants overview, but your suggestions make sense too - thanks.

FantaSea Mon 07-Apr-14 09:19:18

I know what you mean cardi - DD's teacher said the mark scheme should act as a guide, so two marks for a question should be two points she puts down.

I have found that my DD doesn't know at what point to start a question, or indeed, finish an answer, so often wastes time writing a load of irrelevant stuff. So for example, if the question wants an answer about the initiation of the heartbeat, DD will write all she knows about the heart and that can waste time.

How much revision is your DD doing? I am stressing about that too!

BeckAndCall Mon 07-Apr-14 16:20:03

Signing in - hello everyone. I was on the thread 2 years ago ( I think my name was probably GettingaLifeNow back then).

dD is my youngest of three so I've been through this before but each one is different.

My DD is likewise doing maths, biology and chemistry.

I'm feeling like a totally unfit mother right now as we are away on holiday and have been for a week! I clearly should have made us stay home so she could start her revision ( we're heading home later today so from tomorrow - nose to the grindstone).

DDs first exam isn't until 9 th June so a while yet, and her study leave doesn't start until mid May so plenty of revision classes at school to help first.

Meantime, I will get in the usual supply of comfort food, get the stack of RomComs ready to watch after hard days working and prepare to soothe for the next 2 or 3 months.

FantaSea Mon 07-Apr-14 16:46:27

Beck at least your DD will have a nice rest before she starts - my DD keeps telling me how tired she is, which is to be expected at the end of term really.

What boards is she doing? OCR here for Biology and Chemistry, and Edexcel for Maths.

DD's first exam is on May 19th as she has some AS resits to do - this is 6 weeks today which is making me feel quite nervous.

cardibach Mon 07-Apr-14 18:18:44

Fanta she is not doing as much as I would like! In reality though she has made revision notes on all her BY4 syllabus and has started BY2, so she is getting through it.
I don't think I said her subjects - English, Biology and Chemistry, all WJEC. Her first exam is 2nd June.

BeckAndCall Mon 07-Apr-14 18:21:31

Hi Fanta - I honestly can't remember the boards for each - she has one AQA, one OCR and one Edexcel but I don't remember which way round!

I know the chemistry is Salters - I think that is OCR? And that seems to be the most difficult course ever studied, so far as I can see from the outside looking in. They have an independent investigation to do over a six week period and I reckon she spent about 150 hours on it - she wrote 20k words ( and I didn't know what most of them meant!). But at least that's 30% of this years course completed, so she'll be glad of that in a few weeks time.

I reckon the maths will be edexcel - that would be the most usual wouldn't it.

So, by deduction, I guess the biology is AQA! She had 'ISA' course work as part of that ( although that may be common to all boards?)

(Six weeks is not long til the start of it all for you! Hold steady and breathe......... smile )

FantaSea Mon 07-Apr-14 18:30:03

cardi my DD is not doing as much as I would like either! It's a worry isn't it? I feel though that at nearly 18yo I have to leave her to it. She has done some of the dreaded Biology AS today and has just asked me to test her on that after supper. As I said earlier, I tested her verbally last year and I was confident that she knew it well but one exam was a disaster - it is this module that she is resitting so I shall be very attentive to her explanations and hope that does the trick. I think that last year, I was still in gcse mode and if the answer was close I thought 'yes, that's right' but it has to be so much more precise for A level doesn't it?

FantaSea Mon 07-Apr-14 18:40:45

Beck that independent investigation sounds very involved and a huge task to write up. As it is worth 30%, if she can secure most of those marks then that will be a good position to be in when the written exams start. I think the Salters is OCR but there are 2 specifications for OCR - my DD does the other one to your DD as hers has 3 experimental tasks done at school for the 'coursework'.

You're right - 6 weeks isn't long at all. Tbh though, I shall be relieved to have it over with as DD has found the work in the sixth form very challenging.

Lindor Mon 07-Apr-14 18:46:20

hi all, count me in. DS has at last realised what he needs to do (I think). He's upstairs right now, hopefully doing some work. He dropped biology after doing appallingly at AS for all the reasons you have stated. Sadly, he really enjoyed it, but just felt that however hard he worked at it, and however well he understood it, there was no guarantee of a good mark.

He's doing Geography, geology and Spanish. He starts on 30th April with a resit for geology, then nothing for 2 weeks. Then it all kicks off.

I've got lots of quick food to keep him going. He is like a bottomless pit.

good luck and patience to you all


FantaSea Mon 07-Apr-14 20:28:38

Lindor it is a shame your DS had to give up Biology if he really enjoyed it.

DD says she is more hungry when she's revising so I imagine boys are impossible to fill!

cardibach Mon 07-Apr-14 21:38:35

DD can't give the Bio up as she needs it for her course. It does feel impossible to predict a grade, though. It's like they want them to read the examiner's mind.

FantaSea Tue 08-Apr-14 11:02:05

cardi What course is your DD hoping to do? I will be happy if my DD clears a C in biology, but am secretly hoping she can scrape a B. It is such a worry isn't it?

cardibach Tue 08-Apr-14 12:06:41

THat's what my DD is after, Fanta. She is going to study Occupational Therapy <uses positive language to cheer self up>. It's a real worry. Can't bear to think of what it will be like if she doesn't get the B she needs for her firm offer or the C for her insurance sad It won't be from lack of work, either - and 90% of all the work she does is for Bio. It's affected her Chem grade, I think.

FantaSea Tue 08-Apr-14 12:16:22

It is a worry isn't it? I try to encourage DD but she seems so despondent about it all. DD finds Chemistry hard too, in fact she finds it all hard. She breezed through gcses but has found the step-up to A level very challenging, sometimes I think she is not really up to any of it.

Lancelottie Tue 08-Apr-14 12:46:50

DS is at a maths revision course al day.

Given his maths mock result was 23% (after a confident prediction of an A from his teacher) there could be some ground to make up!

bruffin Tue 08-Apr-14 13:11:58

DD wants to do occupational therapy Cardibach, but she is only yr 11 so doing gcses this year. She is hoping to take Maths, physics, biology and history in september.
DS has been quite good at revising this week. Seems to be doing ok at maths, but he needs A/A* so cant afford to drop much.

Gilnahirk Tue 08-Apr-14 18:29:55

Sorry about your son's Maths, Lancelottie, but glad my DS is not the only one! 13% in Core 4 mock two weeks ago, but still predicted A. He's got revision days on Thursday and Friday, and has also just started with a Maths tutor. Here's hoping!

He also has the Biology problem mentioned above (OCR). C at AS level despite A prediction and just doesn't seem to be able to answer the questions in quite the right way. He's resitting Unit 2 of the AS and hoping to get at least a B in the end.

I'm glad I was at work today so didn't see how much work he did or didn't do! DH did see him working from time to time, apparently.

FantaSea Tue 08-Apr-14 19:40:17

Lance and Gilna are these revision days at school? My DD's school doesn't offer anything like that, but I think it would be helpful and would give her revision a bit more structure. Do they find them useful?

Gilna my DD got a C at AS and is resitting the unit 1 of the dreaded OCR Biology.

Are anyone's DC taking Decision maths as a module for the edexcel maths? That is another problem one for us.

bruffin Tue 08-Apr-14 19:59:05

Ds is retaking decision 2 on OCR. I think its game theory that he has to look at again.
There is website called further maths that has some good resources.

FantaSea Tue 08-Apr-14 20:01:39

Ah ok bruffin, I'll tell DD to have a look at that. She is doing Decision 1 for ordinary Maths but it might help, thank you smile .

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