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AS grades what to expect at the beginning of the course

(23 Posts)
halfthewaytothemoon Sun 21-Dec-14 00:59:26

Are there MNs out there able to shed light on AS grades. DC report states he is currently working at AS grade C plus. If this OK for this point in the course. what does this mean is it good or should we been concerned?

hellsbells99 Sun 21-Dec-14 01:40:13

DD1 (now year 13) got ABCD in her report at this stage in year 12. She got AABB at AS (which she was very happy with). But the report did give her a bit of a 'kick up the bum' and she did start working very hard.

colacola Sun 21-Dec-14 07:15:25

DDs school report is A* to U.

DDs grades are A B B B on her Christmas report

SecretSquirrels Sun 21-Dec-14 09:39:09

What to expect? Well I suppose it depends where you are starting from? What sort of GCSE grades did the student get?
DS2 has tests on every topic constantly so there is lots of feedback. He also has mocks in January which they sit in formal exam conditions with a mock results day. His GCSEs were A/ A* and he is getting mostly As with some Bs.

DS1 was in Y12 two years ago when they did January modules. They proved to be a wake up call for many, many of the students and I guess that's why the college are making a big issue of the mocks. He was getting As at this point and ended up with As at AS.

HoHonutty Sun 21-Dec-14 09:41:18

DS is getting Bs and Cs, maybe he needs to up his game a bit. Everyone was telling me they were quite good for this stage!

SecretSquirrels Sun 21-Dec-14 09:48:40

HoHonutty It may vary depending on subject? DS is doing Maths and 3 sciences.
What I have said to him and the teachers repeated at parents evening is this. The modules /topics covered this term will be in the AS exam next summer. Revision should be an on going thing, don't wait until Easter to re-visit the stuff you did in September.
They did a "mock mock" hmm in Chemistry last week and he got an A.
He has just completed Core 1 in Maths which is by far the easiest Maths module. He should be doing practise papers regularly from now on.
I suppose what I am saying is that if they are getting a C now on a topic in which the teaching has been completed it will be hard to improve on that purely by self study? I am not a teacher though so maybe I am missing something?

Springcleanish Sun 21-Dec-14 09:55:56

It depends on the course, is it new and never been studied before, or an extension from GCSE? It depends on the student - what grades did they achieve at GCSE, how easy / difficult did they find them? What are the ALIS scores for the student? These give a rough idea of individual expectations, every child is different.
Roughly, a student who achieved C's in a subject at GCSE is likely to get D/E at AS, if B's then C/B, A's then B/A. It's a very guideline, and doesn't consider a mountain of other factors, but it does begin to show that whilst for one student a B means they are not working hard enough, for another a D is fantastic progress.

whathaveiforgottentoday Sun 21-Dec-14 13:54:05

I agree with springcleanish advice. In addition I would say if the student continues to work at the same level, the grades they are achieving now will be a good prediction for their grade in the summer. They should be nearer the end of the 1st module so can accurately assess using mock papers. If you're not happy with the grade, I suggest contacting the teacher in the new year and finding out exactly what they need to do to improve and start working on it asap. Many students underestimate the amount of independent work they need to do to pass AS exams well. For example, my A grade students have beautiful coloured coded notes and detailed revision notes for all their topics so far already.

TooHasty Sun 21-Dec-14 20:13:59

They work on one unit, are tested on itb then move to the next unit.It is not as though they are working on one thing and their grades gradually improve.

toothlessoldhag Sun 21-Dec-14 20:36:31

can I add a supplementary as there seem to be a lot knowledgable people on this thread: is it true you can get only a maximum of A at AS level?

thanks -

titchy Sun 21-Dec-14 21:19:14

Yes - highest AS grade is A. No A* till A2.

halfthewaytothemoon Sun 21-Dec-14 22:36:27

DS has done a number of essays and set questions over the term. Most are from AS papers. grades are usually C/B but had a couple of As as well. When they put all the marks together this was the grade on the report. So if DS sat the AS exam tomorrow this would be the grade he would achieve, based on his current level of knowledge Some contributors have suggested that if DS is not achieving B/A now he could not get an A by the end of the course. Is this the case? If so what can we do as school seems very happy.

hellsbells99 Sun 21-Dec-14 23:48:34

Halftheway - DD1 went from a D to a B by knuckling down and working very hard. She practised past papers and went through the mark schemes.
School advise that they should be studying as follows:
during a typical school-week, students should be studying for three hours in the evening, ten hours over the weekend and five to six hours per day during the holidays.

toothlessoldhag Mon 22-Dec-14 08:17:13

Thanks titchy!

Hassled Mon 22-Dec-14 08:21:51

This is really useful - my multiple A* at GCSE, clever DS2 is getting Cs and Bs at the moment and I've been wondering whether it's just a normal blip in the adjustment to A Levels or whether that's what he should realistically expect to be getting in the Summer. He's not used to Cs - I think it's been very good for him in a "don't be over-confident" sort of way.

HoHonutty Mon 22-Dec-14 08:25:51

God Helles, that seems like a lot, even to me and I'm not the one who's supposed to be doing it.

colacola Mon 22-Dec-14 08:30:37

Apparently teachers mark down the first term reports to encourage children to work harder in the second term. This comes from DD so not sure how true it is !!

whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 22-Dec-14 09:28:06

cocacola that might be true for her teacher! Not sure we all take that stance. However, I do mark strictly to the exam mark scheme so if you are achieving a C grade at the moment, that is based on what you would get in the real exam.
half, many students improve by the summer as they start working much harder. I always think that the grade is largely determined by how much work they do outside of lesson and my best students are doing the sort of hours of independent study that Hellsbells outlined. So yes, absolutely he could improve up to an A, but your DS would have to work harder.

However, sometimes they may be lacking a certain skill particularly in essay based subjects and if this clicks they can see a jump in grade, but generally it comes down to effort.

RabbitOfNegativeEuphoria Mon 22-Dec-14 11:22:20

DD1 - predicted AAAA at AS - got ABBB in her report, which is apparently well on target for her predictions. For two of those subjects, her report B grades reflect dodgy seotember essays which have dragged down her average - she's been getting consistent As in practice exam questions across all her subjects since November. I'm not counting any chickens though because all her subjects are essay subjects (well, apart from music) and essays can be so subjective and so easy to mess up even if you have tip top subject knowledge (which she basically has, she's the Queen of knowledge tests - if the AS exams were just knowkedge tests she'd have no worries. But they aren't. So she has as many worries as anyone).

RabbitOfNegativeEuphoria Mon 22-Dec-14 11:28:33

Hells - DD1 is a hard worker, but I don't think she does anything near that amount of work. She just doesn't have the time, music has to come first because if she messes that up then she's sunk anyway. sad When I was her age, I'd switched over to playing just for fun, having done all my exams and diploma not even being a thing in those days, and not planning on studying music. For her, despite having 2 grade 8s and the hideous piano requirement under her belt already, she can't take her foot of the pedal - she has another grade 8 to do plus definitely 1 maybe 2 diplomas before Xmas next year. I worry she will just implode at some point (to be fair there's no sign of that right now, but still...)

I think the old days, when there were no ASs, were much easier. 6th form seems like never ending pressure now.

hellsbells99 Mon 22-Dec-14 12:54:14

Rabbit - neither of my DDs do that amount of work either wink
They both do music and play in a couple of bands (but for fun) and DD1 has a part-time job. I think school give that advice to hopefully get the students to do quite a lot of work even if it is not as much as school would hope for!
Good luck with your DD's music.

SecretSquirrels Mon 22-Dec-14 13:48:55

I'd say performance in January Mocks is a better measure than a cumulative assessment of work since September. They are more of a test of lessons learned in exam technique as well as subject knowledge.
Every sixth form teacher we saw repeated the same mantra. Practise papers, lots of them and most importantly read the examiner's report at the end of each paper. This is where they learn to maximise the marks available.

I think the difference in AS compared with GCSE is that a bright DC can get A/A* without too much effort at GCSE but they need to up their game considerably to get the highest (A) grade at AS. And then up it again if they are aiming for A* at A2.
As to work load school-week, students should be studying for three hours in the evening, ten hours over the weekend and five to six hours per day during the holidays This is typical of to A the amount of work my DS1 did in the run up to his A levels, less so his AS levels. He got all A at AS and all A* at A level.
DS2 is not putting those sort of hours in but he is not as driven and ambitious as DS1.

halfthewaytothemoon Tue 23-Dec-14 23:09:28

thank you for all the useful info. Yes our school also recommends minimum of 4 hours per subject which is 16 hours a week plus minimum 5 hours practice for music AS. DS is fairly conscientious, although less in the last few weeks, end of term fatigue. Sounds like he is on the right track as he does mainly essay subjects and it appears to be how he writes the questions rather than anything else. DC seems more secure in AS than GCSE where he did not fair so well
Rabbit if your DD is interested in auditioning for Conservatoire, we were adviced by one of the major colleges to focus on your first study instrument as they are not so interested unless you are planning on joint study. DC1 was playing two instruments to grade 8 but has left one and focused solely on the first choice. DC1 is involved in several groups but this is not that necessary either. what the colleges look for is clean playing, don`t know if that is any help.

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