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AS A2 Biology in one year, is this possible

(19 Posts)
RiverWhy Tue 12-Apr-16 20:28:17

DD has taken the wrong A levels, now needs Biology, has anyones dcs managed this.

Dancingqueen17 Tue 12-Apr-16 21:34:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeenAndTween Tue 12-Apr-16 21:39:46

I think we will need more information.

Is your DD still in the 6th form, trying to complete other A levels but now needing biology too, or has she completed A levels, but now needs A level Biology and wants it quickly? If so what else is she going to be doing with her time?

I suspect (but have no detailed knowledge) that a standard school or 6th form college would be unlikely to support this, as she almost certainly needs to learn the AS syllabus before the A2 one, so it is not as if she can just sit in on lessons for both lower and upper sixth form lessons and do both parts in parallel.

It might be more possible at some kind of crammer school if you are in London or some other big city I guess. Or if you engaged a private tutor and she worked hard. (Does the OU offer A levels?)

PurpleDaisies Tue 12-Apr-16 21:44:06

I'd be amazed if any school would be able to facilitate this. I'm a private tutor in biology and I think she'd struggle to get a decent grade in a year. The new course that started this year is harder than the old a level too.

What does she need it for? What other subjects is she doing?

whathaveiforgottentoday Tue 12-Apr-16 23:06:40

A great deal of work but not impossible. The biggest question is does it work in the timetable for her to attend both the AS and A2 lessons. If she can't, I wouldn't attempt it. How able is your DD. If she's currently working at A/B grades, then maybe.
Why does she need biology?

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 12-Apr-16 23:16:50

Biology is a reformed subject. The new A level course also has a considerable practical requirement that must be passed. Doing two years in one would be very difficult. Would be more realistic to start it next year and take an extra year.

mummytime Wed 13-Apr-16 06:39:12

Is she planning to do this with school/college?
The people I would ask if she is considering doing it independently are the HE crowd. But your DD would have to be highly motivated.

Shebepurplestill Wed 13-Apr-16 07:48:17

I have dc about to take A2 biology under the old spec, so you would need to check the new spec. A problem may be the field course/mini dissertations part of AS and A2, worth 20% of exam marks at A2( counted for AS too)

The A2 one involves a 2-3 day field course (daily from home or stay away) followed by an extensive write-up with hypotheses, references etc, which takes up a huge amount of time. The timing of the trip may be a problem as it was after the as exams in July, which means your dd may need to do it before she has started her one year course. This would be tricky but as she would need some knowledge of AS work to plan the project. AS also had a slightly shorter written project based on their research of a subject of interest, but as there is no longer an AS biology exam, this may no longer exist?

So, it is doable if the field trip fits and as long as the AS project is not required. Doing a project, a minidissertation and two years' work in one would be too much if other subjects are being taken.If only biology, it is possible but would need to be very motivated and do own reading to fill in the gaps from not having finished the AS spec.

It also depends what grade will be required at the end, as well as when her other subjects are being taken. It is worth taking another year at this stage to get to study what she really wants. Good luck!

catslife Wed 13-Apr-16 08:48:31

Is your dd coming to the end of Y13 now or finishing Y12?
I am not sure if sixth forms will do it but many FE colleges offer an A level in one year option. These are mostly done by students who have already completed A levels. Since Biology (and other Sciences) are now linear courses with exams at the end of the course, many colleges haven't been able to offer this in 2016 as the new linear exams are not fully available until 2017. It should be possible for 2017 onwards though.
The coursework requirements are totally different for the new linear Sciences to that described by Sheba so don't let that put you off.

RiverWhy Wed 13-Apr-16 08:49:52

Thank you for the replies.

DD is at college, yr12. She has decided she wants to take a different route at university and will need biology, although I have asked her to call and verify before we move forward.

At gcse dd attained a B, she is very motivated and would have to do this along side her other A levels, timetable permitting. Her tutor is very supportive so will see what happens today.

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Apr-16 13:27:09

Which other A levels is she doing? What grades did she get at GCSE for maths and chemistry? As I said before, I'd be pretty surprised if they let her do this, especially with a B at GCSE.

She could still do AS biology in a year if that's good enough for her uni course. Good luck with sorting it all out.

MadeinBelfast Wed 13-Apr-16 13:33:58

At GCSE many students see biology as the 'easy' science. They are usually really surprised by how much of a jump there is to A level. Students with a B grade at GCSE tend to find it very challenging. I think contacting the university to find out the course requirements is the best idea. If biology is required then approach the school to find out what they could do to support her. Some FE colleges offer biology A level as an evening class too.

Shebepurplestill Wed 13-Apr-16 16:59:43

Have asked dc about this and the good news for you is that both research projects have gone from the spec(for Edexcel anyway), sadly also the field trip. It is a shame overall as the projects provided useful uni skills and a taste of what studying biology at uni would really be like. It has been replaced by more practicals, which are not marked but are examined in the final exam questions, and maybe more course content.

So this should make it easier practically for your dd but is still a huge amount of work, especially if running it alongside three others. I would probably look at dropping one that has an AS this summer (to get credit for what she has already done) if it fits with required subjects in order to lighten the load a bit. A2 year is grim so every little helps in terms of workload balance. Three good grades plus a good AS will be worth a lot more than four mediocre grades.

Polgara2 Wed 13-Apr-16 17:13:52

Well dd1 is in her first year at uni so did biology for the two years prior to that. I know it's changing but her response was nooooooooooo! A levels are just hard full stop - is there nothing else she can do?

RiverWhy Wed 13-Apr-16 21:12:24

thanks again for replies.

DD needs a science to study psychology, although didnt contact uni to confirm as she said she would so I am no further forward and neither is she until she makes the effort..exhausted parent here!

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Apr-16 21:21:56

She needs to contact the unis. You can definitely study psychology without a science-she might get a higher offer than if she had a science but she's much better really busting a gut on her current A levels than trying to do biology in a year. Even bright students studying at s normal pace find it hard.

I'd be very surprised if there aren't any universities at all that don't require a science for psychology. Is she doing psychology a level? Often that counts as a science.

PurpleDaisies Wed 13-Apr-16 21:27:04

Durham uni confirming you don't need science a level for psychology.

Stillunexpected Wed 13-Apr-16 21:36:48

So it appears that not every university requires a science at A level for Psychology. What are your DD's other subjects? If she attempts Biology in one year is she planning on dropping two of her current subjects or only one and trying to do Biology both as an "extra" A level and in one year?

catslife Thu 14-Apr-16 08:45:52

Yes it's possible, but would only recommend it if absolutely essential for university. As other people have said taking Biology AS, which is a one year course, may be better as having a high grade AS level is preferable to having a lower grade A level due to having taken the course in only one year. (The successful 1 year students have usually been those taking the A level as a stand alone subject having already completed other A levels).
I think the reason that many unis prefer biology is that often Psychology is seen as a Science subject so BSc degree. However your dd needs to double check the entry requirements as having good grades is usually the most important thing.

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