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Struggling with A levels

(9 Posts)
dingit Tue 21-Mar-17 10:15:48

Just that really. Not sure what I'm looking for just at my wits end. Dd got ABB at AS, and is predicted AAA. The A was in chemistry, but this year she is really struggling. Her predictions from the last mocks are now ABD. Her mock marks were actually CCE! She wants to do aerospace engineering and needs a minimum of AAB to get in. If I was a betting person I would bet she's going to miss her offer by a country mile.
Of course I haven't said as such to her. She had a big melt down last night, I just gave her a big hug and some pain killers, then she knuckled down and did a lot of work ( of her choosing, I didn't make her). Today she is off sick, which I think is a mixture of exhaustion, heavy period, and ongoing problem with her painful hips ( she's under physio, and now may need surgery)
I mentioned she may like to look at apprenticeships, and she just told me to get off her back.

She says she wants a chemistry tutor, but won't go to the drop in sessions after school, and I really think this should be her first port of call. I'm not sure what else to do really. I'm worried she's on the verge of depression. Also if she's like this now, how is she going to cope with the demands of a degree, if she ever gets there.

Argh!

catslife Tue 21-Mar-17 10:42:05

Hi dingit for Science A level subjects, past grade boundaries can be quite close together. So the difference between a B and a D grade could only be 2 marks per question if the difficulty is poor exam technique. The fact that she achieved well last year suggests to me that this could be the problem.
The other issue with the new linear A levels is that no-one is completely sure where the grade boundaries will be for the new style exams. This could mean that the mock grades aren't really that accurate. (In the first year of a new specification, boundaries tend to be slightly lower than in previous years).

noblegiraffe Tue 21-Mar-17 10:42:58

Why have her marks in chemistry dropped so badly and why doesn't she want to go to the drop-in sessions? Has something changed with the group/teacher that she now doesn't get on with?

If you can afford a tutor, I'd get a tutor tbh. It's a bit late to be insisting on drop-in sessions that she doesn't want to go to and won't be as effective given how close the exams are. If you could afford the tutor and refuse out of principal, then how will you feel when the results come out? Could she contribute towards the cost as a compromise?

Y13 is exceptionally stressful, not only with the exams but with impending upheaval of leaving home. If she did well in her AS then that suggests she is a good kid who deserves support rather than a slacker who wants the world handed to them on a plate.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 21-Mar-17 11:04:37

dingit - I think I'd ask her to go to the drop-ins and try to find a tutor - the thing is, it may not be that easy to find a good one so it would make sense to get as much help as possible from the school. I get the impression from my DD that quite a few of her friends who take chemistry are finding it particularly hard - do you know how your DD's cohort did, maybe the new spec and the mock paper available just is set very tough and come A levels the grade boundaries will be lower.

dingit Tue 21-Mar-17 11:34:17

That's correct, she really doesn't like one of the chemistry teachers.

Yes we could pay for tutor, the problem is finding a decent one, the drop in sessions surely will help, I think there's one topic she struggles with.

She is a good kid, that's why it's so tough watching her struggle. I've seen her turn grades round before, chemistry went from an E to an A last year! She can also be a bit of a drama llama, a melt down before her GCSE German history paper, come results day 100% on that paper

It's going to be rocky road, thank you for your replies.

noblegiraffe Tue 21-Mar-17 11:35:57

Can she find a study buddy at school who is doing well in chemistry who she could work with?

swingofthings Tue 21-Mar-17 15:44:01

Do you know how well she is doing compared to the others? DD came back with a C at her latest chemistry exam which got me worried, but then speaking with the teacher, he said that this was the highest mark in the class. He picked a particularly difficult exam to get them a flavour of the hardest questions and as catslife said, it was a question of a few marks. She made one stupid mistake and that cost her 5 points, the difference between an A and a C.

dingit Tue 21-Mar-17 15:52:56

Thanks swing. I don't think she was the lowest, and her teacher did say she has done better in other tests. I think they are setting hard papers in all subjects. Better than the other way round I suppose.

She's been working hard at home today, so hasn't wasted the day bless her.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 21-Mar-17 20:47:17

DD's school sent a letter home just before parents' evening about how a lot were disappointed with their mocks results, and offering extra revision help etc. I think the changes to most of the A levels have really thrown things. And while maths hasn't changed yet, I think maths mocks often are low because the end game is all about practice - endless past papers (afaik thats not changed since I did mine!)

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