Which A levels? Psychology/Sociology
DD considering these A levels to go with Maths A level she has already decided to take. Anyone got DC that has taken these subjects? Or any teachers that can advise? Obviously DD and I have read the prospectus.
DD was talking about doing Maths at Uni but now not sure she is capable of FM plus she hasn’t experienced the other subjects before so may find she prefers them to Maths.
Noblegiraffe you have kindly given me advice on FM, DD having a few second thoughts on FM as (at her insistence), we attended super selective 6th Form that asks for grade 9 for FM. -DD is predicted an 8.
What about Physics? Great compliment to Maths and stretches reasoning skills... but I know I’m biased!!!
physicskate - I agree, suggested this to DD last night, but she isn't keen. Science not her strongest subject and is taking combined science, she thinks physics is just for people taking triple? Physics used to be her favourite science, but now it is chemistry.
Does Maths really go with the choices she is thinking of? Part of me thinks she is looking at these because she doesn't know what else to choose, but she does seem to have done her research.
Philosophy and Maths go well together
If she isn’t capable of further maths then Maths at university doesn’t sound like a good idea. What if she interested in doing afterwards?
NewIdeasToday - that's exactly it, she is uncertain if she is capable, different 6th Forms give different entry requirements. Super selective gives an entry requirement of grade 9, but the 6th form attached to the school she goes to gives 7/8. She is predicted an 8, but obviously things will be clearer when mock results are in, but she has to apply over the weekend to the super selective she is currently set on over the weekend .... her friend is going to the super selective....
A lot of students who do Maths at uni didn't do FM. The people who did FM have some advantage in the first term or two but that's about it.
Friends who teach in the two super selective grammars told me they only require a grade 8 for FM so each school wants different thing. IMO a grade 8 at GCSE plus lots of effort and consistency is more than enough to do FM A Level.
So many universities are covering what is covered in FM during the first year of studies that is no longer a plus, much less essential, to have a FM A level, even if you are applying for a Maths degree.
I have also seen that a bad/average grade in FM can show a student in bad light even when the student has a very high grade in Maths A level. It can have universities scratching their head and wondering whether she would be able to cope with their course, while they would assume she would be ok looking at Maths A level result in isolation.
The key thing here is not what goes with Maths but where does she is heading in the future. What does she want to study after A levels, and what a levels are required for her preferred choices?
Psychology will have an element of maths (10% of the WAS specification is maths skills based) but will also stretch reasoning, evaluation and writing skills so there'll be an element of things she's comfortable with whilst balancing that off with developing other skills and giving her some other options if maths at uni doesn't work out or she changes her mind before applying. Psychology is looked upon quite well by universities because of the variety of skills it develops.
Does she have any idea what she wants to do in later life? Doing 2 'new' subjects when she has no plan in mind seems quite a risk.
As she is aiming for a super selective I'm going to assume she is all-round able. Though you said she's only doing combined science, not triple.
So Maths/Geography/Sociology could go well maybe?
I'm just thinking another 'mainstream', known subject to go with maths might work better and keep more options open?
I’d read about facilitating subjects - some of these new, softer, nice-sounding subjects might be wiser to aim for / consider at uni level rather than A-level. It is crucial to keep options open now, and especially so if uni plans are still vague. She needs to understand this for herself when making the choices.
TeenTimesTwo - no DD isn’t at all rounded, only looking at super selective because friends are looking to go. She is “weaker” in English and Science. Any comments made to DD are deemed as negative. I’m trying to steer her into a more realistic route, but not an easy task!!
No idea what she wants to do when she leaves uni, she has just been reading up on the “new” subjects and likes the sound of them.
Too early for ?
I teach the AQA Philosophy a-level (only exam board which offers it), and if she’s academic it can be a great one. Lots of people seem very suspicious of ‘new’ subjects - I have to persuade parents at open evening their kids aren’t flushing their lives down the drain - but if they’re interested and engaged that tends to lead to a good result because they want to learn more, do extra reading etc. It’s also good for developing a huge variety of skills which can be useful whatever she does. If she wants to apply for maths at uni then that’s the only subject she’ll need to definitely do, and doing some essay subjects gives her other options. If as you say she’s done her research and thinks it’s a good choice for her then you may just need to trust her!
Maths, FM, philosophy and another sounds good to me. Physics is a good fit. Plenty of students do a science A level without triple science at GCSE. Otherwise, I prefer psychology to sociology. Is history an option?
I've got a maths & economics background & loved sociology, because of the stats element and a keen interest in education, healthcare, feminism etc. I'm surprised they are asking for grade 9s for maths to take FM, as the main difference between an 8/9 seems to be whether you make a daft mistake on the day. It's a good job I'm not in a SS area as our schools are only giving 8+ as a prediction rather than building up false hope in an already pressurised bunch of year 11s. Your school may have a very sparse FM class if they insist on 9s.
I teach Aqa economics, goes well with maths. Interest in world is vital as is an inquisitive mind. Our college allows you to swop subjects in first month if realise that it's not the right choice.
the main difference between an 8/9 seems to be whether you make a daft mistake on the day.
Not in maths. You only needed 79% to get a 9 - plenty of scope for silly mistakes.
I think if she is considering maths at uni she should at least start FM as a 4th if she gets an 8. She can then always drop it if it's too much. Not having FM won't prevent her from taking maths at uni, but it will rule out some of the higher-ranking unis who ask for it if the school offers it.
A superselective which requires a 9 for FM made that decision with one eye on its results - now that they can't kick people out for getting less than a B at AS (see St Olave's), they're going to be even more stringent with entry requirements to get the A*/As at the end. Kids who get an 8 should certainly not be put off.
Philosophy is probably a good pair for maths - both are about forming logical arguments, just one is with words instead of numbers.
Not sure about pairing that with another new subject though, obviously sciences would go well with maths but she has already ruled those out! Computer science?
Noblegiraffe thanks makes sense wrt to St Olaves as superselective gives lower entry requirement in prospectus than maths teachers did at open evening. Couldn’t query this with the teachers as DD does let me speak - I’ll talk to her about Computer Science
Noble I'm speaking from bitter experience. DD misread 56 as 52 as the starting point in one of her mock papers this week! She's still kicking herself.
You can apply to several sixth forms, and all that my Dc applied to allowed you to re-assess subjects on taking up the place. And there was some flexibility as long as the subjects could be timetabled alongside each other.
A lot can happen between now and results / enrolment day, so I would say apply with subjects she enjoys and is confident in, (and for the super selective is most likely to make the grades in) , you don’t have to list the same subjects for each application, accept all places offered, and decide in August!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.