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AQA combined science trilogy and triple science- what on earth is the difference?

(118 Posts)
Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 17:01:50

Rapidly starting to think parents with kids taking options this year could do with a night class in the subject.confused

What do you get at the end of both?What is the difference? How well regarded is the lesser option? We've had very little info from school.

Petalflowers Mon 05-Feb-18 17:06:56

My son has just advised to,do,the Trilogy exam, as he got poor mock results in the individual science exams.

Basically, you still do the three core science subjects, but with a smaller, simpler syllabus, and you come out with two GCSEs. We went with this option as dc would rather get two better GCSEs rather than three poorer ones. The questions and subject matter are supposed to be slightly simpler.

I just hope he doesn’t slacken as he knows he has less work to do. Also, hope it’s known outside the education environment.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 17:08:42

But how well thought of is it and how useful for Alevels?

gandalfspants Mon 05-Feb-18 17:17:50

Calling combined double award science 'trilogy' is a stupid move by AQA if you ask me.

How well regarded it is depends on the area and the provider in my experience.

It's worth looking at the A levels he wants to do, at the colleges/6th forms he wants to do them at, to see if they'd be happy with 2 science GCSEs instead of three.

Triple will be 9 exams rather than 6 at the end of the course last time I checked, and you get 3 separately graded GCSEs (so Bio A, Chem C, Phys A for example) rather than 2 averaged (eg Science BB).

Some schools only let the most able take 3, some also consider it for pupils who are really weak at one but good at the other 2, so they still get 2 good GCSEs rather than bringing the average down.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 17:18:53

And surely 2 on 2 thirds of the content is crap compared to 3 that have covered the whole curriculum?

Which 2 do you get?

ShutTheFridgeUp Mon 05-Feb-18 17:18:54

There is surprisingly very little difference between the combined trilogy and the single sciences.
You would have to do an extra few required practicals and learn a bit more content, but certainly not a massive amount.
I would say that if your DC is capable, then taking each subject in full would be beneficial.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 18:03:24

If there is so little in it I don't get why both are an option.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 18:05:10

Would not doing triple science have an impact on getting high marks in say A level,physics?

What should they be getting now to be fine with triple( I get all schools will assess differently)?

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 05-Feb-18 18:49:40

I've got a son in Y11 who will be sitting triple science (AQA) this year.

Also have twins in Y9, one has already chosen options and the other will be choosing soon.

In my opinion:

Students likely to get 7 or above might as well do triple science, especially if they are hoping to do science A-levels. In many schools this is taught in the same timetable slot as combined science, so doesn't use up an option slot.

Students likely to get 5 or below would be better off doing combined science (science A-levels won't be an option for them anyway).

My twins are both in the bracket in between these two groups. Usually the school will allocate them to triple science or combined science based on their grades. I'm considering asking for them to be allocated to combined science, as I feel that 6,6 would be a better outcome than 5,5,5.

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 05-Feb-18 18:51:42

and learn a bit more content
AQA triple science is quite a bit more content which includes the most difficult topics.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 18:58:10

What if they're getting a mixed bag say 6,7 and 8/9?Surely the higher subject should be catered for in the triple regardless of the lower. What generally happens when one is stronger than another. It seems bonkers downgrading something you're good at because of other subjects.

What is the normal cut off?

TheSecondOfHerName Mon 05-Feb-18 18:59:49

What if they're getting a mixed bag say 6,7 and 8/9?

I would consider triple science.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 19:00:43

I.e. What if they don't fall into top x3, middlex3 or bottomx3?

Seems like a really silly system.

titchy Mon 05-Feb-18 19:03:51

Triple = 3 separate GCSEs in each of the sciences.

Trilogy = two thirds of each GCSE, so gives a double GCSE, equivalent to 2 GCSEs (two thirds + two thirds + two thirds = 2). The overall mark will be an average of all papers - so could be 66, even if kid got 333999 in each paper. (The number of papers differs by board but that was just to illustrate.)

For A level doing the final third is undoubtedly an advantage, but plenty do A level without it. Worth spending the summer doing a bit of catch up work though!

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 19:04:55

So what 2 do you get?confused

titchy Mon 05-Feb-18 19:09:57

Combined Science double GCSE.

The individual sciences aren't named unless you do triple.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 19:21:17

But that's pants.

titchy Mon 05-Feb-18 19:22:36


Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 19:24:49

To get an exam with no title. So you could do well in one area but not get a certificate saying so.

Why can't everybody just do the 3?

catslife Mon 05-Feb-18 19:27:32

Triple will be 9 exams rather than 6 at the end of the course last time I checked,
Incorrect that's for the old GCSE.
For new 9-1 GCSE both triple and Double are 2 exams in each Science subject i.e. Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The difference is that for Triple each exam is 1 hour 45 mins and for combined 1 hour 10 mins.
It's called Trilogy because each subject can be taught separately. But the overall grades come from an average across all the different papers.

AlexanderHamilton Mon 05-Feb-18 19:27:44

AQA offer two double science syllabi - both cover physics, chemistry & biology but the Trilogy syllabus is designed to be taught by three separate teachers whereas the Synergy syllabus is designed to be taught by two teachers.

Triple Science is a nickname for the three separate GCSE’s in biology, chemistry & physics.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 19:29:46

So they add all 3 and then divide by 2 and give you 2 without titles. Err why,who on earth thought that up?

AlexanderHamilton Mon 05-Feb-18 19:29:59

Because not all students want to do three separate sciences.

Toomanytealights Mon 05-Feb-18 19:32:13

As I said. What happens if you're pants in one but great in another. You don't get to do the greater depth in a subject you're good at. How is that a good idea?

What is the general cut off,is it the same as the previous poster mentioned?

TheFallenMadonna Mon 05-Feb-18 19:32:26

Because having a balanced mix of all three subjects is considered important, and three GCSEs (and the time required to do three) is a huge chunk of the KS4 curriculum. For many (most?) students, two is more appropriate.

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