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GCSE grades

(31 Posts)
wellmadecake Wed 13-Nov-19 16:59:35

DD2 has been predicted these grades for her GCSEs, her siblings I'd have to admit were not as bright. She is hoping to go to a good RG university, and we do not know what subjects she should take at A-level, and what grades at GCSE are suited to that level university.
Her subjects:
German: 9 Music:7 History:9 Geography:8 Maths:8 Biology:9 Chemistry:8 Physics:7 English Lang: 8 Lit: 9

She knows she wants to do History for A-Level and potentially University. DS1 did classical civilisation A-level and recommended it but DD2 didn't want to do that. She hates maths and physics, so those options are not viable.

For a levels, would history, chemistry and German be good options? That was what I think she enjoys but she is bad at decisions and doesn't want to pick wrong.

She really enjoys German and History, the other subjects are just mediocre for her. I have never been in this territory before (super clever kids) and any advice would be helpful smile

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Wed 13-Nov-19 17:04:38

They're a standard set of strong GCSEs for an able student, but they're not set in stone.

I think you're worrying far too much. If she works hard in class, puts the effort into her homework and revises appropriately then she'll reach her potential.

There's no point making A level decisions based on GCSE predictions, let alone university.

If she is considering History at university then then she will need history, same if she is considering a languages degree. Beyond that it doesn't really matter unless she has a burning desire to do Chemistry as many top science courses will want 2 sciences and/or maths.

She'll change her mind throughout a level as she looks through university information so for now the only real big question is whether she is more inclined to do humanities/social sciences or sciences.

clary Wed 13-Nov-19 18:55:56

If she gets those grades that's a great set if results. She's got to get them tho... German 9 is a high prediction.

German, history and chemistry - good a levels for what? A maths degree, well no. German degree, great!

Chemistry is a bit of an outlier, fine to do it as long as she is not thinking of a science degree, as you often need a second science or maths (the list often includes geography or geology tho).

She should pick what she enjoys unless she has a very strong idea of a future degree. She will be able to change come results day. Dd was totally stuck on Music, maybe even post 18, and ended up not doing it at A level. Ds2 was all about maths and FM and now wants to do a biology degree (luckily he switched the FM to biology A level after he got his results).

EvaHarknessRose Wed 13-Nov-19 19:04:22

My dad had careers advice today about options - can she access any? Also sixth form open days and interviews are helpful. There's a very friendly Which University website which lets you play around inputting different A level choices to see what degree they might lead to.

Trewser Wed 13-Nov-19 19:07:20

They're a standard set of strong GCSEs for an able student

If the OPs dd ended up with these grades it would be very strong, very impressive and not in the least bit standard.

She needs to think about what she wants to study at uni and work back from there.

Trewser Wed 13-Nov-19 19:08:17

I will say though - predicting 9s is a bit silly. Our school (top indie) doesn't do it ever.

Trewser Wed 13-Nov-19 19:10:56

Eng Lit, History then something like Classics or RS (philosophy and ethics)? Is she a native German speaker? Because it can be hard to get top grades at MFL

LolaSmiles Wed 13-Nov-19 19:11:29

trewser
I'm not saying they're a standard set of grades.I'm saying they are a standard set of grades for an able student

They're a great set of grades, but entirely in line with what our bright students achieve.

I agree predicting 9s is ridiculous.

Trewser Wed 13-Nov-19 19:14:02

Ok, well I think straight As and A* and beyond is impressive.

TeenPlusTwenties Wed 13-Nov-19 19:18:17

I personally don't think that Chemistry adds much there.
It would go well with geography, but without another science based subject it's a bit out on a limb.

So: History, German and?
Eng Lit
Politics
Sociology
Business
Italian ab initio
...

Loads of options out there that probably open more doors than Chemistry.

LolaSmiles Wed 13-Nov-19 19:23:46

Ok, well I think straight As and A and beyond is impressive*
I do too and haven't said otherwise. confused

It just happens to be what our more able students get every year, so it's a great set of results though entirely in line with what would be expected from an able student.

wellmadecake Wed 13-Nov-19 20:42:05

@clary @Trewser for German, her father is fluent in it. We had raised the children with English and a bit of German as well. DD2 is the only one with a real interest in other languages though. I though predicting 9s was a bit high as well, although DD2 has always been working incredibly hard and has always gotten high grades in class.

OP’s posts: |
wellmadecake Wed 13-Nov-19 20:44:22

I completely agree about the 9s, it puts a lot of pressure on as well as 9s being considered incredibly high and prestigious. I've told DD2 to not be set on these predictions, and to just go with whichever subjects she enjoys.

OP’s posts: |
LolaSmiles Wed 13-Nov-19 20:49:02

Not just the pressure OP, totally ridiculous from the school as nobody can say what will get a 9 on any given year.

I think you're taking the right approach. As long as she isn't wanting to go into sciences where having multiple sciences and maths would be typical for top universities, then following her strengths and interests is the best approach.

I'd also consider checking out subjects she's unsure of at college open evenings too because there's some substantial differences between some GCSE and a level courses.

titchy Wed 13-Nov-19 21:13:36

History, German fine. Ditch the chemistry - waste of an opportunity to do a subject that enhances history (eg Politics, Eng Lit, Economics).

Universities don't generally care about GCSE grades - it's A level grades that count.

matcatwomanheresheis Thu 14-Nov-19 07:55:26

OP, maybe something like German, History and Economics / Politics / Geography / English? Then she could study any combo of these at uni, with or without German? Also an EPQ is a good idea, I’m told.

Are the school not actually advising as to subject choices?

I also agree with pps that it’s very unusual for schools to be predicting 9s. At the DC school where the vast majority got all 8s/ 9s, they were predicted 7s max following the mocks. I think the idea is to encourage them not to become complacent! They mark the mock papers down even, if necessary. Then they came out with all 9s and were very surprised,

Comefromaway Thu 14-Nov-19 09:45:30

She should take the subjects for A level that she enjoys and is good at.

For a history degree history A level is essential and possibly 1 other essay based subject such as English Lit would be great, but really her other two choices don't matter so much.

Most universities are only interested in A level results but a handful do score GCSE's too. Those that do tend not to differentiate between 8/9 and 7 is scored highly. Some score the best 5, some the best 8. A couple of 6's wouldn't be too detrimental.

Purpledragon40 Thu 14-Nov-19 10:04:53

That's a very high set of predicted grades and if she does really get them that is probably higher than any Year 11 at my school will get (which isn't saying a huge amount but clearly she is bright)

Picking A levels is a lot easier if your child knows what she wants to do at uni but in lieu of that a language and history aren't to bad when paired together but instead of chemistry I would be looking at Eng Lit. That should allow her do a lot of different Bachelor of Arts courses.

PocketDictionary Thu 14-Nov-19 11:05:29

If she hates physics then chemistry is looking weirdly out on a limb.

Musmerian Thu 14-Nov-19 16:38:39

A level chemistry is tough and a big leap from GCSE - is she really keen on it? English works well with History so worth considering.

Londonmummy66 Thu 14-Nov-19 19:35:38

A language is really good for history as it widens the scope of what you want to study (not all source material is in English!). Beyond that it will depend on what sort of history she likes. If she is into social and economic history then either Maths & Stats or economics might be helpful. Geography can also be useful if she might want to look at landscape and settlement patterns etc. If she is interested in looking at literary sources as historical evidence then perhaps English Lit at A level. CLassics is a good grounding for looking at the common assumptions that underlie legal systems, culture etc in Europe but will be of less use if she wants to look at non-European topics.

AJ45 Fri 15-Nov-19 10:34:21

My daughter got similar grades to your DD’s predicted grades (5 A*, 6A, 1B) and went on to do Chemistry, Biology and Music A’levels. She found Chemistry very difficult so unless your DD wants to study it at uni I’d say it’s one to avoid! Geography would be a good choice with History and German, or English.

AppleKatie Fri 15-Nov-19 10:46:59

I agree that the Chemistry seems random with the other two chosen. Why does she like it? If she doesn’t like maths/other sciences is it just that she does like her Chem teacher? I’d try and drill down into that a bit.

English seems like the obvious choice but if she’s not keen another humanity/social science seems to ‘go’ more.

Utimately though she should do whatever she enjoys if she’s as bright as those predictions appear then she can make a success of anything she’s motivated to achieve. Just make sure she’s really considered the course content of what she’s choosing.

Tvstar Fri 15-Nov-19 10:55:00

What year is she in now? Y11? Is the school requiring provisional a level choices? I wouldn't worry too much as they are just to help with their planning. There are not many years of new gcses under the belt and predictions may not be that accurate. She will e able to change her choices

MEgirl Fri 15-Nov-19 14:44:27

When looking at A level options and school choices we were always advised that A level Chemistry is difficult without A level maths. I'm sure some manage but others find it difficult without the additional maths.

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