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Bad A2's or more AS's?

SystemSystem Posts: 8,583 Community Managers
So, I'm in Yr12, do german, maths and psychology, which I love and seem to be doing well in, and chemistry, which I hate and am not (probably gonna get a D, with some luck a C). School have said if we drop a subject after AS we have to pick up another AS.
So, am I better having 3 good A levels and a probably shit one, or 3 good A levels, a shit (but not as bad 'cos it'll be harder next year so I'll do worse) AS in chemistry and hopefully a decent AS in.. something else?

(I hope this made sense!)

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would think that A2s are going to be harder to a little degree than an AS level. So therefore 3x A2s and an AS (4 things in total) will be a bit harder than the 3x AS levels you are currently doing. If you are doing ok with things then perhaps it could be worth taking on another AS.

    However it could be worth getting your parents (if they are supportive) to sit down with you and the school and ask why this policy is in place. Call me cynical, but I think it could be something to do with league tables perhaps, eg more qualifications gained from the same number of pupils. If you think you may struggle or find it a bit too much taking on another AS in the second year, then perhaps it could be worth questioning this school policy.

    Whilst schools on the whole generally have the best intentions at heart (or should do), I have experienced myself the case of "school says so pupil just accepts". Think about it quite a bit, but in the end it should be your decision and if you look into things properly then at least the school cant accuse you of not making an informed decision.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My parents are very anti-supportive of the entire thing, which doesn't help. They think the bad grade is down to not working enough, I spend double the amount of time on chemistry than any other subject in a week, which isn't helpful.

    You're totally right though, it is league tables. I'm at a grammar school and its all very 'You didn't get an A*, its not good enough' etc etc.. Work load shouldn't be a problem though, I did 5 AS's at the start of this year (dropped spanish because I hated it, not because it was too much work) so I should be ok, I hope!

    Thank you :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ninaballet wrote: »
    School have said if we drop a subject after AS we have to pick up another AS.

    that's a bit daft and I agree with G, it's probably your school just trying to look good. in the end, you should do the amount that you feel comfortable with.

    personally I found three A2s more than enough to be doing, and I got top marks which I probably wouldn't have managed if I'd been splitting my time between more subjects. if you want to go to uni then for most courses it's your three best full A levels that matter, so in that sense a weaker fourth A2 subject wouldn't be too much of a problem, but on the other hand the amount of time you'd be spending on it might be to the detriment of your stronger subjects.

    if you hate chemistry, and you don't need it for your future courses/jobs then it might be better to drop it and do an AS that you'd enjoy more and find easier next year. you should keep your focus on your A2s and consider the AS as an extra. in the end if you think chemistry will take up loads of your time and weaken your performance in your other subjects then it's probably not worth it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm slightly confused I'm afraid.

    What are your options (in a really simple manner).

    Is it that your school are saying you've either got to do 4 A2s next year, or 3 A2s and an AS?

    Where actually what you'd want to do is just the 3 A2s?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Do you know what you want to do after?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm slightly confused I'm afraid.

    What are your options (in a really simple manner).

    Is it that your school are saying you've either got to do 4 A2s next year, or 3 A2s and an AS?

    Where actually what you'd want to do is just the 3 A2s?


    I'd either end up with 4 A2's (including a really crap chem one) or 3 A2's and 2 AS's (with a crap AS chem that I'm currently doing, and another AS I'd start next year).
    Do you know what you want to do after?

    Psychology. For which I need a science... Luckily most uni's accept maths or psychology, which I'm doing well in, but I don't know whether to persevere with chem in the hope I miraculously become good at it!

    Thanks guys :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have you got any Uni's in mind? Check their entry requirements before making a decision.

    Personally I have 3 bad A2s and a mid-range As and did just fine, so I think that the most important thing is that you're happy with your decision and you can do what you need to do with the result.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So basically the decision is whether to do A2 Chemistry next year, or AS something else.

    Look at entry requirements for courses you might want to do.

    Would you be better off doing AS biology for example than A2 Chemistry, just for a general point of view?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I would say maths psychology and your other a2 and get the best grades in those.

    Most unis only look at the grades from your first 3 a2 levels and one as level (to prevent people padding their applications with lots of lower grade a2s)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Most of the uni's I'm looking at are AAA to BBB with at least 1 science (psych and maths included).

    AS biology would make sense though I guess, I was thinking eng lang 'cos it has some psychological related stuff, hadn't thought about biology! I guess its not only what will help me actually get into uni but what will help me with the actual course.. hmm...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bio will help with psych a bit yeah.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    if you are good at biology then pick that, it will help you no end with psychology at uni. i had no science background before my degree it took me a lot more work to get my head around some of the biology compared to others who had science qualifications. it's not just the brain that you learn about but things like hearing and vision, nutrition, biochemistry. the English language would help too because there is overlap with child development and some rhetoric based work, but that's probably easier to understand than the biology topics.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey ninaballet

    It sounds like you're doing a lot of thinking about this decision and looking at all your options and outcomes, which is great :) Thinking about how the choices you make now might impact your future (in terms of the courses you can realistically get into) is key. I'd also add that, if you're struggling with a subject, the extra work that you have to put it in to get a decent mark in it might end up jeopardising the results you get for other subjects, so it's worth weighing that up before making a final decision.

    Good luck!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Biology will massively help. I did a psychology unit this semester and I wish I'd known more biology!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thankyou everyone! :)

    I hadn't even thought about taking biology before, although I guess it makes sense, and I'm not too bad at it so it could work! :) Plus the boyfriend's doing it this year, so extra help sorted!

    omg hi, did you do psychology at uni then?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ninaballet wrote: »
    Thankyou everyone! :)

    I hadn't even thought about taking biology before, although I guess it makes sense, and I'm not too bad at it so it could work! :) Plus the boyfriend's doing it this year, so extra help sorted!

    omg hi, did you do psychology at uni then?

    yep, i'm one exam away from the very end of the course! happy to help if you need :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I took biology because I had no idea what I wanted to do until right at the end of 6th form, so I took biology so I could have a science to keep my options open. I ended up with a crap grade (just scraped a D), not because it was overly hard but there was just too much to learn. They may have changed now because this was 2006-08. It was certainly helpful though because I ended up doing a biology degree and found it much easier at the start than those who hadn't done a science since GCSE and had no idea what mitochondria or golgi bodies were.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks :) I'm generally pretty good at remembering stuff, I hope!
    omg hi wrote: »
    yep, i'm one exam away from the very end of the course! happy to help if you need :)

    Ooo good luck with the last exam! Mind me asking which uni you're at?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have 1x really good A2, and 1x Really bad A2. I'm doing just fine and have a mensa test booked in June.

    Exams are important because people look at them and use them to judge people against one another, though if you don't do quite as well as you hoped or expected, remember that the world won't just end. School exams are never, and will never be a 100% indicator of how someone will cope in the vocational aspects of a job. Though the irony being that you may not get a job if you have lower grades.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think the thing with chemistry is that some of the concepts are quite hard. And if you don't 'get' everything as its being tought, then it can be easy to slip behind as new concepts build on old concepts and so on. I think I would have really struggled if I didn't have a really supportive teacher and *cough* my chemistry teacher mum *cough*. Whereas Biology is a lot more about volume and remembering the key details. I didn't do A-levels so I don't know if this is true for them, but I found Biology useful as in my course we covered a lot of science related stats and that helped me for my degree :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    G-Raffe wrote: »
    I have 1x really good A2, and 1x Really bad A2. I'm doing just fine and have a mensa test booked in June.

    Big head :P
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