Tuesday, January 13, 2009


What is worse than going through resitting exams yourself? Watching one of your children do it.
My eldest more than likely did not study as well as he should have done for his AS levels last June and is now resitting some of the exams. He has spent hours studying and does admit that he knows it much better, but I still worry. The exams start today and go over the next week or so. Fingers majorly crossed.
High school over in the UK is very different than the US as you do have the GCSE and then the A levels. In the US, it is grade point average and SATS. Here it is how well you have done on the course. Luckily with AS, there is a chance to resit the exam but it does add an extra work load...
One other thing I discovered this week is that BEFORE choosing GCSE courses, parents and students should investigate the university degree courses and their requirements. Several of my eldest's friends were rejected from Edinburgh because they had not read the fine print and did not know that they needed to have a foreign language GCSE. Because I believe in the importance in being able to speak a foreign language (however badly), it was a given for my children, but there will be students (and parents) who did not realize the importance of continuing with a foreign language. Many of the Scottish university science courses have a year abroad programme in an EU country. It is all about keeping your options open.


Nell Dixon said...

Hugs, our education system is so complicated now. When I was at school we had cse's gcse's and A levels then Uni or tech college. Now they do bits of exams, half exams, foundation courses argh. Good luck to your son, hope he does well.

Michelle Styles said...

Nell --
I agree that it so complicated. Also all the courses are not equal and I don't think the consequences are ever fully spelt out.
And every second Thursday the system seems to change. So my youngest is now on a three year GCSE since he is in Year 9. My daughter is her final year of GCSEs with I am not quite sure how much done, except she has done a tremndous amount of course work. And the my eldest is doing his A levels...and resitting bits. Interstingly independant schools are more likely to have their pupils resit exams than state schools.

Unknown said...

Timely advice on the languages michelle, since it's options time here for my eldest. We've also just been sent a letter about Diplomas or something, which allegedly are equivalent to 5 GCSEs?? I have no idea what that's all about so obviously further research is required. I just wish it was all a bit more transparent-- maybe the real test of intelligence is working out what courses to take in the first place?!

Donna Alward said...

Here it's even simpler - no SAT's. You're judged solely on your high school course work. You apply based on your half term exams and they look at the previous year's transcripts. Then I believe you send in your final transcript after exams.

Best of luck to all your kids but you know they will be brilliant. :-)