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Dropping A-levels as I am doomed to fail - advice? Watch

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    Hi there,


    I am currently in year 13 and studying three A-levels; Use of Mathematics, geography and computer science. The only subject of the three that I moderately have a liking towards is geography. The other two subjects I strongly dislike and I am not doing well in them -saying that, I am not doing well in Geography either. In my recent mocks I achieved 2 U grades in UOM and CS, so, as you can imagine, it wasn't pleasant opening my results.


    It is no secret that I hate school and sixth form in general as my parents and school are well aware of this, but I feel that I am ready to go out into the world to work full time and earn my way in life. I turn 18 in March and I have been deeply considering leaving then instead of finishing the courses that I am doomed to fail. My passion is for travel and I love to be on the move all of the time - my dream in life is to be on the roads or on rails. I would love to drive LGVs, buses, coaches, freight/pax trains... you name it! As long as it is on the move, I love it.


    With that said, I do not neccessarily need A-levels for these careers and so I have absolutely no motivation to do well in my A-levels what so ever. I have practically given up with UOM and struggling to find the desire to do anything for the other subjects. For this reason, I really believe that I am wasting my time in sixth form currently and do not believe that it is for me. My parents as well as my teachers have told me "You only have 6 months left so you should just play it out and at least get mediocore passes", but I honestly do not believe I will achieve even a bad pass.


    So my question to you guys is, simply:
    Shall I leave sixth form when I turn 18 in March and move onto full-time work on the roads or in the railway? Or remain and finish off the three A-levels that I am not confident I will pass in?

    Try to give me as much detail and advice as possible, I would greatly appreciate that as my parents are not very supportive of me leaving school at all. Unless I fit into the 'system' they aren't happy


    Thankyou!
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    Hi Jordon1703,

    I was in a similar situation as you during my A Levels when I finished last year, I chose English as one of my A Levels and I felt from the very beginning that I was completely behind everybody's level of knowledge within the class. This was later confirmed when I only just scraped an E by 3 points in my exam.

    I spoke to my mother and she was very supportive and she told me that you need to think ahead and decide what you want to achieve by doing these A Levels. She also asked me if I was being over emotional (I have the tendency to panic and not think rationally when stressed out) so I guess my question to you is have you given it a lot of thought... e.g. are you happy with the wages this comes with? travelling would be something you would potentially be doing for the rest of your life, are you happy to do that? Are you over reacting and are you saying you are going to fail because you dislike your subjects too much?

    I guess to answer your question.... you need to consider the questions above. I guess what you should remember is that there is always time to go back and do college courses (something more practical than essay based). So many people go back and do college courses now even at the age of 30+. There is also other options out there to help you achieve what you want to do (travel) like apprenticeships or like you said getting a job. A Levels are not for everyone but you should consider both the consequences and benefits of dropping out and staying in school.

    I cant answer your question directly but when I was deciding whether I drop out I wrote a list of pros and cons and looked to see if there was any way I could scrape by with a D which I did once I got a tutor to help me through the year. As for your parents its difficult to help with that situation...mine were always supportive but I guess you need to remember that doing A Levels is becoming more unpopular and people are deciding to go out into the world earlier. Your choice of travelling jobs could easily be achieved with GCSE's and if you ever got to the point where you realise you made a mistake there is always time to go back.

    If you truly believe you cannot scrape by with at least D's or if you know that even after this you would still want to work in travel then the right answer would be to drop out. However, if you believe that asking friends or teachers for more help would help you get through the next 6 months I would really consider it staying.
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    (Original post by jordon1703)
    Hi there,


    I am currently in year 13 and studying three A-levels; Use of Mathematics, geography and computer science. The only subject of the three that I moderately have a liking towards is geography. The other two subjects I strongly dislike and I am not doing well in them -saying that, I am not doing well in Geography either. In my recent mocks I achieved 2 U grades in UOM and CS, so, as you can imagine, it wasn't pleasant opening my results.


    It is no secret that I hate school and sixth form in general as my parents and school are well aware of this, but I feel that I am ready to go out into the world to work full time and earn my way in life. I turn 18 in March and I have been deeply considering leaving then instead of finishing the courses that I am doomed to fail. My passion is for travel and I love to be on the move all of the time - my dream in life is to be on the roads or on rails. I would love to drive LGVs, buses, coaches, freight/pax trains... you name it! As long as it is on the move, I love it.


    With that said, I do not neccessarily need A-levels for these careers and so I have absolutely no motivation to do well in my A-levels what so ever. I have practically given up with UOM and struggling to find the desire to do anything for the other subjects. For this reason, I really believe that I am wasting my time in sixth form currently and do not believe that it is for me. My parents as well as my teachers have told me "You only have 6 months left so you should just play it out and at least get mediocore passes", but I honestly do not believe I will achieve even a bad pass.


    So my question to you guys is, simply:
    Shall I leave sixth form when I turn 18 in March and move onto full-time work on the roads or in the railway? Or remain and finish off the three A-levels that I am not confident I will pass in?

    Try to give me as much detail and advice as possible, I would greatly appreciate that as my parents are not very supportive of me leaving school at all. Unless I fit into the 'system' they aren't happy
    Thankyou!
    If your A levels are going to be as bad as you say and you arent going to work hard to improve , then it looks prety pointless to stay. Imo poor A levels are worse than no results at all.

    You have to do something, so I would research how to get into the areas you want to go by using careers. Everyone would be a lot happier if you had a plan to move into.

    One thing you could do is start taking as many licences as possible and working your way up. If you have all the relevant licences and training, then they would be skills you could take with you, but you would have to take it seriously.

    https://nationalcareersservice.direc...sMode=AllWords
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    (Original post by 999tigger)
    If your A levels are going to be as bad as you say and you arent going to work hard to improve , then it looks prety pointless to stay. Imo poor A levels are worse than no results at all.

    You have to do something, so I would research how to get into the areas you want to go by using careers. Everyone would be a lot happier if you had a plan to move into.

    One thing you could do is start taking as many licences as possible and working your way up. If you have all the relevant licences and training, then they would be skills you could take with you, but you would have to take it seriously.

    https://nationalcareersservice.direc...sMode=AllWords
    Thankyou for your reply do you have anything to qualify this little bit in bold? I am just interested in knowning whether you have experience that could support this; I heard something very different from my head of sixth, telling me the complete opposite! But the response was very valuable.

    Thankyou

    EDIT: I have done extensive research into desirable future careers. I may not enjoy school, but when it comes to work and careers, I am on the ball with that.
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    I wouldn't say that poor A Levels are worse than no results at all. I wanted to drop out around the same time as you and my teacher told me the exactly the same thing (to stick it out). I weighed up my options and saw that I could still get into a Foundation Year of University with 2 EE's and I don't regret carrying on one bit. However, if you honestly believe that deep down you are better off going out and working and that you really cant stick it out then I suggest you drop out. There are so many options out there so if you change your mind or you did the wrong thing you can always go back and sort it.

    What I will say is my friend dropped out at the beginning of Year 13 as she was unhappy and was not achieving anything above a D, she's working in Homebase and loves it. Like I said A Levels are not for everyone, my cousin failed all her A Levels but is still earning £20,000 - £22,000 a year doing her job.

    It sounds like you have already made your mind up! If your unhappy and you believe your going to fail then I wouldn't carry on, go out and give working a go instead.
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    (Original post by Bri98)
    I wouldn't say that poor A Levels are worse than no results at all. I wanted to drop out around the same time as you and my teacher told me the exactly the same thing (to stick it out). I weighed up my options and saw that I could still get into a Foundation Year of University with 2 EE's and I don't regret carrying on one bit. However, if you honestly believe that deep down you are better off going out and working and that you really cant stick it out then I suggest you drop out. There are so many options out there so if you change your mind or you did the wrong thing you can always go back and sort it.

    What I will say is my friend dropped out at the beginning of Year 13 as she was unhappy and was not achieving anything above a D, she's working in Homebase and loves it. Like I said A Levels are not for everyone, my cousin failed all her A Levels but is still earning £20,000 - £22,000 a year doing her job.

    It sounds like you have already made your mind up! If your unhappy and you believe your going to fail then I wouldn't carry on, go out and give working a go instead.
    Thankyou for your words and anecdotes I am wondering whether i will regret wasting the last 2 years on someting that i couldve achieved? - there is always that 'what if' moment. Im not looking or As, Bs or even Cs in all honesty because i wont need them for where i want to go at the moment. I seem to forget that i can always go back if needs be in years to come.

    Thanks again
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    One problem of driving as a career is its not likely to be a job of the future as robots take over, although at present there is still a demand for skilled drivers. Youre also a bit young for driving.

    As you are keen on vehicles any interest in the maintenance side, or does it stem more from a desire to travel?
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    (Original post by Mair18919)
    One problem of driving as a career is its not likely to be a job of the future as robots take over, although at present there is still a demand for skilled drivers. Youre also a bit young for driving.

    As you are keen on vehicles any interest in the maintenance side, or does it stem more from a desire to travel?
    Firstly, thankyou for the reply i m aware that i am a young age but being able to drive has created a new life for me and it is something i love... a lot. I couldnt see myself working in an office and maintenance definitely doesnt interest me. I work part time (12 hours a week) in Tescos right now and have worked in a pub environment before and those kinds of jobs become less and less attractive everyday to me. The problem is, a lot of youngsters end up going into these types of industries (retail) and i want o avoid that. My parents and close friends have always told me to do what you love and im trying to follow that.

    Thankyou
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    Maybe consider if you were to drop out now what would you do? or are you better off sticking the a levels out and if you fail you can still go back to the travelling you want to do in September this year. Travelling may not turn out how you want it to and if maybe you look at options that could help you boost your a level grade at least if you ever considered going back into education you've still got 2 a levels as you only need E's. you have come this far why don't you stick it out with the possibility of passing and look into finding a job within travel in the meantime?
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    Don't drop out bro
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    (Original post by Bri98)
    Maybe consider if you were to drop out now what would you do? or are you better off sticking the a levels out and if you fail you can still go back to the travelling you want to do in September this year. Travelling may not turn out how you want it to and if maybe you look at options that could help you boost your a level grade at least if you ever considered going back into education you've still got 2 a levels as you only need E's. you have come this far why don't you stick it out with the possibility of passing and look into finding a job within travel in the meantime?
    That does seem the most logical path to take. Im not illogical and i see that this is the most sensible option. But whenever i look at what i am achieving (very little), i always go back to thinking what a waste of time it is as I have found it hard to focus and do consistent work throughout year 12 and year 13.

    I should probably stick with it and try to get a pass of some sort

    Thanks
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    I suggest you speak to your teachers or head of year maybe they can help you get some extra help. I hope it all works out! Keep us updated! 😁
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    You only have five months left, so I would say you see this through and do your best while thinking of your next moves. You would not want to waste the effort and time you put into your A-levels since September 2015, now would you?

    if it helps, I got ACDE in my AS mocks (I am in the same year as you) and AAAB in my final AS exams. One of the subjects I got A in was the subject in which I got E in the mocks and the B was the subject I got D in. I ended up hating the subject I went from E to A in because my teacher was terrible and found myself thinking my D to B subject was boring and utter made-up BS. Just like you, I was sure I would fail every single one of my exams (I even walked out of the exam rooms saying that I failed everything in three subjects and that I would not get the grade I wanted in the other) and was not doing as well as I would have liked, even in the one subject which caught my interest most. Yet, here I am, with my AAAB AS-levels.

    The moral of the story is that mock grades do not mean anything. There is plenty of time for you to improve; given how I got AAAB when I studied under 48 hours per subject in total (I only studied 1-3 hours per subject for a week before the mocks, about 6 hours per subject for three weeks, and like a day or two before my exams), you can easily improve a lot by the time of your real exams.

    The way I see it, I think it is just the stress and pressure of A-levels that is getting to you and making you think you will fail. Do not let them do that! Just revise and relax, and you will do well, whether you like the subjects or not. I know this from my own experience.

    As for your desire to travel, I believe that is a very interesting passion that many people share. You may want to become a flight attendant, pilot, work in travel and tourism or, as you said, become a driver. After you finish A-levels, try to find any trainee or entry-level positions in your desired fields. While you are looking, I suggest you get some work experience in any field or maybe volunteer so your chances of getting a job increase.

    And since you would not leave school before finishing your level 3 education, your parents would have no reason not to be pleased. In addition, if you decide you want a degree later on, you will be able to apply without having to pay extra costs to waste one or two more years to get a full level 3 education while also having a full-time job and a family to manage.

    You may be interested in a BTEC or even a degree in Travel and Tourism.

    Good luck, OP! Not that you need it; I know you can do it and that you will do well.
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    (Original post by jordon1703)
    Thankyou for your reply do you have anything to qualify this little bit in bold? I am just interested in knowning whether you have experience that could support this; I heard something very different from my head of sixth, telling me the complete opposite! But the response was very valuable.

    Thankyou

    EDIT: I have done extensive research into desirable future careers. I may not enjoy school, but when it comes to work and careers, I am on the ball with that.
    Imo i'd rather have none than results below a C. Imo its shows you failed, whereas D, E grades mark you out. When/ if you ever apply to UCAS for Uni, then you would need to put all grades and attempts down. You cant pick and choose. Only you know what you are capable of and the effort you are willing to put in. At the moment my impression is you dont much care and wont make any effort. Ifc its better to take them if you have a reasonable chance of passing.

    In the job market I dont see getting D's and E's helping you with much. tell me what jobs require D or E at A level. You and he have a better idea what you are capable of. The other alternative is not to take the exams this summer, but next or take them this summer as practice and resit them.

    I would weigh up each option and see which one best met my needs.
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    (Original post by jordon1703)
    Thankyou for your words and anecdotes I am wondering whether i will regret wasting the last 2 years on someting that i couldve achieved? - there is always that 'what if' moment. Im not looking or As, Bs or even Cs in all honesty because i wont need them for where i want to go at the moment. I seem to forget that i can always go back if needs be in years to come.

    Thanks again

    Only you can answer that and only you know what your realistic prospects are. the impression you give is you dont wish to go to Uni, your are virtually certain to fail and you cnat be botherd to work hard and correct things. That would seem a pretty certain outcome and its based on taking what you said at face value. Were it me then I would turn them round work hard and get the grades, but I'm not you.

    3 C's would give you a lot more options. If you wish to resit, then it would be wise to complete the course. A levels arent as easy to enrol on as people think, whereas a completed course you have to revise for. Five months isnt that long and maybe your parents and everyone else will respect your decision to drive if you see things through.

    The comment about a lot of driving jobs becoming redundant is a good one.
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    (Original post by jordon1703)
    Firstly, thankyou for the reply i m aware that i am a young age but being able to drive has created a new life for me and it is something i love... a lot. I couldnt see myself working in an office and maintenance definitely doesnt interest me. I work part time (12 hours a week) in Tescos right now and have worked in a pub environment before and those kinds of jobs become less and less attractive everyday to me. The problem is, a lot of youngsters end up going into these types of industries (retail) and i want o avoid that. My parents and close friends have always told me to do what you love and im trying to follow that.
    Yes most people love the freedom that being able to drive brings. That is not at all what working as a full time driver is.

    Most people are telling you to finish your A levels and I think you know this is the right thing to do too. The fact is you are just being lazy and short termist and don't want to work hard in the next few months. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it's the truth, the coming months loom grimly ahead and you just want to avoid the pain of study.

    It isn't easy to motivate yourself after getting such poor marks, but it by no means follows that these will be your results in the actual exams, as an earlier poster pointed out . Your teachers are sending you a message that you need to work much harder.

    Of course you hate maths and computer science because you haven't worked hard enough and you dont understand them. Enjoyment comes from being good at something and that comes through work. Geography because it is an easier subject which doesnt build on previous knowledge is at least easier for you to understand, even though you aren't working at that either!

    I wonder, as you are now feeling so daunted by it all, if it might be better if you drop either CS or the maths and concentrate on doing as well as possible in the other two. This would free up a little time to consider career options too. Why not talk to your maths and CS teacher, ask them for advice on catching up. Consider which of these offers the better teachers and which youre more likely to do reasonably well in? And really work at your geography. Its not a hard A level.

    And the choice isnt between jobs involving driving or retail. There are many things you can do. If travel is the appeal then as has been pointed out there is a great deal of work in the travel industry. Speak to your careers teacher too.
 
 
 
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