i think i may be forced into combined sciences

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misha2106
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hello,

i am a Y10 student who just finished mocks, and got disappointing grades back for science. so bad in fact, that i think i may be going into combined.

i attempted to ask my head of department on how to proceed, however they were dismissive of my concerns and told me ‘not to worry’. i then asked them if i’d have the option to refuse, to which they told me ‘no. it’s the teacher’s decision.’

my stress is currently through the roof and i have no idea what to do moving forward. is there any way i can refute this decision? or am i just stressing irrationally? i am willing to do WHATEVER it takes and am open to all sorts of advice to get me into higher.

many thanks.
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agent37
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Hey!

Out of interest, what did you get for your grades in sciences? You don't have to share but it'd make it easier for me to give you some advice.

Personally, I have also finished my exams but have gotten an eight and two nines so I am on the list for doing triple science next year. I believe they should tell you which group you will be in before the end of term and if you are doing combined, then definitely get your parents/guardians to write in!

Or alternatively, you can request a retake and sit it again in after school times to see if you get a better grade? I'm sure your school wouldn't object especially if you say you were not feeling well during the exams or tell them about your worries! Most schools are there to help and I'm sure they will try to help (although your head of department sounds a bit uncaring though :/ )
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artful_lounger
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Doesn't matter whether you do combined sciences or triple science, as the A-level science subjects do not assume any content beyond that covered on combined science, and universities don't care which you take provided you do at least combined.

Combined science isn't foundation tier by itself - there are higher and foundation tiers available for it so you can get the full grade range for two GCSE in it - and it's not like it's a "remedial" course or something. It's the standard, default course. Triple science is an optional extension of this, and none of the material from triple science that isn't in combined science is assumed later on in other courses, as noted above.

You're making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
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_gcx
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To add on to the above, the vast majority (if not all) things covered in the "triple" part of GCSE physics were re-covered in my A-level with more detail, so it's not like you miss out on any content either. I would imagine other sciences are similar. Prior exposure can be helpful but you can do without. If you're worried you could do extra reading over the summer. If you are not planning on doing sciences at A-levels you have even less reason to worry.
Last edited by _gcx; 2 months ago
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aamilah16
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Whats the difference between combined science and whatever the other option is?
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by aamilah16)
Whats the difference between combined science and whatever the other option is?
Combined science is the "base" course, which covers the core material from all three sciences, and awards two GCSEs. Triple science is where instead of taking combined science, each science is taken as a separate GCSE (so you get three in the end). Triple science thus contains additional content. Students who are interested in sciences may want to take triple science (particularly as otherwise their GCSE options are largely weighted towards more essay based subjects I think), as it covers some topics that crop up in the AS level material early in the course and some other additional topics of interest. However the A-level syllabuses only assume content from combined science intrinsically (some schools might assume more in their teaching format but that's down to each school), so it's not a requirement to do triple science to do science A-levels.
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