The Student Room Group

Sixth form HELP

Hi, I'm in Year 10 and now I have to start thinking about my future sixth form.
I am doing maths, aqa level 2 further maths and computer science gcses this year (a year ealier). Is this gonna help me when I apply to any sixth forms or do they not rly care about it?
Also, can somebody explain what the UCAS points are and how the system works? Is it important when applying to a sixth form? How do I get the points?
Does achieving grades for any instruments help? (I'm currently working on my grade 5 flute) Should I participate different science and maths competitions? Do sixth forms see what competitions I joined and what certificates I have?
Finally, any tips when applying to a sixth form? Is an entrance exam important or is it the interview that really matters?
I'm quite desperate to get into a good sixth form (ideally top 10)...
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Hi, I'm in Year 10 and now I have to start thinking about my future sixth form.
I am doing maths, aqa level 2 further maths and computer science gcses this year (a year ealier). Is this gonna help me when I apply to any sixth forms or do they not rly care about it?
Also, can somebody explain what the UCAS points are and how the system works? Is it important when applying to a sixth form? How do I get the points?
Does achieving grades for any instruments help? (I'm currently working on my grade 5 flute) Should I participate different science and maths competitions? Do sixth forms see what competitions I joined and what certificates I have?
Finally, any tips when applying to a sixth form? Is an entrance exam important or is it the interview that really matters?
I'm quite desperate to get into a good sixth form (ideally top 10)...

hey not sure what area you're from but im from east london and applied for my sixth forms there so the typical NCS brampton LAE. i believe some sixth forms ask you to write like a mini personal statement, this is essentially where you sell yourself and can include things like your instrument playing or competitions to show them you'd be a valuable asset.
i went to LAE, not sure if its changed, but at the time i didn't have to submit a statment nor take part in an interview, i know NCS made me write a statement.
i'd say deffo check out the admissions page or even email different sixth forms to ask for the admission requirements: some may want you to write a statement, take part in an interview, both or even neither.
in terms of doing those earlier GCSEs its deffo impressive well done but im not sure how much sixth forms care about that. make sure to check their entry criteria, tho it does bring good statistics to your application, i remember brampton actually looked at the average grade of our gcses ( so they took into account all subjects ) i think they considered candiates with a GPA of like 7+ ( may be wrong ) and then plus any entry requirements e.g if you wanna study maths a level you have to achieve this certain grade. i don't think LAE looked at your GPA ( average grade ) but they did ask of us like 5 GCSEs be of grades 7-9 on top of meeting the entry criteria for specific a levels. double check admissions ( i've prolly repeated this lots of times)
in terms of UCAS thats all related to entering university so you don't have to worry about that yet. but for your curiosity the points are essentially the entry point for university courses on UCAS, this is mainly achieved by your a level grades ( each a-level holds a specific number of points, think theres a calculator on the ucas website ) i believe other things can credit towards your points so for instance your graded instrument exams. buuuttt check this from the ucas website ''However, where points are awarded for graded exams in different instruments, these can be accumulated, but it would be the decision of the university or college whether or not they choose to accept both sets of points.'' depends on the uni but its deffo something cool and flashy to include on your personal statement for uni.
this was a long ramble, if you have any further question lmkkkk hope i answered everything but most of all i hope you get into a good top 10 sixthform!!!
Original post by m4riammmm
hey not sure what area you're from but im from east london and applied for my sixth forms there so the typical NCS brampton LAE. i believe some sixth forms ask you to write like a mini personal statement, this is essentially where you sell yourself and can include things like your instrument playing or competitions to show them you'd be a valuable asset.
i went to LAE, not sure if its changed, but at the time i didn't have to submit a statment nor take part in an interview, i know NCS made me write a statement.
i'd say deffo check out the admissions page or even email different sixth forms to ask for the admission requirements: some may want you to write a statement, take part in an interview, both or even neither.
in terms of doing those earlier GCSEs its deffo impressive well done but im not sure how much sixth forms care about that. make sure to check their entry criteria, tho it does bring good statistics to your application, i remember brampton actually looked at the average grade of our gcses ( so they took into account all subjects ) i think they considered candiates with a GPA of like 7+ ( may be wrong ) and then plus any entry requirements e.g if you wanna study maths a level you have to achieve this certain grade. i don't think LAE looked at your GPA ( average grade ) but they did ask of us like 5 GCSEs be of grades 7-9 on top of meeting the entry criteria for specific a levels. double check admissions ( i've prolly repeated this lots of times)
in terms of UCAS thats all related to entering university so you don't have to worry about that yet. but for your curiosity the points are essentially the entry point for university courses on UCAS, this is mainly achieved by your a level grades ( each a-level holds a specific number of points, think theres a calculator on the ucas website ) i believe other things can credit towards your points so for instance your graded instrument exams. buuuttt check this from the ucas website ''However, where points are awarded for graded exams in different instruments, these can be accumulated, but it would be the decision of the university or college whether or not they choose to accept both sets of points.'' depends on the uni but its deffo something cool and flashy to include on your personal statement for uni.
this was a long ramble, if you have any further question lmkkkk hope i answered everything but most of all i hope you get into a good top 10 sixthform!!!

Hey, tks. rly helpful info. Just one more question: did you participate any maths or science competitions like UKMT, Kangaroo, junior physics olympiads, etc before in Y10 or Y9? Should I actively do them? Will it help me applying to sixth forms? Do they ask for it? If it does help me, could you tell me any good competitions or challenges I can do? Someone told me that doing extra curricular activities like these could show how I am enthusiastic and interested in subjects I will choose.
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Hi, I'm in Year 10 and now I have to start thinking about my future sixth form.
I am doing maths, aqa level 2 further maths and computer science gcses this year (a year ealier). Is this gonna help me when I apply to any sixth forms or do they not rly care about it?
Also, can somebody explain what the UCAS points are and how the system works? Is it important when applying to a sixth form? How do I get the points?
Does achieving grades for any instruments help? (I'm currently working on my grade 5 flute) Should I participate different science and maths competitions? Do sixth forms see what competitions I joined and what certificates I have?
Finally, any tips when applying to a sixth form? Is an entrance exam important or is it the interview that really matters?
I'm quite desperate to get into a good sixth form (ideally top 10)...

Why are you doing GCSEs early? It's not a great idea tbh. What if you don't get grade 9s? You will have to declare these grade when you apply to UCAS.

Entrance exam? Are you looking at a fee-paying school?
Original post by Muttley79
Why are you doing GCSEs early? It's not a great idea tbh. What if you don't get grade 9s? You will have to declare these grade when you apply to UCAS.
Entrance exam? Are you looking at a fee-paying school?

Hey, thank you for the response. I am doing my GCSEs early because I already know everything in the syllabus, so I realised that there's no point learning those subjects any more in Y11 as it's a waste of time. Next year, I can spend more time efficiently focusing on subjects I'm weak at. I did my mocks as well and I got over 90%.

Yes. I am looking for a fee-paying boarding school. Any tips when doing entrance exams or interviews? Also, wdym by "applying to UCAS"?
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Hey, thank you for the response. I am doing my GCSEs early because I already know everything in the syllabus, so I realised that there's no point learning those subjects any more in Y11 as it's a waste of time. Next year, I can spend more time efficiently focusing on subjects I'm weak at. I did my mocks as well and I got over 90%.
Yes. I am looking for a fee-paying boarding school. Any tips when doing entrance exams or interviews? Also, wdym by "applying to UCAS"?

Your school should not be allowing you to take GCSE early - things can go wrong. UCAS is how you apply to university and these grades will have to be declared - in addition unis like to see all GCSEs taken together.
Original post by Muttley79
Your school should not be allowing you to take GCSE early - things can go wrong. UCAS is how you apply to university and these grades will have to be declared - in addition unis like to see all GCSEs taken together.


what? this is so untrue loads of school make you take or encourage you to take gcses early - GCSEs can be taken at any age! Infact, your more likely to do well as you have more time to revise for less exams in year 11 - I took rs early and absolutely don’t regret it. This is nonsense
Original post by Muttley79
Why are you doing GCSEs early? It's not a great idea tbh. What if you don't get grade 9s? You will have to declare these grade when you apply to UCAS.
Entrance exam? Are you looking at a fee-paying school?


they don’t need to get all 9s? even if they don’t they can resist in November or j resit during the normal summer sittings. Either way they have nothing to loose
Original post by hsjsjsnsjskk
they don’t need to get all 9s? even if they don’t they can resist in November or j resit during the normal summer sittings. Either way they have nothing to loose

Yes they have - these grades are on their record and you can only resit Maths and English when you are 16 [no other subject have Nov resits] - don't give false information.
Original post by hsjsjsnsjskk
what? this is so untrue loads of school make you take or encourage you to take gcses early - GCSEs can be taken at any age! Infact, your more likely to do well as you have more time to revise for less exams in year 11 - I took rs early and absolutely don’t regret it. This is nonsense

It isn't - unis want to see all GCSEs taken together. I'm a teacher and we stopped early entry about 20 years ago precisely for this reason. Those grades are on your record for ever.
Original post by Muttley79
It isn't - unis want to see all GCSEs taken together. I'm a teacher and we stopped early entry about 20 years ago precisely for this reason. Those grades are on your record for ever.

maybe unis prefer this, but taking a gcse early literally does not give you any disadvantage? if anything it shows you have good organisational skills and above-average intellect. I'm not spreading false info either - if their in y10 they're 14/15, meaning they can resist as they're not 16 yet? Also, a y10 taking maths AND fm is not very likely to get below a 9 in maths are they, and definitely wouldn't need to resist it. So anyway, my argument still stands ?? I don't know what your on about mate, but taking a gcse early (from someone who did) definitely does not affect you in any way. Maybe your info is outdated - a school that stopped early entry 20 years ago has no experience with early sittings for the new specifications. Also, if early sittings disadvantaged you uni-wise, unis would definitely put this on their website - because I don't know about you, but I have never heard of someone getting wait-listed or even rejected because they took an exam a year early, that would be absolutely ridiculous :wink:
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Hi, I'm in Year 10 and now I have to start thinking about my future sixth form.
I am doing maths, aqa level 2 further maths and computer science gcses this year (a year ealier). Is this gonna help me when I apply to any sixth forms or do they not rly care about it?
Also, can somebody explain what the UCAS points are and how the system works? Is it important when applying to a sixth form? How do I get the points?
Does achieving grades for any instruments help? (I'm currently working on my grade 5 flute) Should I participate different science and maths competitions? Do sixth forms see what competitions I joined and what certificates I have?
Finally, any tips when applying to a sixth form? Is an entrance exam important or is it the interview that really matters?
I'm quite desperate to get into a good sixth form (ideally top 10)...

hey, honestly (as someone who got offers/ invites from laet, harris, ncs and some other grammars (I didn't apply to brampton)), don't worry too much about things like competitions. If you have a passion, its great to develop this (even if its non-academic as this is a common interview q). obviously tho, ANY extra/super-curriculars you've done is amazing and you could defo put this on your personal statement. However i would say the best and main thing is the grades as not all schools even ask for a personal statement (as they know we're children and probably haven't done a lot). Try to attend some open days - if you're BAME there's looaaddddssss - specifically for y10/y11 students and taster days for lectures. Alternatively try youtube videos on things that aren't covered at gcse, for example if you really like maths try looking at different theorems and conjectures.
For reference, my personal statement (the only place this was rlly relevant was for ncs, which landed me a place at the taster day) was mainly just discussing why I chose those particular subjects, my wider interests, what I could contribute to the school environment, my skills bla bla bla.

(I didn't have very impressive predicteds compared to others and i was still fine (99988777 with rs already achieved) - I trust you will be too!!)
Original post by hsjsjsnsjskk
maybe unis prefer this, but taking a gcse early literally does not give you any disadvantage? if anything it shows you have good organisational skills and above-average intellect. I'm not spreading false info either - if their in y10 they're 14/15, meaning they can resist as they're not 16 yet? Also, a y10 taking maths AND fm is not very likely to get below a 9 in maths are they, and definitely wouldn't need to resist it. So anyway, my argument still stands ?? I don't know what your on about mate, but taking a gcse early (from someone who did) definitely does not affect you in any way. Maybe your info is outdated - a school that stopped early entry 20 years ago has no experience with early sittings for the new specifications. Also, if early sittings disadvantaged you uni-wise, unis would definitely put this on their website - because I don't know about you, but I have never heard of someone getting wait-listed or even rejected because they took an exam a year early, that would be absolutely ridiculous :wink:

This is what universities are telling us - for Oxford and top unis you need a string of grade 9s taken in Year 11. For a state school [which we are] all your data is screwed by early entry and you are at risk of Ofsted RI judgement.
Your expeirence does not make what I say wrong.
Original post by hsjsjsnsjskk
hey, honestly (as someone who got offers/ invites from laet, harris, ncs and some other grammars (I didn't apply to brampton)), don't worry too much about things like competitions. If you have a passion, its great to develop this (even if its non-academic as this is a common interview q). obviously tho, ANY extra/super-curriculars you've done is amazing and you could defo put this on your personal statement. However i would say the best and main thing is the grades as not all schools even ask for a personal statement (as they know we're children and probably haven't done a lot). Try to attend some open days - if you're BAME there's looaaddddssss - specifically for y10/y11 students and taster days for lectures. Alternatively try youtube videos on things that aren't covered at gcse, for example if you really like maths try looking at different theorems and conjectures.
For reference, my personal statement (the only place this was rlly relevant was for ncs, which landed me a place at the taster day) was mainly just discussing why I chose those particular subjects, my wider interests, what I could contribute to the school environment, my skills bla bla bla.
(I didn't have very impressive predicteds compared to others and i was still fine (99988777 with rs already achieved) - I trust you will be too!!)

Tks for the support!
Original post by Muttley79
This is what universities are telling us - for Oxford and top unis you need a string of grade 9s taken in Year 11. For a state school [which we are] all your data is screwed by early entry and you are at risk of Ofsted RI judgement.
Your expeirence does not make what I say wrong.

Hey, just curious, why do Oxford and top unis want us to take all GCSEs together? what's the reason behind it? (Tbh my goal is to get into oxford)
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Hey, just curious, why do Oxford and top unis want us to take all GCSEs together? what's the reason behind it? (Tbh my goal is to get into oxford)

Doing all your GCSEs together shows you can cope with the workload of many subjects. Oxford has a short term and so the capacity to work intensely is important.
Original post by Muttley79
Doing all your GCSEs together shows you can cope with the workload of many subjects. Oxford has a short term and so the capacity to work intensely is important.

Tks. That is quite reasonable, but can I not prove that I have the capacity to work intensely in a sixth form by doing A-levels?
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Tks. That is quite reasonable, but can I not prove that I have the capacity to work intensely in a sixth form by doing A-levels?

No -it's different focusing on three or four subjects.
Original post by Muttley79
No -it's different focusing on three or four subjects.

Although there are only three or four subjects, isn't there more workload doing A-levels?
Original post by RevisionIsFun
Although there are only three or four subjects, isn't there more workload doing A-levels?

No - in my opinion [and that of others] the workload in KS4 is more intense. Keeping 9 or 10 ubjects at a high level is time intensive in a way A levels aren't. Yes A levels are harder but you can focus your efforts more easily.

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