Sunday, 1 September 2013

AS results and subsequent plans

As promised, I will write about my AS level results all things around that area of discussion.
I think I should start the post of by saying I did quite badly.
Talking here in over all grades;

In ICT I got a D,
In chemistry I got an E,
In English literature I got an E,
I failed maths.

So there you have it, not great results at all, but at least they count for some UCAS points. You may be wondering why I did so badly; well I myself don't really know, I can only speculate.
I'm not going to say I wasn't lazy, because I was; you can always do more work. However I don't I feel I was too lazy, I put the effort in where it was needed and studied fairly hard, but obviously not hard enough.
Now, i'm not going to go around saying that if you put the work in, you'll definitely do as well as you'd like; when it comes down to it, A levels are hard.

To start talking about individual subject, i'll start with the worse; maths. I was a little taken aback when I saw the breakdown of my results, I got a U (a fail) in all three exams. I knew there was no chance I would have passed, but still this surprised me. I wasn't too phased by failing it, as I expected a fail, and I also was planning on dropping it in the next year anyway.

English was an odd subject, I was quite disappointed with the breakdown of marks, as I had potential to do alright, but I did very badly in the exam. I got a B in my coursework, which I was pretty pleased about, but then at the opposite end of the mark spectrum, I got a U in the exam. This was rather gutting, because I knew that I had messed up in the exam, but I didn't expect to that extent. I've never been great at english in exam situations if i'm being honest. The worst part about doing so badly in english is that a retake is not an option, because it would mean studying another four texts, by that time I may as well just retake the whole AS.

My mark in ICT was surprising, but not too much of a bother. I chose to study it as a filler subject really, because I had no clue what else to do as a fourth subject, and also because the grades were rescuable by doing a retake of an exam. This wouldn't be too much of a stretch, as it's a fairly easy subject. I think that I slipped up on the essay writing side of it, which in a sense links into doing badly in the english exam.

I wasn't too sure what to expect in chemistry. I didn't think that I would fail, but I wasn't sure how high my grade would be. I thought I might manage between a D and a C, but achieved an E. Looking at my mark breakdown, it seems that I had the potential do fairly well, with a B in practical skills and a D in the exam I retook, but then got a U in the other exam, which was very surprising.

When I got these results, I started to frantically think about where I would go from there. In my mind, I had three options:
1) Go back to my 6th form and continue with A2 exams, meanwhile do retake two exams to up my grades
2) Go to a college and study a BTEC in music
3) Go to a college and mix retaking exams with restarting one or two AS's

I spent a good two weeks considering the options, each had their pros and cons. I didn't have too much time to decide which path to choose.

In terms of going back to 6th form, I wasn't too sure as I don't feel that I fit in so well there. Also It'd be quite a lot of work doing that many retakes along side studying for my A2 exams, which would be fine, but I feel that it wasn't entirely reasonable, given that none of the subjects I was taking related specifically to my plans for university of studying music/sound technology.

I felt that doing a BTEC in music would be good as it focused on what I was planning on doing in the future, however it was also a little too specific. It would not be enough of a general education, so this put me off quite a bit.

I was leaning most towards the third option of restarting some AS's at college and doing some A2s and starting some new ASs, partially because it allowed me to change my subjects to being more relevant to my university plans and also I think that I may get on better there. I decided on this option in the end.
I went to the college this friday to enroll and got in. However, I will not studying what I had first planned to do. In my interview, I discussed the possibility of starting music technology AS, but it seemed that it wouldn't be possible to study it, as I don't have the right skills - specifically, the ability to read music. They suggested that I could do a music BTEC, where I would study things relevant to music  technology and also learn to read and about other things relating to music theory. In addition I could also take music theory grades there while i'm at it, which would also be important. In addition to the BTEC, I could study two AS's, so I thought that I would also study electronics and creative writing along side.
The other option I had was to only do A levels, and study things required to do music technology AS in the next year. This would be good for diversity of subjects, however, it would also be a risky option. My results confirms that i'm not the best at doing exams and my strengths are in coursework.

I finally decided on doing the BTEC, along side AS creative writing and AS electronics. I start on the upcoming wednesday, so I got it all sorted out just in time.
I'm not sure what it'll be like, socially and academically, but I shall wait and see. I know a fair few people going there already which is reassuring.
When it comes to the work load, there is no questioning that it'll be hard, as I will be starting electronics from scratch, having never touched the subject before, with having to write quite a lot for creative writing, and just having to learn a lot over all musically, but hopefully it should be interesting and enjoyable learning, especially in the case of music and writing.

I should probably mention about quitting 6th form here for anyone from there reading my blog, I enjoyed it there and met some nice people, but felt I never fully connected socially I hoped I would. But the fact that my subjects were heading in the wrong direction was the main reason for leaving.

To sum up, exciting times up ahead!

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