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Mock results and A level choices


“Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds”, wrote Shakespeare, in his Sonnet 116; but should I stick with my A level choices, when my mock GCSE results show that I’ve done better in another subject?

January means a new year and, for some, associated resolutions. It also means, if you are a Year 11 student, dealing with the reality of the Mock GCSE marks. Of course, the road to the summer exams is the main focus, but what about subject choices for next September?

For a few, choosing A Levels is very straightforward, but for many it can be a far more onerous. There is a real temptation to go with the results of the mocks and opt for the subjects in which you have performed best.

However, this might not always be the right choice in the long term. Following your passions is, in my opinion, probably more important. Having a genuine interest in your A Level studies can see you digging much more deeply into your studies. If a subject fascinates you, you are far more likely to read widely about it, to track down relevant podcasts and videos, to practise more, to ask more questions and – all so often – to achieve more and realise your full potential.

Here at Ipswich School you will most likely start with four subjects in Year 12. This diversity gives you the opportunity to have a go at a broad range of subjects and provides you the flexibility of honing this down to three should one not quite work out for you. Many of our current Sixth Formers tell me that they have changed their mind about which is their least favourite subject over the course of their studies and, therefore, which to drop. “It would have been a disaster if I’d only had three – there would have been no option!” is a typical comment.

So in choosing your subjects, my advice is always to choose based on your preference, and not just your performance. Of course, prior attainment is important – it is hard to bridge the gap between GCSE and A level without being at a high enough starting point, but minor differences in your mock marks should not dissuade you from following your heart.

For those who have still to make up their mind about where to study their A Levels, our Year 12 entry for September 2018 is still open.

Details about admissions for Year 12, and also for Lower and Middle School, are available from our Admissions team on 01473 408300 and also here. Scholarships and means-tested bursaries up to full fees are available.

Nicholas Weaver - Headmaster, Ipswich School

About the Author

Nicholas Weaver – Headmaster, Ipswich School

Nicholas Weaver is the Headmaster at Ipswich School, leading Independent School in Suffolk for Girls and Boys aged 2-18

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