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I'm 13 and need help!

  1. Aug 19, 2011 #1
    Hello, I'm not sure if this is the right section for this, but this seemed to make most sense, seeing as it is labeled as 'Homework & Coursework Questions'. Before I state my issue's I would like to note I am indeed, 13, And i'm going into Year 9 of education (England). The reason I'm posting here, is as followed, All my secondary school years I've been in classes filled with student's that utterly fulfill the average stereotype of a 13 year old British kid, Often known as "Chav's". Although my whole secondary school life I've been in the class that teachers dread to teach, I managed to get out of that class and into a top set. But this is where the real question comes in.
    I want to get be ahead of everyone in my class, for science, (and other subjects too, but mainly science) Reason being in my later life i have an ambition to become a forensic scientist, But that doesn't come without effort does it;). So i'm wondering if anyone here knows some good source's on the internet (or book's) that can help me really get prepared for year 9 science, In year 9, as far as I'm aware we do a bit of every science.

    If anyone has read this and can in fact, can provide me with some link to sources etc. I would be extremely grateful.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2011 #2
  4. Aug 19, 2011 #3
    Get Rudin :smile:.

    EDIT: Joking aside, Khan Academy is a good suggestion since it isn't too abstract but gets the basics across in a formal fashion.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  5. Aug 19, 2011 #4
    Welcome to Physics forums, Josh.

    Congratulations on wanting to rise above the "chavs" around you :-)

    Micromass has a good suggestion (as always).

    Forensic science is a difficult career to get into. As an example I am familiar with, there are many people that graduate with forensic osteology degrees (bones) in the UK (and Canada where I am) but there are actually very few full time job positions available. I am sure there are other fields that involve forensic work, but I would advise doing some research into who hires forensic scientists and how much competition there is in the field you are interested in.

    This doesn't mean that you shouldn't pursue your goals, just make sure you have a few different options ahead of you. Tell us more about the parts of forensics that interest you and we may be able to give better advice.

    (Unless you are very keen to do mathematics can safely ignore the joke about Rudin, above).
  6. Aug 19, 2011 #5
    Fedex Latex is another young-ish member from the UK. You remind me of him, except that he's into maths. But yeah, if you're really that bored and don't want to do whatever it is kids your age find fun, then by all means, learn stuff. If I were you, I wouldn't stress too much about "how fast" or "how much" I'm learning but I'd try learn more. Use Khan Academy to get ahead with your maths, then move on with whatever you find interesting.

    You might want to watch the biology and chemistry lectures. I suspect they will also be somewhat close to your a-level specification as well. Or at least, the current one! It's not another 4 years or so before you start yours!

    Sankaku is right, forensic science is really broad. It goes as broad as forensic medicine and engineering. (wiki 'em)
  7. Aug 20, 2011 #6
    You're evil :biggrin:
  8. Aug 20, 2011 #7


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    When I was your age (Year 8 going into Year 9) I decided to step it up a little - I used edugratis and other websites/books to learn about the basics of calculus (limits, differentiation, integration, cusps, related rates, etc). Edugratis' website has been taken down though, but you can still access some of their videos from YouTube. As far as I am aware the creator was Allen Lin, who does all of the lectures himself. Very useful, but only calculus-oriented.

    As for sciences I also recommend Khan Academy. I didn't know about it when I was your age.

    One of the things that was really helpful for my development was visiting forums like mathisfunforum.com and physicsforums. Although some of the topics that people talk about you won't yet have a great understanding of, you do pick up some of it. I can tell you that if I didn't visit MIF, for example, then I would know a bit less. You pick up small facts here and there and it accumulates; at least, that's my experience.

    I'm in the UK too, albeit a little older than you (I just finished Year 11); if you'd ever like to enquire about GCSEs or A-levels then I'd be happy to offer you some advice. For me, Year 9 was the age where I learned the most through independent learning. Learn as much as you can but enjoy it too.

    You said that you're often in classes that teachers dread to teach; for me it was like that even up to Year 11. However, it does get a bit better from Year 10 and onwards. My advice would be to utilise the amount of free time you have in Years 9 and 10, because you'll notice from Years 11-13 you end up having less and less of it. The Year you're in at the moment is where you can afford to learn pretty much what you want. That being said, you can still do that in Years 11-13, but you have to manage your time more effectively.

    Just out of curiosity, what's your mathematical background like?

    EDIT: Also would like to say that you should expect to see a decrease in the number of 'chavs' over time. Some of them do buckle up and become serious about exams, and in the last month or two of school when those exams are fast approaching, you'll be amazed at how people change.
  9. Aug 24, 2011 #8
    Mathematics isn't my strong point at all, Actually I've never really had much interest/understanding in a lot of it. Science and Music has always been my strong points, Science, I'm close to breaking a level 7b grade (ks3) and Music, 7b-a.
    As for maths I'm closer to 6c-b.
    Do you suggest i focus a bit more on trying some Maths?
  10. Aug 24, 2011 #9


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    Yes, of course. But you're only 13; are you sure you want a career in science? At your age I wanted to be a medical doctor, but a year later than completely changed and I despised the subject, and since then I've known that mathematics was for me. How 'certain' are you?

    I suggest not only focusing on maths, but your other subjects, too. As far as I can tell universities are placing a larger emphasis on GCSEs than a few years ago; apparently Birmingham has a strict 8A*s or more policy for medicine, to name an example.

    In my school the KS3 students use the 5/6/7 a/b/c system, too; however from what I've seen, it's not so easy to match that up to future potential. Keep trying to do well in all of your subjects (music in particular); it can open up new opportunities for you (you might start getting invited on educational trips and so forth).

    You say that you are a 6c-b student; but I've seen a few students with that kind of grade end up with A* at GCSE and A in their maths A-level; KS3 maths is not the same as GCSE maths (and certainly not the same as A-level). It's great that you have a keen interest in music; I once did too, at your age, until I lost interest. Keep at it and don't get to the point where it becomes so boring that you stop playing for too long. I certainly wish I still played.

    What subjects are you considering for GCSE? I know it's a bit early - you still have a whole year to decide that, more or less - will you be picking music, or is it just a hobby? Do you study a language?
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