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Choosing your A levels? Your questions answered here!

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    I was just wondering if it is okay to take three AS levels instead of four. I know it's advised to take four and then drop one at A2 so I would like to know if it's safe for me to take three. I am studying English Language, Biology and Chemistry at the moment and hope to have a career with an English Language degree or in Media.
    Any advise would be highly appreciated
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    Economics as your 4th subject with Bio, cem and maths will kill you. I say pick Bio, chem, maths and business (or another EASY A-level which is still not excluded by unis).

    Business is like an easier version of eco
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    (Original post by g.k.galloway)
    i hope to do medicine at uni and have picked
    bio
    chem
    maths
    economics

    i was just wondering if economics is a good 4th subject..... (i know lots of people say to do physics but i hate it!!)

    thanks in advance
    They are the subjects I do, they're absolutely fine if you're wanting to do medicine

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by krisshP)
    Economics as your 4th subject with Bio, cem and maths will kill you. I say pick Bio, chem, maths and business (or another EASY A-level which is still not excluded by unis).

    Business is like an easier version of eco
    Yes but business is regarded as an easy subject by universities and it is an easy subject and therefore wouldn't look good on an application for medicine due to the high competitiveness of the subject!
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    (Original post by Zoya Khan)
    I was just wondering if it is okay to take three AS levels instead of four. I know it's advised to take four and then drop one at A2 so I would like to know if it's safe for me to take three. I am studying English Language, Biology and Chemistry at the moment and hope to have a career with an English Language degree or in Media.
    Any advise would be highly appreciated
    3 is fine if you are confident you can do well in all 3 of them. it's better to take 4 so that they have a back up if one doesn't go quite to plan, say for example if you didn't get the grade you hoped for/needed etc. but 3 is fine, you'd probs have a lot more free periods for study, so that's one advantage, but just make sure you know what each course entails, and whether you'll enjoy them, and whether you'll get the grades, because you'll have no option to drop a subject for A2. Gd luck
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    (Original post by xxZazxx)
    3 is fine if you are confident you can do well in all 3 of them. it's better to take 4 so that they have a back up if one doesn't go quite to plan, say for example if you didn't get the grade you hoped for/needed etc. but 3 is fine, you'd probs have a lot more free periods for study, so that's one advantage, but just make sure you know what each course entails, and whether you'll enjoy them, and whether you'll get the grades, because you'll have no option to drop a subject for A2. Gd luck
    Thanks There's no question that I aim for high grades and I know a lot of hard work will go into it. I've always been good at these subjects and do enjoy them even now, although bio gets tedious! If it doesn't go well, then it will be seen. Maybe a resit?
    I'm just trying to reduce my workload.
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    Hi I was wondering aobout whether I should choose pyschology or not. I've decided to take English literature although I am slightly worried about it, and I'm wanting to take sociology and law. As for pyschology, I know it requires a lot of science and some maths and I've only worked at foundation level in maths and as for science I'm doing BTEC science, aiming for a distinction, merit at least. I want to do pyschology because I might want to become a therapist, or lawyer, but I'm worried, can anyone hel me out? Thanks.
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    Hi all, I'm looking to do a chemistry degree and a research based career.
    Stuck on a level choices, either:
    Maths
    Further Maths
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biology

    OR

    Maths
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biology
    Politics

    I know 5 is a lot so please don't just tell me to not do 5...
    Basically, politics or further maths!?
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    Is it realistic to want to do Chemistry A level when you have a double science GCSE?
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    (Original post by Safiya122)
    Hi I was wondering aobout whether I should choose pyschology or not. I've decided to take English literature although I am slightly worried about it, and I'm wanting to take sociology and law. As for pyschology, I know it requires a lot of science and some maths and I've only worked at foundation level in maths and as for science I'm doing BTEC science, aiming for a distinction, merit at least. I want to do pyschology because I might want to become a therapist, or lawyer, but I'm worried, can anyone hel me out? Thanks.
    Hi, I do biology, chemistry, psychology and English lit. I really enjoy psychology, it's enjoyable and interesting. The research method unit, however, is quite boring and has a bit of maths but to be honest its things you'd do at foundation gcse maths; the only maths I've had to do so far is mean, mode and median and you need to be able to draw bar charts, scattergraphs and histograms. As for science I wouldn't say it has a lot of it, mostly it's just memorizing research done into a topic e.g. memory and then the strengths and weakness of that research/theory. The only science that has come up for me was in stress responses and to be honest that unit was not very big. Overall, I think its mainly about memorising, so if you're good at that then it should be easy and I really don't think you should worry about the maths if you can do mean, mode, range etc. you should be fine! Hope that helps
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    (Original post by estmick)
    Is it realistic to want to do Chemistry A level when you have a double science GCSE?
    Its perfectly normal. You might have to do a little more work as you won't already be familiar with some area's but once you've completed the first module your on level ground with everyone else. I certainly didn't feel disadvantaged despite not doing triple.
    Be warned though that you'll likely struggle if you getting less than AA in double science. The first module is roughly equivalent in amount of content to the entire chemistry course of double science but covered in one term rather than 2/3 years.
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    (Original post by tomdewey)
    Hi all, I'm looking to do a chemistry degree and a research based career.
    Stuck on a level choices, either:
    Maths
    Further Maths
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biology

    OR

    Maths
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Biology
    Politics

    I know 5 is a lot so please don't just tell me to not do 5...
    Basically, politics or further maths!?
    Hi, I do maths/ further maths/ chem/ biol/ phys. I think it's totally manageable if you enjoy those subjects, and they actually all help each other out a lot, so I'd really recommend it. You do need to be ready for quite a bit of maths though

    For Chemistry (or related subjects like materials) you definitely want Further maths. Politics really isn't relevant. If I was choosing A levels for chemistry then in order of importance/ relevance I would say it is: chem/ maths/ further maths/ physics/ biology/ (anything else). It would probably be ok for you to drop biology if you wanted to (unless you're very keen on biochem). Chemistry and maths are what universities will really look for as fundamentals, further maths and physics will make your application look that much better.
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    (Original post by estmick)
    Is it realistic to want to do Chemistry A level when you have a double science GCSE?
    Yes and, as the other poster said, it is quite common to do so.

    However, be aware that you might need to read up a bit on the chemistry in triple science (just to help you for AS). AS chem moves fairly quickly on subjects already covered (polymers, Green chemistry and alkanes/ alkenes in particular). Although, I would suggest this advice for almost any subject.
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    (Original post by Llewellyn)
    Hi, I do maths/ further maths/ chem/ biol/ phys. I think it's totally manageable if you enjoy those subjects, and they actually all help each other out a lot, so I'd really recommend it. You do need to be ready for quite a bit of maths though

    For Chemistry (or related subjects like materials) you definitely want Further maths. Politics really isn't relevant. If I was choosing A levels for chemistry then in order of importance/ relevance I would say it is: chem/ maths/ further maths/ physics/ biology/ (anything else). It would probably be ok for you to drop biology if you wanted to (unless you're very keen on biochem). Chemistry and maths are what universities will really look for as fundamentals, further maths and physics will make your application look that much better.
    Okay thank you very much for the advice, are you taking all 5 onto A2?
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    (Original post by tomdewey)
    Okay thank you very much for the advice, are you taking all 5 onto A2?
    Given the choice, I would continue all 5 to A2. Just because they're all quite interesting.

    However some reasons (timetable, university offers, exam pressure, teacher pressure, etc.) may cause me to drop one, in which case I'd drop Biology. The most important thing about the A2 year is to meet your offers above all else, if doing 5 compromised my chances of meeting an offer enough then I would probably choose to drop one.
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    (Original post by Poppy_Ki)
    Hi, I do biology, chemistry, psychology and English lit. I really enjoy psychology, it's enjoyable and interesting. The research method unit, however, is quite boring and has a bit of maths but to be honest its things you'd do at foundation gcse maths; the only maths I've had to do so far is mean, mode and median and you need to be able to draw bar charts, scattergraphs and histograms. As for science I wouldn't say it has a lot of it, mostly it's just memorizing research done into a topic e.g. memory and then the strengths and weakness of that research/theory. The only science that has come up for me was in stress responses and to be honest that unit was not very big. Overall, I think its mainly about memorising, so if you're good at that then it should be easy and I really don't think you should worry about the maths if you can do mean, mode, range etc. you should be fine! Hope that helps
    Seriously, your answer has definitly calmed me down since I was really stressing out about it. I hope it only concludes up to around that :L Anyhow, thank you for your help. I notice you're also doing English Literature and I plan on doing so for that. I know you need to be interested in reading since it provides a lot of that, I'm not somebody who spends all my time reading, I used to do a lot more reading in the previous years than I do now since I have so much exams I need to prepare myself for. So could you give me a brief idea on English Literature as an A-level? I'm planning on getting a B in English Literature and Language and I'm only doing foundation, do I still have a chance of doing well? Thanks
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    What are your views on taking all essay-based subjects? I've been thinking about doing English Literature, History, Philosophy and Psychology and have listed these as my subjects at college (though it's not set in stone yet and so I could change them) but what does everybody think about taking too many essay subjects? I've been told I'll lose the will to live
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    (Original post by SimplyEccentric)
    What are your views on taking all essay-based subjects? I've been thinking about doing English Literature, History, Philosophy and Psychology and have listed these as my subjects at college (though it's not set in stone yet and so I could change them) but what does everybody think about taking too many essay subjects? I've been told I'll lose the will to live
    Nothing wrong with that at all. If you are good at writing essays (duh :P) then it shouldnt be a problem at all, as long as you keep up with work they set you. Also, the only disadvantage of having a heavy essay-focused subject mix is perhaps restricting yourself from courses that you may be interested in. For example, you'd have to do A-level Maths if you wanted to study Economics at one of the better Unis. Just a thought. If you're definitely sure that you dont want to do anything Science/Maths related (though Psychology alone will get you into Psych courses, I think) you should be cool.
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    Hi, I'm looking to do the MORSE course at Warwick, or otherwise do any sort of Maths+Economics course.

    I've already decided on 3 subjects:

    Maths
    Further Maths
    Economics

    However, every college I have visited require you to take FM as a fourth subject only, meaning it is compulsory for me a take another subject.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good 4th subject to take?

    I'm naturally good at maths and I enjoy it, so anything Maths-based would be good. Anything else related to the courses I'm looking to do would help as well.
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    (Original post by justinawe)
    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good 4th subject to take?

    I'm naturally good at maths and I enjoy it, so anything Maths-based would be good. Anything else related to the courses I'm looking to do would help as well.
    Well physics certainly has a lot of maths in it at A-level. The two complement each other well (especially if you study a mechanics module as part of maths as that it almost identical to a physics unit so you'll already be familiar with it).
    Physics certainly has more maths than economics anyways

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Updated: October 23, 2014
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