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Choosing your A levels? Your questions answered here!

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by krisshP)
    So do I replace physics with Chemistry? If yes, if wouldn't make sense to have chem+maths - it would make more sense if its maths+physics. Also maths+physics would be easier due to the mechanics module.

    If I add chemistry, either by replacing business or just as my 4th subject, wouldn't I have too much workload?

    What happens if I take just AS Chemistry as my 4th subject (ONLY as AS)? Would I be able to see go into the science fields?
    It does make sense to combine chemistry with maths. At school everyone gets the impression that maths is only needed for physics. Maths is needed a great deal for chemistry at university level, as I discovered to my cost after only doing AS. Be warned!!

    You can't get onto a chemistry course with only AS; you can easily get onto physics, biology or maths courses. You can do any science degree with the same subject at A level (though maths is needed for physics and advisable in general). It helps you at university and in the application process to do two or three of these four subjects, but don't feel that you have to do all four to get on any science course. If one of the subjects really isn't your cup of tea then take English or something instead - after all, you're not going to want to do that subject at uni.

    I should also add that business studies is awful, I dropped it after AS because it was so easy and therefore soul-destroyingly boring. If that sort of thing interests you, take economics. Don't waste two years of your life doing a micky mouse subject, it's better (though I wouldn't advise it) to do three subjects than to do a fourth which is as pointless as business studies
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    I think I now should just do:
    Maths (AS+A2)
    Physics (AS, maybe A2)
    Business (AS+A2)
    Chemistry (AS, maybe A2)

    Will economics be hard for me?
    Also I will be able to decide which to do - chem or physics as my science.
    Thanks
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    (Original post by krisshP)
    I think I now should just do:
    Maths (AS+A2)
    Physics (AS, maybe A2)
    Business (AS+A2)
    Chemistry (AS, maybe A2)

    Will economics be hard for me?
    Also I will be able to decide which to do - chem or physics as my science.
    Thanks
    Economics, Physics and Chemistry are all difficult A levels, no doubt about that. Economics is more approachable, but requires a lot more fact learning, the sciences can get quite complicated (especially at A2).

    Economics is mostly essays (it's quite a lot like English language GCSE with source + comprehension questions). Physics is a lot of maths, and a lot of looking at equations, explaining them, et cetera. Chemistry is based much more on knowledge application (it's similar to Physics, but with less maths and more "explain this" questions).

    Which one to do is definitely down to you, and your strengths. If you're not confident with maths I would avoid Physics. If you like Sciences then Chemistry is a great choice (it's not easy though). Economics, as I said before, is much more of an essay subject (which may, or may not, be a good thing for you).

    Do you know if you're doing Mechanics modules in Maths? If you are, then they overlap quite a bit with Physics, which could be something to consider.


    Also, if you're looking at courses, Chemistry is the best option to keep your University course options open (almost every science degree wants students who take Chemistry).
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    Thanks Llewellyn
    Because of the high amount of English is Economics, I going to take:

    Maths (AS+A2)
    Physics (AS, maybe A2)
    Business (AS+A2)
    Chemistry (AS, maybe A2)

    Also I'll be doing the mechanics module in Maths to make things slightly easier and better for me
    Chemistry will be fun, just like in additional science, and I guessing it shouldn't be too hard and not impossible for me because I got a* full marks 100/100 for C2 unit in additional science.
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    (Original post by g_l)
    I've kind of posted something like this..just posting on this to get more opinions
    *Long post warning*
    OK so I'm currently doing GCSE's this year
    And I don't know what to pick for next year
    So I'm pretty much set on Maths for A level
    But I'm unsure about:
    - French <--that I do this for GCSE, teacher says I would be good at A level too. Have an good teacher
    - Biology <--I do triple science IGCSE so transition between that and A level is easier? So I've heard... Also, opens up options (for the future) as it is a science/'hard' subject
    - Economics <-- not taken it before, parents dissuade me from taking it
    - Business Studies <--not alongside Econ, too overlapping or something
    - Music <--taking it now, passed grade 8 piano and grade 4 singing. Have an excellent teacher.
    - Theatre Studies/Drama <-- though I don't do it for GCSE, but I passed grade 3 LAMDA Acting with Distinction, working towards Grade 5...but the Drama teacher is ****-really disorganised, too laid back etc...but I like acting I suppose
    - Psychology <--not taken it before, very intriguing. Essays....hmm...
    - English Lit <--do not enjoy analysing literature, reading is OK, but this subject is usually required/useful and parents really want me to take it

    ^ as you can see, I'm quite indecisive....

    Not too sure on future plans but until I find out I'll probably be a teacher..
    I'm planning on doing 4-5 subjects for AS by the way...and 3 for A2
    Thanks for reading
    I think French would be a great idea if you've got a good teacher. Languages are highly sought after and open up options for travel and studying/working abroad when you're older. You might not have thought of it this way but having languages can make university more fun!

    Triple science doesn't make A levels any easier I'm afraid, the step up is a big one whatever GCSEs you've done but don't let it put you off. Sciences are great to have but be aware that if you want to study a science course at uni you need more than one (maths counts).

    Don't take business, it's easy and nobody respects it, nor should they. Take economics instead if it interests you, but like any A level you have to have an interest in order to be able to do well.

    I would advise against music and theatre for the simple reason that you can pursue these things outside your A level studies, now and in the future. I don't think the way into these careers is through A level, it would be safer to do academic subjects and do these things in your spare time. If one of them really excites you and you think you can ace it, pick one but not both of them.

    English and psychology are both good subjects to have and relevant to teaching. As heavy essay subjects, if you take them alongside maths/biology/economics you'll show that you can do both kinds of subject, that'll impress universities and employers.

    And finally, I strongly advise against doing 5 ASs. An extra subject doesn't give you any advantage, you should pick four subjects and do them really well instead of spreading your time too thinly. If you want extra, my advice is to do four subjects in year 13 instead, when you'll be more settled into 6th form studying, either 4 A2s or an extra AS.

    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by krisshP)
    Thanks Llewellyn
    Because of the high amount of English is Economics, I going to take:

    Maths (AS+A2)
    Physics (AS, maybe A2)
    Business (AS+A2)
    Chemistry (AS, maybe A2)

    Also I'll be doing the mechanics module in Maths to make things slightly easier and better for me
    Chemistry will be fun, just like in additional science, and I guessing it shouldn't be too hard and not impossible for me because I got a* full marks 100/100 for C2 unit in additional science.
    Chemistry is fun but is alot harder than at gcse so ye i would read around the course before you start it just like you should with maths and physics bridge the gap ya know
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    (Original post by g_l)
    I've kind of posted something like this..just posting on this to get more opinions
    *Long post warning*
    OK so I'm currently doing GCSE's this year
    And I don't know what to pick for next year
    So I'm pretty much set on Maths for A level
    But I'm unsure about:
    - French <--that I do this for GCSE, teacher says I would be good at A level too. Have an good teacher
    - Biology <--I do triple science IGCSE so transition between that and A level is easier? So I've heard... Also, opens up options (for the future) as it is a science/'hard' subject
    - Economics <-- not taken it before, parents dissuade me from taking it
    - Business Studies <--not alongside Econ, too overlapping or something
    - Music <--taking it now, passed grade 8 piano and grade 4 singing. Have an excellent teacher.
    - Theatre Studies/Drama <-- though I don't do it for GCSE, but I passed grade 3 LAMDA Acting with Distinction, working towards Grade 5...but the Drama teacher is ****-really disorganised, too laid back etc...but I like acting I suppose
    - Psychology <--not taken it before, very intriguing. Essays....hmm...
    - English Lit <--do not enjoy analysing literature, reading is OK, but this subject is usually required/useful and parents really want me to take it
    ^ as you can see, I'm quite indecisive....

    Not too sure on future plans but until I find out I'll probably be a teacher..
    I'm planning on doing 4-5 subjects for AS by the way...and 3 for A2
    Thanks for reading
    Based on this I would not advise English Lit. If you don't like analysing literature and aren't even that bothered about reading then you're not going to enjoy it and probably won't get the best grade.

    From the others on your list I would recommend Biology and French; they both seem like apt choices based on what you said about each of them respectively. Not too sure about Drama and Music; as you may be aware for some degree courses they won't work in your favour when applying.

    Do you know what kind of degree you want to do? Science/Arts? You will need to decide which route you're going to go down when choosing your AS. If you're unsure I'd recommend including at least 2-3 sciences since it is more likely you will get on an arts course with more science based a levels than it is to get on a science course with mainly arts based a levels.

    Oh and I would echo the sentiments of the previous poster; don't bother doing 5 AS unless you really want to do those subjects.
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    Thanks for answering, your replies are really insightful x
    I have decided to be 'normal' and do 4 subjects for AS and 3 for A2
    So I've cut it down to definitely doing Maths, Biology and French.
    And considering between Psychology and English...
    Also, someone (in my other post) suggested doing History
    Well I do history GCSE and I feel it is quite difficult even now...

    Maybe I'll do what Clumsy_Chemist says and do Psychology AS in yr 13: (If I do English I definitely want it over and done with!)

    (Original post by Clumsy_Chemist)
    If you want extra, my advice is to do four subjects in year 13 instead, when you'll be more settled into 6th form studying, either 4 A2s or an extra AS.
    Or would it be crazy to do Biology for one year as well and get 2 A levels in Maths and French alongside 3 AS levels....
    LOL xD
    I'm just joking
    I don't think anyone's done that before
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    (Original post by g_l)
    Thanks for answering, your replies are really insightful x
    I have decided to be 'normal' and do 4 subjects for AS and 3 for A2
    So I've cut it down to definitely doing Maths, Biology and French.
    And considering between Psychology and English...
    Also, someone (in my other post) suggested doing History
    Well I do history GCSE and I feel it is quite difficult even now...

    Maybe I'll do what Clumsy_Chemist says and do Psychology AS in yr 13: (If I do English I definitely want it over and done with!)



    Or would it be crazy to do Biology for one year as well and get 2 A levels in Maths and French alongside 3 AS levels....
    LOL xD
    I'm just joking
    I don't think anyone's done that before
    You need 3 A2s to get into uni
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    Can I have people's opinions on French A-level? I chose it for next year and I'm really worried now that it'll be too hard! Should I start light work in the summer just to get a softer start, maybe?
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    (Original post by Username12213131)
    Can I have people's opinions on French A-level? I chose it for next year and I'm really worried now that it'll be too hard! Should I start light work in the summer just to get a softer start, maybe?
    Of course all A-level subjects are hard.
    Most schools help you make a smooth transition between GCSE and A-level.
    It is always good to do a bit of forward reading before starting the course.
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    (Original post by Heptapus)
    Of course all A-level subjects are hard.
    Most schools help you make a smooth transition between GCSE and A-level.
    It is always good to do a bit of forward reading before starting the course.
    I know they're all hard, but some are harder than others
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    (Original post by Username12213131)
    I know they're all hard, but some are harder than others
    I would probably say that the sciences are harder than the humanities, but languages require lots of vocabulary to remember.
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    (Original post by Heptapus)
    I would probably say that the sciences are harder than the humanities, but languages require lots of vocabulary to remember.
    Alright thanks, it was between physics and french but vocab learning won't be a problem because it's the easiest part of learning a launguange in my opinion
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    (Original post by Username12213131)
    Alright thanks, it was between physics and french but vocab learning won't be a problem because it's the easiest part of learning a launguange in my opinion
    Ahh right, I do physics and I really love it. It is really interesting (especially the quantum physics stuff) - I am definitely carrying Physics on to A2
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    Hi guys i'm new to TSR,

    what do you think of the A levels i'm thinking of choosing

    Maths
    Economics
    History
    Government and Politics
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    (Original post by YNWA)
    Hi guys i'm new to TSR,

    what do you think of the A levels i'm thinking of choosing

    Maths
    Economics
    History
    Government and Politics
    Hey, welcome to TSR. :-)
    Obviously your choices are suited to you.
    What are you hoping to study at university?
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    So, I've selected my A Levels. I've done French AS early and am dropping it. Next year I will be doing History, English Literature, Politics and Economics.

    Although I find these subjects all very interesting, I am certainly concerned about doing four essay subjects. On top of this, I find Biology unbelievably fascinating! Although it doesn't come to me as naturally as the others, I find it really interesting. My school would be doing SNAB.

    The only problem is the teachers at my school for Biology are appalling. There are 2 good teachers in the whole department.. apart from that, they are shocking. I now it isn't wise to base a subject decision on teachers, but seeing as I already switched to Econ from French (was planning on doing another French course next year) - would it be acceptable to switch again next year, once I know who the teachers are.

    Considering the fact that I find History the hardest, I have never actually done Economics before and I want to do HSPS at Cambridge - what would you recommend I switch out of, if I do switch?
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    (Original post by g_l)
    Changed my mind so I'll probably be doing:
    - Maths
    - Psychology
    - Economics
    - Physics
    Any thoughts?
    I did these but substitute english lit for economics (english lit was horrible anyway :P).

    Yeh they're good, you could do quite a lot with these A Levels. People either tend to find physics really easy or really hard- depending on whether you like it. If you don't like physics you may struggle to get through it...

    Psychology is a mostly memorising really, it can be a bit annoying.
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    I would like to do Architecture once at university,but i am struggling to choose A-levels that the course needs. At the moment I am thinking of taking-
    - Maths
    - Further Maths
    - Chemistry
    - Biology
    - Physics
    Then i will drop either biology or physics in A2. Will it matter that i am not taking an art based subject?
    I'm doing art GCSE anyway, but even though i work at a solid A/ A* grade i don't think i will get as good of a grade if i do this rather than a science or math subject.
    Help :s

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Updated: October 21, 2014
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