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How hard is it to do 5 A-Levels?

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    I'm currently doing, biology, maths, chemistry, performing arts and psychology. I'm going to ask my head of sixth form if I can drop a subject because it is way too difficult. However, it maybe the fact I'm doing a complete A-level (or subsidiary diploma if you want to get technical), in one year, alongside 4 AS's.
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    Do 4 AS levels and 3 A levels like a normal person
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    I'm in year 13 at the moment and am hoping to complete 5A2s this summer (bio, chem, physics, maths and further maths). As long as you are committed to studying each subject then it isn't a huge extra workload as some people think. I would recommend teaching yourself a subject (as long as it isn't coursework based - which I would imagine photography is) as it takes a lot less time to cover the material needed for exams, but again it depends on the subject, sciences would be easier to do this with than, say history.

    On the uni front, as long as you can hit the grades in all of the subjects you do, it makes meeting a conditional offer a hell of a lot easier as long as you don't have many subjects specified. Say my offer for university is 3As, which I can get in any of the 5 subjects. It allows a little bit of leeway say if you're having an off day on one of the exams and don't get as high a mark as you should.

    Anyway, hope this helps and good luck with whatever you choose to do
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    (Original post by omgg)
    haha... it may be easy, but you still get a lot of work. but you sound like you can manage, so its alright for you. i would neverrr choose 5!
    Lol I'm not the straight A* student- only for the subjects I like :3
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    (Original post by kimmey)
    it depends what a levels really.

    im currently doing A2 and im glad i dropped maths, it takes a real weight off your shoulders

    especially with a course like mediicne the unis dont favour people with 4 a levels over those with 3 for example, but im not sure what its like for other courses
    you need bio and chem for medicine, what makes you think the op wants to do that?
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    (Original post by mollyd)
    I really want to do Psychology, French, English and History for AS level. But then I also want to do Photography as well... How hard would this be to do? Thankyou
    I did five last year, and I think my grades suffered because it. I didn't do photography, but a couple of my friends did and they found the work load pretty heavy, despite it not being as academically challenging as a subject like History, and difficult to balance with their other subjects. Remember that AAAA looks much better than AAABB. Plus, even Oxbridge only ask for 4 ASs, why put yourself through more stress and risk lower grades just because you'd quite like to do photography? My advice would be to keep photography as a hobby, it would give you something interesting to write in your personal statement for applying to university and ensures that it remains enjoyable for you, as doing it as an examined subject may make it less fun.
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    I happen to know that Photography, although not respected, is very time consuming.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    you need bio and chem for medicine, what makes you think the op wants to do that?
    well firstly you dont need biology to do medicine and secondly i was just speaking from personal experience
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    (Original post by kimmey)
    well firstly you dont need biology to do medicine and secondly i was just speaking from personal experience
    well yes you do. At least either Chem or Bio to A2, the other has to be at AS at least.
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    (Original post by Pride)
    well yes you do. At least either Chem or Bio to A2, the other has to be at AS at least.
    you are sadly mistaken my friend
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    With regard to the biology chemistry for medicine issue (maybe not the right place to debate) but traditionally Chemistry is the main subject asked for by most Medical Schools.

    I applied this year for 2012 entry and most places I looked at required Chemistry A2, only a handful asked for both Biology and Chemistry at A2 however most recommended at least AS Biology. I always thought that it should be the other way around, the Biology A level course seems more relevant (the human parts).

    Also I think it depends on the individual offers.
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    (Original post by mollyd)
    I really want to do Psychology, French, English and History for AS level. But then I also want to do Photography as well... How hard would this be to do? Thankyou
    It is very possible but you will have NO free time. Photography is a fantastic A level and based on projects which require you to present research/preparatory sketchbooks and then final pieces, so a lot of coursework and the odd essay plus trips to exhibitions etc. Time consuming. However on the plus side it is not 'content rich' in terms of having to learn and hold onto lots of information like your other subjects and there is no written exam at the end.

    My daughter did six 'AS' levels including history, archeology, geography, biology, textiles and photography, as she wanted to leave all options open. She then chose three to take forward. Everyone warned her it would be too hard and the combinations were odd. However it turned out to be the perfect combination of subjects for what she ended up doing at Bristol... so sometimes it is good to go with your heart.

    There is no point in over-stretching yourself however if it would reduce your grades.

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    (Original post by TCalderbank)
    With regard to the biology chemistry for medicine issue (maybe not the right place to debate) but traditionally Chemistry is the main subject asked for by most Medical Schools.

    I applied this year for 2012 entry and most places I looked at required Chemistry A2, only a handful asked for both Biology and Chemistry at A2 however most recommended at least AS Biology. I always thought that it should be the other way around, the Biology A level course seems more relevant (the human parts).

    Also I think it depends on the individual offers.
    Spot on. Chemistry is essential.

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    5 subjects is absolutely doable, don't worry about it. I did five and got good As in all (History, Spanish, Politics, Maths and Economics) and still had plenty of spare time for a good social life etc. (In fact I was freer than most of my friends because I just never bothered with homework until the last minute, suffice to say I did a lot of rushed essays lol)

    In terms of getting good results, it's not difficult to do 5 A-levels, so don't worry. The only thing you should tell yourself is: "is it worth it? Do I really need it?" Because I didn't, and with a terrible clash in my exam timetable I ended up dropping Economics yesterday -- not because of the workload, or the grades, but because 5 subjects are not needed.

    I hope that helped a little bit!

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Updated: April 17, 2012
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