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'Strong' A-Levels?

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    I'm choosing my A-Levels this year (well AS as it's my first year) and I've seen a few posts on TSR about 'Strong' A-Levels. What does this mean?

    E.G - History and English Lit would be your strong ones.

    At a guess I would say it could be because they are heavily essay/extended writing based. But some clarification would be great..
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    Not as such. Some A Levels are seen as more "respectable" than others, like Maths, Sciences, Languages, Humanities... Basically what is seen as academic subjects
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    (Original post by rebelli0n)
    I'm choosing my A-Levels this year (well AS as it's my first year) and I've seen a few posts on TSR about 'Strong' A-Levels. What does this mean?

    E.G - History and English Lit would be your strong ones.

    At a guess I would say it could be because they are heavily essay/extended writing based. But some clarification would be great..
    Strong meaning very respectable alevels (The very academic ones) , E.g: Maths, Physics, Eng lit, History etc.

    Soft/Mickey Mouse meaning the less respectable alevels/vocationals E.g:
    Film Studies, Sociology, Dance, Media etc. <== Those are seen as very soft alevels/vocationals.
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    Weak A levels= Psychology, Sociology, Design and Technology, Travel and Tourism etc...


    Strong A levels = Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Bio, English Lit, History, Art, Economics, Further Maths etc ...
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    Oh I get it now, thanks alot
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    Strong A-levels usually refer to the ones that are traditional and more academically rigorous subjects.

    Soft A-levels refer to ones which are more vocational and are less traditional, and therefore are looked upon less fondly by the top Universities for some courses.

    This page on Trinity College, Cambridge's website, gives a good idea on which A levels are strong or soft.
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    (Original post by racheatworld)
    Strong A-levels usually refer to the ones that are traditional and more academically rigorous subjects.

    Soft A-levels refer to ones which are more vocational and are less traditional, and therefore are looked upon less fondly by the top Universities for some courses.

    This page on Trinity College, Cambridge's website, gives a good idea on which A levels are strong or soft.
    That's a great find haha, but I want to go on and study Law at University and this list was vague on that subject. I'll go read on TSR somewhere about the pro's and con's of taking certain A levels for this subject because I'm sure it would have been answered somewhere. But is taking 4 AS levels necessary? Because if I'm drowing in coursework from 3 subjects I don't really want an unneccesary 4th..
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    Biology
    Chemistry
    Mathematics
    Further Mathematics
    Physics
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    (Original post by pbsjohnz)
    Weak A levels= Psychology, Sociology, Design and Technology, Travel and Tourism etc...


    Strong A levels = Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Bio, English Lit, History, Art, Economics, Further Maths etc ...
    Although I largely agree with you. I think it is arguable whether psychology is a soft or hard subject.
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    (Original post by rebelli0n)
    That's a great find haha, but I want to go on and study Law at University and this list was vague on that subject. I'll go read on TSR somewhere about the pro's and con's of taking certain A levels for this subject because I'm sure it would have been answered somewhere. But is taking 4 AS levels necessary? Because if I'm drowing in coursework from 3 subjects I don't really want an unneccesary 4th..
    4 AS levels and then dropping one to go on to do 3 A-Levels in your second year is the norm.
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    It's fairly subjective.

    Some people argue that the traditional subjects - maths, sciences, English lit, foreign languages, history - are much 'stronger' and more respected. The 'weaker' subjects would be considered art, sociology, English language, philosophy, media studies, possibly even psychology. But the people who actually do these subjects would probably vouch for how hard these can be.

    If you want to go into any of these 'weak' subjects, it would be silly to take all sciences and maths which have nothing to do with that course.

    I think the problem lies in that it is argued it is much easier to get an A in Media Studies than, say, chemistry, yet it is still regarded as an A Level. But as I said, it depends on the person.

    There's no point picking a load of subjects that you don't want to do, as you won't enjoy them and subsequently will not do as well. Do what you want to do, but there's no harm mixing certain subjects with 'stronger' ones just to make you more appealing to employers.


    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    If you wanna study law....
    you can take mostly any range of academic subjects. But, I've taken history, english lit, government and politics and philosophy and ethics. From the tasters, I've learnt that they are a HUGE jump from GCSE's through the amount of independence and individual thought you have to put in, to the way the questions are worded.
    I have bridging work to do over the summer as well.....ergh.
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    (Original post by rebelli0n)
    That's a great find haha, but I want to go on and study Law at University and this list was vague on that subject. I'll go read on TSR somewhere about the pro's and con's of taking certain A levels for this subject because I'm sure it would have been answered somewhere. But is taking 4 AS levels necessary? Because if I'm drowing in coursework from 3 subjects I don't really want an unneccesary 4th..
    The answer is yes, lots of places require a 4th As level and want it to be above a certain grade (Warwick and Exeter are two that do off the top of my head).

    And if you're worried about drowning in coursework I suggest that you pick your subjects partly based on that. History and English Lit both have coursework, I did both and managed fine with them.

    So two coursework subjects would be fine but i wouldn't recommend doing any more.

    I don't think languages tend to have coursework and neither do many, sciences. Or if they do then they're not big pieces of coursework.
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    (Original post by rebelli0n)
    I'm choosing my A-Levels this year (well AS as it's my first year) and I've seen a few posts on TSR about 'Strong' A-Levels. What does this mean?

    E.G - History and English Lit would be your strong ones.

    At a guess I would say it could be because they are heavily essay/extended writing based. But some clarification would be great..
    Basically it means they're academically good A-Levels such as Physics, Further Maths and so on. Soft A levels are things like Textiles, ICT, General Studies- that kind of thing!
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    (Original post by rebelli0n)
    That's a great find haha, but I want to go on and study Law at University and this list was vague on that subject. I'll go read on TSR somewhere about the pro's and con's of taking certain A levels for this subject because I'm sure it would have been answered somewhere. But is taking 4 AS levels necessary? Because if I'm drowing in coursework from 3 subjects I don't really want an unneccesary 4th..
    Most universities would prefer law applicants to not have studied law A-level. Otherwise just go for some hard essay subjects (English lit is a very common good one, and so is History) and you can throw a wildcard in there if you're good at the subject e.g. Maths is very good to have. I would say if you're aiming for anything BBB or above in your A-levels, those universities will definitely prefer to see 4 AS Levels so I would say it is neccesary, yes.
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    (Original post by isp)
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Mathematics
    Further Mathematics
    Physics
    You're forgetting that Humanities and Languages are also largely considered strong A levels.

    It isn't all about Science.

    (And I'm a person that does Maths / Science so I'm not just being biased)
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    (Original post by hassi94)
    Most universities would prefer law applicants to not have studied law A-level. Otherwise just go for some hard essay subjects (English lit is a very common good one, and so is History) and you can throw a wildcard in there if you're good at the subject e.g. Maths is very good to have. I would say if you're aiming for anything BBB or above in your A-levels, those universities will definitely prefer to see 4 AS Levels so I would say it is neccesary, yes.
    Not true, only 2 express that they don't want A Level Law and these are Manchester and LSE. (Source)

    Personally I reckon History essay writing has helped me the most doing Law, though Lit is good for helping you to write well as you simply read more.
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    (Original post by rachaelizabeth)
    You're forgetting that Humanities and Languages are also largely considered strong A levels.

    It isn't all about Science.

    (And I'm a person that does Maths / Science so I'm not just being biased)
    Languages yes, although most of the humanities subjects offerred at A-Level are useless (probably due to dumbed down they are)
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    (Original post by isp)
    Languages yes, although most of the humanities subjects offerred at A-Level are useless (probably due to dumbed down they are)
    I did 2 Langs and 2 Humanities (Lit and History). The humanities were at least as hard, if not harder.
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    (Original post by roh)
    Not true, only 2 express that they don't want A Level Law and these are Manchester and LSE. (Source)

    Personally I reckon History essay writing has helped me the most doing Law, though Lit is good for helping you to write well as you simply read more.
    Hmm fair enough, but the way the question from the source was asked sounded like 'will you accept it' in which case - most would say yes regardless (it's just a preference).

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Updated: July 11, 2012
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