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Staying in college for an extra year?

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    Here is my plan:

    (Completed) Year 12: AS English Language, AS Biology, AS Religious Studies and AS Psychology.

    Year 13: AS English Literature, A2 Biology, A2 Religious Studies and A2 Psychology.

    Year 14: A2 English Language, A2 English Literature and another AS of my choice.

    This way I will have 3 respected A levels (English Literature, Biology and Religious Studies), 2 less-respected, but adored, A Levels (English Language and Psychology) and an AS in a subject I take a interest in e.g. Sociology, Mathematics, etc.

    Other positives include;
    - It would broaden my mind and knowledge base by studying more A Levels.
    - I love education dearly and would adore an opportunity, if college allows it, to stay an extra year!
    - It would give me more time to do; volunteering, work experience, extra reading, the decision making process of concluding exactly which university I would like to go to, etc.

    The biggest con is if universities will not like this plan and, effectively, it harms my UCAS application.
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    It never harmed mine, though I dont think I ever mentioned it. One girl once tried starting her personal statement with something along the lines of 'I am redoing another year of A-levels because I did not do very well', I suggest you do not do that.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    It never harmed mine, though I dont think I ever mentioned it. One girl once tried starting her personal statement with something along the lines of 'I am redoing another year of A-levels because I did not do very well', I suggest you do not do that.
    I am doing three years for my own benefit; not to improve my grades! I got all 5 As this year (General Studies too) and I have been predicted A*A*A*A* in A2 by my college.
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    (Original post by EnigmaticSpirit)
    I am doing three years for my own benefit; not to improve my grades! I got all 5 As this year (General Studies too) and I have been predicted A*A*A*A* in A2 by my college.
    But if you compete against students who got similar grades in 2 years?
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    But if you compete against students who got similar grades in 2 years?
    But I will have 3 A2s in 2 years! I will have an extra 2 ASs in those 2 years too! I will only be doing 3 A2s or 2 A2s in my third year as extra! So I will end up with, over 2 years; A*AAaa or AAAaa and, over 3 years; AAAAAa, AAAAAA, A*AAAAa or A*AAAAA.
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    Don't worry about being in college for an extra year and I don't mean this to sound rude, but ignore the comment about those who got the same grades in two years. I don't really think universities care so long as you have good grades. I started a BTEC in Art and Design when I finished my GCSEs but I dropped out to move to London. I moved back 6 months later and enrolled on a different BTEC course. I've completed that but technically I am now a year behind where I should be; rather than going to university in September, I should've just finished my first year. I know BTECs and A Levels are different in their layouts and whatnot but the fact that I left my first BTEC and then started another one a year later didn't seem to put any of my applied universities off and I got offers from all but one (that one offered an interview but I already had the offer I wanted so I withdrew). As long as you have good grades and a good reference from your college tutor on your UCAS form, I really cannot see universities caring. If you want to do it this way then good luck to you.
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    (Original post by sliceofcake)
    Don't worry about being in college for an extra year and I don't mean this to sound rude, but ignore the comment about those who got the same grades in two years. I don't really think universities care so long as you have good grades. I started a BTEC in Art and Design when I finished my GCSEs but I dropped out to move to London. I moved back 6 months later and enrolled on a different BTEC course. I've completed that but technically I am now a year behind where I should be; rather than going to university in September, I should've just finished my first year. I know BTECs and A Levels are different in their layouts and whatnot but the fact that I left my first BTEC and then started another one a year later didn't seem to put any of my applied universities off and I got offers from all but one (that one offered an interview but I already had the offer I wanted so I withdrew). As long as you have good grades and a good reference from your college tutor on your UCAS form, I really cannot see universities caring. If you want to do it this way then good luck to you.
    Thank you. This was only so I may have 3 respected A Levels for top universities, mainly, and for my own enjoyment!
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    well it seems like a bit of a waste of time to me - if you get the grades to go to uni, why don't you go to uni and do optional modules/go to societies in the things that interest you?
    you don't need more a-levels to broaden your interests, it seems really unneccessary to me and won't benefit your application above anyone who just did their regular a-levels.

    and some unis specifically say that they won't accept people who have done 3 years of A-levels, so if you're planning on applying to one of those, check with them first.
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    (Original post by canŵio)
    well it seems like a bit of a waste of time to me - if you get the grades to go to uni, why don't you go to uni and do optional modules/go to societies in the things that interest you?
    you don't need more a-levels to broaden your interests, it seems really unneccessary to me and won't benefit your application above anyone who just did their regular a-levels.

    and some unis specifically say that they won't accept people who have done 3 years of A-levels, so if you're planning on applying to one of those, check with them first.
    Could you point me in the direction of universities that reject candidates who have studied 3 years of A Levels? Surely they would reject candidates who got bad grades and stayed an extra year to make up for it; but that is not my predicament! I will have grades that meet or are higher than my choices' entry requirements!
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    is english, psychology, sociology and history a good subject combination for university?
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    (Original post by wolf-pack)
    is english, psychology, sociology and history a good subject combination for university?
    Not if you want to study physics.
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    (Original post by wolf-pack)
    is english, psychology, sociology and history a good subject combination for university?
    It depends entirely on your course choice. For me, I chose two 'hard' subjects (Religious Studies and Biology) and two 'soft' subjects (Psychology and English Language.) I want to have three 'hard' and well-respected subjects i.e. English Literature, Biology and Religious Studies.

    What English subject do you study? History is well-respected, Psychology and Sociology are 'soft' subjects, apparently.
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    I did a similar sort of thing- did Maths, Latin and Psychology as my 'original' A2s which I completed in Year 13, but also took up English Lit AS in Year 13 which I completed in Year 14 as such, as well as doing the whole Biology A-level in that year. (I also had a Physics AS from Year 12 but didn't continue that one as I found it pretty tough.)

    My personal reasons were that I didn't feel quite ready to go to university and I was so unsure of the sort of grades that I might get in my original three A-levels that applying to universities at that time seemed silly. I wanted an extra year to confirm that I definitely wanted to do a BSc in Psychology, and so I could also do a bit of travelling and work to save a bit of extra money for when I did go to university.

    As far as I'm concerned, I wasn't at a disadvantage at all- on the contrary, I believe some of the universities liked the fact that I had three A-levels in the bag; Warwick, for example, gave me a slightly lower offer than their standard. I also ended up getting an unconditional from one university (the one I actually ended up going for) which is always a comfort, and the range of offers made deciding which one to go for a lot easier. And yes, like you, I just enjoy learning stuff so having the chance to do Biology was fantastic, especially as it's benefited me so much in terms of my degree- the biology related modules in psychology are much easier with a bit of background knowledge!

    In short, your reasons seem sound so I don't see why you shouldn't go for it, especially if you're someone like me who likes a bit more certainty than the current UCAS system offers. Better to take your time when applying for university than rushing it and making ill-considered decisions.
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    (Original post by EnigmaticSpirit)
    It depends entirely on your course choice. For me, I chose two 'hard' subjects (Religious Studies and Biology) and two 'soft' subjects (Psychology and English Language.) I want to have three 'hard' and well-respected subjects i.e. English Literature, Biology and Religious Studies.

    What English subject do you study? History is well-respected, Psychology and Sociology are 'soft' subjects, apparently.
    I think its english literature, the title at my college isn't specified because its so small, just a little addition to and high school really, were lucky psychology is an option in the first place- i though psycology was reasonably well respected and religious studies was soft?
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    Not if you want to study physics.
    oh no, that was my dream :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by wolf-pack)
    I think its english literature, the title at my college isn't specified because its so small, just a little addition to and high school really, were lucky psychology is an option in the first place- i though psycology was reasonably well respected and religious studies was soft?
    Psychology is moderately respected, depending on the institution, but generally not so much. Religious Studies is, surprisingly, highly-respected by most, if not all, top universities!
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    (Original post by llacerta)
    I did a similar sort of thing- did Maths, Latin and Psychology as my 'original' A2s which I completed in Year 13, but also took up English Lit AS in Year 13 which I completed in Year 14 as such, as well as doing the whole Biology A-level in that year. (I also had a Physics AS from Year 12 but didn't continue that one as I found it pretty tough.)

    My personal reasons were that I didn't feel quite ready to go to university and I was so unsure of the sort of grades that I might get in my original three A-levels that applying to universities at that time seemed silly. I wanted an extra year to confirm that I definitely wanted to do a BSc in Psychology, and so I could also do a bit of travelling and work to save a bit of extra money for when I did go to university.

    As far as I'm concerned, I wasn't at a disadvantage at all- on the contrary, I believe some of the universities liked the fact that I had three A-levels in the bag; Warwick, for example, gave me a slightly lower offer than their standard. I also ended up getting an unconditional from one university (the one I actually ended up going for) which is always a comfort, and the range of offers made deciding which one to go for a lot easier. And yes, like you, I just enjoy learning stuff so having the chance to do Biology was fantastic, especially as it's benefited me so much in terms of my degree- the biology related modules in psychology are much easier with a bit of background knowledge!

    In short, your reasons seem sound so I don't see why you shouldn't go for it, especially if you're someone like me who likes a bit more certainty than the current UCAS system offers. Better to take your time when applying for university than rushing it and making ill-considered decisions.
    Words cannot describe how great your post made me feel... Thank you so much!
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    (Original post by EnigmaticSpirit)
    Could you point me in the direction of universities that reject candidates who have studied 3 years of A Levels? Surely they would reject candidates who got bad grades and stayed an extra year to make up for it; but that is not my predicament! I will have grades that meet or are higher than my choices' entry requirements!
    it usually depends on the subject but:

    UCL, St Andrews, Sheffield, sometimes York, Glasgow, Edinburgh
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    (Original post by canŵio)
    it usually depends on the subject but:

    UCL, St Andrews, Sheffield, sometimes York, Glasgow, Edinburgh
    I'm afraid I have to disagree. As the OP was saying, if they planned to retake A-levels or to take three years to complete some of their A-levels, then they may very well be at a disadvantage when applying to these universities. But if the OP already has the grades to meet the entry requirements of the above universities, but also happens to want to get a few more A-levels as well, then they are equally as likely as someone who just wants to have a plain old gap year to get a place.
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    (Original post by EnigmaticSpirit)
    Words cannot describe how great your post made me feel... Thank you so much!
    No worries.

    The only thing I would bear in mind is whether you have any friends who will also be sticking around for another year. I was lucky in that several of my closest friends had a gap year (and one of them even stayed on for another year at Sixth Form with me) but I think it might have been quite a lonely year otherwise.

    Of course, if you're the sort of person who easily makes friends at college or whilst out and about volunteering, you haven't got anything to worry about, but it's just something small worth considering as well.

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