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Russian @ A-level

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    Well ive recently been having doubts about my subject choices for next year. I definatley want to do maths, physics and chem but im unsure about whether to swap russian for biology. I dont particularly like biology, and i found out i dont really need it for medicine (ironically).

    What do you think, im probably going to wait for the results but i need to give it some thought beforehand.
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    For medicine it's definitely recommended, the competition for places is so high that you really do need the perfect A-levels and perfect grades. I'm not saying russian is a poor A-level but lets face it it isn't related to medicine at all.

    It's up to you though really, if you don't like biology then it would be quite a struggle to do 2 years of it. If you enjoy russian then perhaps it would be better if you carry that on. Not doing biology won't completely destroy your chances in doing medicine but I don't think it'll help.

    edit: have you considered doing 5 a-levels?
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    I'd do Russian. For Medicine Chemistry is generally more important as long as you have one or two other sciences, which you do. By doing Russian it adds a bit of a variety, you won't look like a one trick pony like many medicine candidates.
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    i agree with both Morgon and Alexi, and where the competition would mean that ideally you should do biology, and to make yourself seem unique and like alexi best put it , to deter the idea of being a 'one-trick pony' you should do russian. And so you are in a very tricky dilema, and in your shoes i would change physics- even though i love physics as i am sure you do to, it would be a better combination. Additionally have you considered doing all 5 a-levels, if you are naturally good at russian it shouldnt be to hard to get a very good grade with minimal work.
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    I was told at my sixth form induction that universities aren't looking for people with all sciences to do medicine; they want three sciences and a different choice to show diversity. That said, for medicine, biology would be better than Physics.
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    hi there. I'm doing Russian for A-level . Anyway, my teacher was telling me a tale of someone in a similar predicament to you a few years ago. In the end he chose to do Russian and when he went for his interview at Nottingham uni, 15 of the 20 minutes of his interview were spent on the fact that he had studied Russian and how he had found it etc; the interviewer was intrigued as it is such a rare A-level.

    So, yeah - if you want to, and think you can do it then I would definitely choose it over Bio because it not only adds variety, it also shows you are capable of other aspects of academia
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    Thanks for the replies At our school we can only do 4 A-levels, so unfortunately 5 is out of the question.

    I do need chemistry as a definate but i also need two from Maths, Physics, Biology for most universities and one other.

    There are other routes available but they usually involve an extra years study to include the basics.
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    You could ask for special concession. Just make an appointment or something and see if it's at all possible. There's always a way if you want it.
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    so who does russian alevel? Would it be possible to do the entire alevel in a year?

    cheers
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    (Original post by level_red)
    so who does russian alevel? Would it be possible to do the entire alevel in a year?

    cheers
    Errr, I wouldn't recommend it, Russian's a pretty hardcore language to learn. That said, yes, it would deffo look good on your application because it's indeed a pretty rare language, however, you really need to be motivated and you have to want to study this language, because it's really hard, and you have to put lots of efforts in it. When I look at some students in my Russian course at uni that apparently thought it would be a piece of cake and end up getting less than 40% at their piss-easy exams, I'm wondering why they chose this subject.

    So, maybe you could, but you're gonna have a hell of a lot of work for Russian. And you may also regret to study it (I hope you won't), so think carefully about that, and I'd recommend you to just pick up the best A-Levels for you, meaning those in which you're sure to get great grades.
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    (Original post by Anatheme)
    Errr, I wouldn't recommend it, Russian's a pretty hardcore language to learn. That said, yes, it would deffo look good on your application because it's indeed a pretty rare language, however, you really need to be motivated and you have to want to study this language, because it's really hard, and you have to put lots of efforts in it. When I look at some students in my Russian course at uni that apparently thought it would be a piece of cake and end up getting less than 40% at their piss-easy exams, I'm wondering why they chose this subject.

    So, maybe you could, but you're gonna have a hell of a lot of work for Russian. And you may also regret to study it (I hope you won't), so think carefully about that, and I'd recommend you to just pick up the best A-Levels for you, meaning those in which you're sure to get great grades.
    Thank you for your honest answer. I was sorta hoping to do the a-level (as+a2) in one year but you think it would be to hard?

    I love the language and I work hard at such things
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    (Original post by level_red)
    Thank you for your honest answer. I was sorta hoping to do the a-level (as+a2) in one year but you think it would be to hard?

    I love the language and I work hard at such things
    I do think it would be hard, but not impossible of course. But yeah, you would have a lot of work to do and it would be a shame if you had to spend more time on this subject than the others
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    my friend did engineering at cambridge and supposedly all that she talked about at the interview was Russian. It made her sound so much more interesting than just the usual Maths, F. Maths and Physics

    ...And she got in!
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    It would be very difficult doing both in the same year, I'd say. I'm only doing AS - on a maximum of one lesson a week, although it was occasionally 1.5 last year, so I did two modules in Yr. 12 and will be finishing off the speaking this year - and that's not too bad; standards do seem to be lower than, say, German, presumably in attempt to encourage people to take it, and to account for the fact that Russian at an advanced level is just plain hard. But A2 is another step up again, and you'd definitely need to have a very good teacher to be able to get through it successfully. As everyone else has said, it just depends on how much time you're willing to commit; e.g. my school won't give me frees, and I know I couldn't have coped with another A2.
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    let's revive this thread. I'm doing A-level russian in september, my teacher said i shouldnt have a problem with it....here's hoping! Anyone else?
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    I'm not doing the A-level but since this thread has been revived I have a Q, rather than making a whole thread for it: would teaching myself GCSE Russian give me an advantage when applying for Spanish + beginners Russian at university?
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    (Original post by BeckyIsOptimistic)
    I'm not doing the A-level but since this thread has been revived I have a Q, rather than making a whole thread for it: would teaching myself GCSE Russian give me an advantage when applying for Spanish + beginners Russian at university?
    Probably not if its a 'beginners' course where they will teach you from scratch anyway. But it will show you are interested and commited to the subject. It certainly wouldnt hurt to learn some Russian before you begin the degree, so that you already have a head start over other people. But I'd only start self teaching if you had the time for it. Udachi!
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    (Original post by w04andia)
    let's revive this thread. I'm doing A-level russian in september, my teacher said i shouldnt have a problem with it....here's hoping! Anyone else?
    hii! are you planning on doing just the AS this year, or the full a-level?
    Russian was my second language, and i'm hoping to do either AS or A2 straightaway, depending how well i do in the A2 past papers. Are you on edexcel with russian? glad to find another russian alevel student
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    (Original post by time.to.dance)
    hii! are you planning on doing just the AS this year, or the full a-level?
    Russian was my second language, and i'm hoping to do either AS or A2 straightaway, depending how well i do in the A2 past papers. Are you on edexcel with russian? glad to find another russian alevel student

    yeah i think i'm on edexcel. i'm not sure if i will carry on to A2. my teacher begged me to do AS as it is LOL! i'm happy to find another russian student too! i will see becasue i'm doing german too with a total of 5 AS's sooo... yeah lol. i'll see how i progress in AS i say whateva u choose to do is right for you!
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    (Original post by BeckyIsOptimistic)
    I'm not doing the A-level but since this thread has been revived I have a Q, rather than making a whole thread for it: would teaching myself GCSE Russian give me an advantage when applying for Spanish + beginners Russian at university?
    Not really, you may even start learning stuff the wrong way, and trust me, you really want to avoid that. Learning the alphabet will be more than enough, as you could get really bored if you started an ab-initio course with a post-GCSE level. Just learn very basic stuff like how to introduce yourself and it will be enough, generally, people don't expect you to know anything about a language you're gonna study ab-initio

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Updated: January 11, 2014
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