Hey! Sign in to get help with your study questionsNew here? Join for free to post

How much more important is 3 A-levels and 1 AS than just 3 A-levels?

Announcements Posted on
TSR's new app is coming! Sign up here to try it first >> 17-10-2016
REMINDER: Do not post your personal statement on TSR, otherwise you may have to rewrite it from scratch. Click here for more info. 11-10-2016
    • Thread Starter

    Hi, I've recently just started year 12 and this is obviously the first year the reformed system has come into place.

    I'm currently moving towards doing 3 A-levels (2 of them are reformed) and one AS level. The A-levels are Philosophy and Ethics, Government and Politics and Computing; the AS level is History. I got 3 A*s, 7 As and 1 B in my GCSEs.

    I'm wondering if anyone could help me determine how important that AS level in History would be to potential University applications, especially considering that I'm planning to do an EPQ. What I've seen thus far is a lot of universities only require 3 A-levels of certain grades for most courses, especially the Philosophy courses, which is most likely what I'd be interested in. In terms of UCAS points I'm aware that 3 A-levels plus an EPQ would equal the same points as 3 A-levels plus an AS-level.

    The primary reason for me considering this is that I greatly enjoy my 3 A-level subjects and I really don't enjoy History - I'm very much struggling to be passionate about it - and (to me) it seems logical to focus my attention and time on the things that I enjoy, and are thus much more likely to do well in. It would also be a considerable help to my G&P A-level if the only external exam I have to focus on at the end of this year is G&P, and not also History.

    Thanks for any help.

    Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you've posted in the right place? Here's a link to our subject forum which should help get you more responses if you post there.

    Just quoting in Fox Corner so she can move the thread if needed :wizard:
    (Original post by Fox Corner)

    I promise it won't help at all with getting offers. Not at all, especially with the reforms meaning that a lot of people are only doing 3 AS subjects now.

    That said, I am currently doing 4 subjects for A2 after doing for A2. However, my fourth is a BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (equivalent to an A-level) instead of a fourth A-level. I decided to carry on with all four for two reasons. The first is that I really enjoy the subject, and the second is that it is really easy to do well in (all coursework no exams) so it will give me more flexibility in meeting university offers. For example, one of my universities gives offers of AAB, but because they also accept BTECs they will give an offer of AAB/Distinction + AB, meaning that I can use the BTEC as a spare qualification to meet my offer almost.

    That won't be the case with you though, because A-levels are about (I would estimate) 5x as difficult as BTECs, so it will actually be harder to meet your offer if you're doing 4 A-levels, not easier.
Write a reply…


Submit reply


Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. Oops, you need to agree to our Ts&Cs to register
  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: September 18, 2016
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Do you like sleeping in a cold room?
Help with your A-levels

All the essentials

The adventure begins mug

Student life: what to expect

What it's really like going to uni


Essay expert

Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

Uni match

Uni match

Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

Study planner

Create a study plan

Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

Study planner

Resources by subject

Everything from mind maps to class notes.

Hands typing

Degrees without fees

Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

A student doing homework

Study tips from A* students

Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

Study help links and info

Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

Sponsored content:



Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.