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A-levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection criteria

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    (Original post by Johnny Luk)
    Thanks for doing this, just wish I had seen this 2 years ago, when I was deciding my A levels!
    Why, would you have chosen differently?
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    I might have chosen differently I might have not taken Media Studies and possibly History because I disliked it in the second year a lot!
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    Too complex. Psychology in the same category as media in your system? lol.
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    im doing yr 12..my subjects are politics, maths, economics and busines..

    How bad/good are my subjects? If i want to get in to lets say LSE what more can i do??
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    (Original post by forstudents)
    im doing yr 12..my subjects are politics, maths, economics and busines..

    How bad/good are my subjects? If i want to get in to lets say LSE what more can i do??
    You do not say:
    i) what subject you want to study at uni.
    ii)what grades you expect
    But it does you little credit to do bus as:
    i)it is soft
    ii)big overlap with economics.
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    I definitely don't think Psychology belongs in the same section as Media, Photography, Performing Arts etc. What rubbish. Neither does Sociology, but to a lesser extent.

    EDIT:
    I also think English, particularly English literature, should be a green.
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    (Original post by dignity)
    I definitely don't think Psychology belongs in the same section as Media, Photography, Performing Arts etc. What rubbish. Neither does Sociology, but to a lesser extent..
    I agree there are degrees of softness. And yes the green/red colouring is simplistic: ideally there would be different coloured bands, But it was hard enough getting enough data to do what I did so I am not sure how realistic it is to add that in.

    However the subject details do show that the situation with Media Studies is much more extreme than with Psychology:
    i) Media Studies has a 90%-80% under-representation at top unis whilst Psychology has a 60%-50% under-representation.
    ii) In terms of A-level grade comparisons out of 33 subjects Media Studies is ranked between 32nd and 30th whilst Psychology is rankde between 16th and 12th
    iii)Media Studies is blacklisted by both LSE and Cambridge whilst Psychology is blacklisted be neither.
    Media B (0.1,0.2) (32nd, 30th)
    Photography Bc (32nd, 31st)
    Performing Arts B
    Psychology (0.4,0.5) (16th, 12th)
    Sociology (31st, 28th)

    (Original post by dignity)
    I also think English, particularly English literature, should be a green.
    Problem is there is a lack of evidence with the English A-level subjects.
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    i think the whole blacklist thing is pathetic
    ICT is probably the most used subject in the world nowadways
    everything is done using computers if i wanted to work as a it consultant and i needed a degree if i had ict, history and geog at all a's at a level i would still get in regardless becuse ict would be relevant to the subject if i wanted to do maths and i had ict geog history its different as they arent relevant i think each course should have its own blacklist so a uni cant say they wont accept you if you did ict to do a related course. i want to do banking and finance or city and regional planning and will probably take geog, economics, history(tudors) and ICT or sociology because i dont believe in the blacklist
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    i think the whole blacklist thing is pathetic
    ICT is probably the most used subject in the world nowadways
    everything is done using computers if i wanted to work as a IT consultant and i needed a degree if i had ict, history and geog at all a's at a level i would still get in regardless becuse ict would be relevant to the subject if i wanted to do maths and i had ict geog history its different as they arent relevant i think each course should have its own blacklist so a uni cant say they wont accept you if you did ict to do a related course. i want to do banking and finance or city and regional planning and will probably take geog, economics, history(tudors) and ICT or sociology because i dont believe in the blacklist
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    (Original post by jacobs28)
    i think the whole blacklist thing is pathetic
    ICT is probably the most used subject in the world nowadways
    everything is done using computers if i wanted to work as a IT consultant and i needed a degree if i had ict, history and geog at all a's at a level i would still get in regardless becuse ict would be relevant to the subject if i wanted to do maths and i had ict geog history its different as they arent relevant i think each course should have its own blacklist so a uni cant say they wont accept you if you did ict to do a related course. i want to do banking and finance or city and regional planning and will probably take geog, economics, history(tudors) and ICT or sociology because i dont believe in the blacklist
    The whole point of threads like this is to fix this asymmetric information problem,:facepalm: ....
    If you don't wan't to believe in something which exists, then you are going to have problems getting into banking
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    Geology is missing from the list.
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    (Original post by Nashy19)
    Geology is missing from the list.
    I don't think that Geology was mentioned in either of the two reports.
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    Explain the categorisation of geography please
    i.e is is well respected?
    im rather confused about the colouring and numbers, i'll just look at it again and try and work it out!!
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    Explain the categorisation of geography please
    i.e is is well respected?
    im rather confused about the colouring and numbers, i'll just look at it again and try and work it out!!
    Geography is 'half' green as although it's stats are not great I have never heard of it not being respected before.
    Geography (23rd, 15th)
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Geography is 'half' green as although it's stats are not great I have never heard of it not being respected before.
    Geography (23rd, 15th)
    ah ok
    it's really silly because people who claim that geography is a soft or nearly soft a level haven't done the subject
    there is a lot of content to learn and some of the option modules at AS can become difficult (cold environments is making my brain freeze)
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    ah ok
    it's really silly because people who claim that geography is a soft or nearly soft a level haven't done the subject
    there is a lot of content to learn and some of the option modules at AS can become difficult (cold environments is making my brain freeze)
    Yes. Just a bit odd that students who take Geography tend to do better in it than they do in other subjects.
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    Added a new question
    What do terms like Soft, Less Prefered, Less Respected and Blacklisted mean?
    These terms all refer to the reality that not all A-levels are treated equally by universities.
    (Unlike what the Government claims.)
    And inserted an extra answer to an existing question:
    Should I not do red subjects?
    Well there are caveats:
    1) None of the three softness measures reflect any of the unis outside the top 20:
    i)The Blacklist flag is generated by 2 top top unis in Cambridge and LSE
    ii)The Exchange Report power figures given are only representative of the top 10 and top 20 unis.
    iii)The Score report makes grade comparison between the results achieved in different subjects. And hence the score dat is not (directly) representative of the opinions of any of the unis.
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Yes. Just a bit odd that students who take Geography tend to do better in it than they do in other subjects.
    i probably sound like im making excuses but:
    i think geography is one of those subjects that people take because they like it and are good at it, unlike the sciences, which people 'need' or have no choice but to take them
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    (Original post by neomilan)
    i probably sound like im making excuses but:
    i think geography is one of those subjects that people take because they like it and are good at it, unlike the sciences, which people 'need' or have no choice but to take them
    Very intersting idea.
    Wonder if there is some way of testing it?
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Very intersting idea.
    Wonder if there is some way of testing it?
    i can't speak for all schools but particularly in my school

    in my 6th form, you can only take the subject if you are good enough, so tests are given throughout year 11 to determine if they let you take a level

    people who want to be doctors, they have to take biology and chemistry, whether or not they enjoy it or are good at it (they should be!)
    people who want to be engineergs must take physics, and i know many people who go to great lengths to ensure they take physics A level, even though they truly are not good enough to get a B or A
    people who want to be journalists, work in media etc. take english, it is not a must, but they need it to make a good impression on the universities

    a lot of those people scrape the tests that allow them to take, many resort to cheating because they want to stay at the school and need those subjects, many pass, but only because the tests are at GCSE level and not any higher

    geography, well not a lot of people aspire to be geographers (not sure about nationally, but my school definitly, 4 out of the 60 taking geography a level, want to do it at university)

    the people who take it only do it because they pass the test, no one is desperate to take it, if people are told they're not good enough to take the geography a level because they performed badly on those tests, then they wont care much... i doubt many resorted to cheating and those that really wanted to take geography a level were actually good at it in the first place, no one who's crap at geography wants to take it, but with chemistry, biology physics and maths, they are needed for so many things at universities, that regardless of whether or not they are good at it, they will find a way to do it, if that means taking time out of school (someone i know does this) or moving school, they will.

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Updated: February 12, 2014
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