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A-levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection criteria

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    (Original post by Altruistic1)
    Definitely agree English Literature should be up there.
    I'm interested in hearing how you'd rate Latin though, Paul. For GCSE I got B in Maths, A* A* in English Lit/Lang and A in Latin. I'm looking at A in Maths A Level, A in English Lit and B (hopefully A) in Latin. From my experience, I've personally found Latin has made Maths and English Lit A level seem simplistic in comparison, despite me having to work that much harder in maths. I mean for A2 Latin alone I'm having to learn 550 lines of latin in memory for a comprehension/essay/translation, learn prosody, learn/be able to use pretty much a (thick) book full of grammar rules (including declensions, conjugations and rules for writing english to latin), learn/be able to use the principle parts of over 1000 latin words eng to latin and vice versa. That added to the harsh marking of the examination and the fact that the exam will contain words you've never seen before.... very difficult stuff!
    Latin is a language so I would expect it to be highly rated.
    (sorry for the short post!)
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    My friend got into Cambridge to study law with three 'reds'. People shouldn't take notice of this, just study what you enjoy.
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    (Original post by simon12345)
    My friend got into Cambridge to study law with three 'reds'. People shouldn't take notice of this, just study what you enjoy.
    which 3?
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    which 3?
    My bad, 2 reds (law & business studies) and one normal (English lit + lang combined). Point still stands, though.
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    (Original post by simon12345)
    My bad, 2 reds (law & business studies) and one normal (English lit + lang combined).
    For Law LAw A-level would only be red-ish. But you friend still did well.

    (Original post by simon12345)
    Point still stands, though.
    Yes students should take subjects they like. But if looking at top unis and or extra competitive courses they should all consider the preferences of those institutions.
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    For Law LAw A-level would only be red-ish. But you friend still did well.


    Yes students should take subjects they like. But if looking at top unis and or extra competitive courses they should all consider the preferences of those institutions.
    Disagree. Anyway, this only applies to straight A students. It is better for a person to take 3 'reds' if they can get ABB for example rather than 3 'greens' which they are only able to get BBC in, because the majority of universities and courses don't care what A levels you are taking (so long as they are not general studies, critical thinking, etc). Since not everyone on these forums is a straight A student aiming for the very top this thread may be a bit misleading to some. And law should be a 'normal' IMO.
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    It's so boring...what I find amazing is the amount of people who are taking A-level Law and Science subjects because the either want to be a Lawyer or a Doctor. It's like there is only a few acceptable careers out there. VERY DULL!
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    I'm surprised that Law's red!
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    I'd like to have a go at applying for a prestigious Uni like Cambridge to do Computer Science. I study Maths, Physics, Computing and Media. Currently in Yr 12, I guess this means that I can only drop Media (or carry on all 4 next year) for a chance of getting in? Media is probably one of my better subjects and helps keep balance with my maths-related ones so would be quite reluctant to drop it really.

    Found the list really helpful
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    But what if you WANT do do a course in one of those subjects..wouldn't it be attractive to have it then.

    It's nothing to do with 'easy subjects' Unis will still look at the course you are taking... I dont agree with the ICT, lots of Unis this year said it looks good if it is part of your A-levels. As I'm doing ICT, it is an 'easy' subject, theres just so much work to do...its not actually 'hard'.
    On the otherhand - Alevel Geography is hard...but I guess thats down to the amount of technical information needed to be remembered.

    To be honest, I owuldnt GO by this, It's down to the choice of the uni, where they may specify what alevels they like, not every one will be the same.
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    (Original post by CasinoBrawl)
    I'm surprised that Law's red!
    Well in simple terms Law is a new A-level and unis are conservative. i.e. top unis are in a strong position as they get many applicants and so why would they take the risk on an untested A-level. But in time their positions soften. e.g. the report mentions specifically that unis are discriminating less against Law than they used to.
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    (Original post by Rowan126)
    I'd like to have a go at applying for a prestigious Uni like Cambridge to do Computer Science. I study Maths, Physics, Computing and Media. Currently in Yr 12, I guess this means that I can only drop Media (or carry on all 4 next year) for a chance of getting in? Media is probably one of my better subjects and helps keep balance with my maths-related ones so would be quite reluctant to drop it really.

    Found the list really helpful
    Carrying on with all 4 sounds like a good idea to me. e.g. the average entry tariff at cambridge for Computer Science is 585 (guardian 2010)/591 (Independent 2010).
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Well in simple terms Law is a new A-level and unis are conservative. i.e. top unis are in a strong position as they get many applicants and so why would they take the risk on an untested A-level. But in time their positions soften. e.g. the report mentions specifically that unis are discriminating less against Law than they used to.
    Aye, that makes sense. It's just a bit frustrating when Law is probably my "heaviest" A-level subject (it's certainly the most boring :rolleyes:)
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Carrying on with all 4 sounds like a good idea to me. e.g. the average entry tariff at cambridge for Computer Science is 585 (guardian 2010)/591 (Independent 2010).
    Ah ok thanks. Sorry if I sound silly, but what's the difference between the average entry tariff & the UCAS tariff? Thanks
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    (Original post by Rowan126)
    Ah ok thanks. Sorry if I sound silly, but what's the difference between the average entry tariff & the UCAS tariff? Thanks
    Well:
    i) UCAS gives a points value for 'every' qualification.
    ii) Average Entry tariff is the average total UCAS points of students actually doing the course. i.e. each student has all his qualifications valued at the points level specified by UCAS. and in particular if a students does more qulaifications than the uni's typical offer then those are still valued when forming that student's entry tariff.
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    Well I'm taking easy A Levels - Physics & Chem as 2nd most difficult, Maths as 6th most difficult and Further Maths as the most difficult.
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    Find it slightly odd that Computing is on the green list yet is considered a C-list "only as a forth subject" by Trinity Cambridge?

    I'm finishing off the old A2 of this and am planning an oxford application and am confused as to whether it is considered good or bad. (Applying for pure maths, in all likelyhood)
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    (Original post by grodecki)
    Find it slightly odd that Computing is on the green list yet is considered a C-list "only as a forth subject" by Trinity Cambridge?

    I'm finishing off the old A2 of this and am planning an oxford application and am confused as to whether it is considered good or bad. (Applying for pure maths, in all likelyhood)
    From what I've been told "Maths > Further Maths > Physics => Computing" for doing pure maths courses, with Further Maths obviously being almost mandatory & Computing just being another reasonably Mathematical subject.
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    Well that's good then

    Doing a full further maths A2 over Year 13 through AS in school and extra tuition and support from the FMN. Should with luck have a nice set of 4As in those subjects, with Geography next to it with possibly a B.

    Physics is the only concern haha.
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    (Original post by grodecki)
    Find it slightly odd that Computing is on the green list yet is considered a C-list "only as a forth subject" by Trinity Cambridge?

    I'm finishing off the old A2 of this and am planning an oxford application and am confused as to whether it is considered good or bad. (Applying for pure maths, in all likelyhood)
    Well having only 3 colours (Green, Red and black) is (very?) crude.
    (maybe I should try and instead attempt to sort A-levels increasing difficulty/value?)

    But in terms of results Computing using the different measurement schemes varies from 5th to 13th. So that is pretty good to me.

    If you have a link to the Trinty list then I would pleased to look at it with the intention of updating the initial post.
    (Similarly if anyone else has any data on either A-level results or uni student's qualifications then I would be happy to add that in if possible).

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