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A-levels: Relative Difficulty and Uni Admissions Selection criteria

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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    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).
    http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=604

    No problem
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    (Original post by grodecki)
    http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=604

    No problem
    I updated the first post. It is now structured according to the 3/4 Trinity Categories.
    Also there have been some colour changes:
    Music black-> Green
    Geography yellowy Green -> Green
    PE pink -> Red
    Computing Green->Blue

    I suspect that some people may not like the extra focus on one of the most exclusive colleges at one of the most exclusive unis. But I think it does add shape. e.g. having 1st/2nd, 3rd and 4th A-level is potentially clarifying.
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    I updated the first post. It is now structured according to the 3/4 Trinity Categories.
    Also there have been some colour changes:
    Music black-> Green
    Geography yellowy Green -> Green
    PE pink -> Red
    Computing Green->Blue

    I suspect that some people may not like the extra focus on one of the most exclusive colleges at one of the most exclusive unis. But I think it does add shape. e.g. having 1st/2nd, 3rd and 4th A-level is potentially clarifying.
    I don't mind. After all, they want the best and it gives people a better idea of what is the best, regardless of how close to perfection people can actually get.
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    I have to admit, seeing this thread makes me feel particularly nauseated! I'm studying English literature (which I thought was a traditional essay subject thus very respected... this thread has scared me somewhat); history (and, regardless of any point scores, that is DEFINITELY tricky); politics (also scared that this isn't deemed "good enough") and psychology (won't comment on that choice...). Does that rule out top 10 Unis in general (considering I wish to drop psych.)?

    I am now officially quite concerned!
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    I have now given English Lit and RE the Green light as:
    1) Trinity are happy with them
    2) We do not have uni representation data for English Lit or RE. So the only issue was the high performance of students in those subjects compared with otehr subjects. That could well be down to students doing well in English it or RE becuase conditional on choosing them it means:
    i)They must really like those subjects. i.e. no one has to do Eng Lit or RE in order to get into uni for another subject
    ii)They have spent many years studying those subjects so there are few surprises.
    i) and ii) would suggest that students doing those subjects do well in the exams becuase they are good at the subjects rather than becuase they are easy.

    Also equating Politics with "Government and Politics" puts into group 3.
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    (Original post by Ambielina)
    I have to admit, seeing this thread makes me feel particularly nauseated! I'm studying English literature (which I thought was a traditional essay subject thus very respected... this thread has scared me somewhat); history (and, regardless of any point scores, that is DEFINITELY tricky); politics (also scared that this isn't deemed "good enough") and psychology (won't comment on that choice...). Does that rule out top 10 Unis in general (considering I wish to drop psych.)?

    I am now officially quite concerned!
    english literature now deemed good
    politics is very good depending on what you want to do at university
    history is a perfectly good subject
    psychology is not well respected, good for a psychology degree obviously!
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    (Original post by Ambielina)
    I have to admit, seeing this thread makes me feel particularly nauseated! I'm studying English literature (which I thought was a traditional essay subject thus very respected... this thread has scared me somewhat); history (and, regardless of any point scores, that is DEFINITELY tricky); politics (also scared that this isn't deemed "good enough") and psychology (won't comment on that choice...). Does that rule out top 10 Unis in general (considering I wish to drop psych.)?

    I am now officially quite concerned!
    Firstly sorry for any unecesary concern.
    Secondly English Lit (and R.E.) have been reclassified as Green.

    English Lit 1Art
    History 1Art
    Politics is now 3(Arts))
    Psychology is 3(Arts).

    You do not give any details about what subject you are looking at for uni or what grades you expect. But:
    i)you have 4 Arts subjects
    ii) Two of them are suitable as 1st subjects and two as 3rd subjects.
    So as long as you are going for an Arts Subject at uni that sounds ok to me.
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Firstly sorry for any unecesary concern.
    Secondly English Lit (and R.E.) have been reclassified as Green.

    English Lit 1Art
    History 1Art
    Politics is now 3(Arts))
    Psychology is 3(Arts).

    You do not give any details about what subject you are looking at for uni or what grades you expect. But:
    i)you have 4 Arts subjects
    ii) Two of them are suitable as 1st subjects and two as 3rd subjects.
    So as long as you are going for an Arts Subject at uni that sounds ok to me.
    Oh, sorry! I should've been more specific. I'm intending to study politics for undergrad but, as it's not a requirement for any politics course, I'm wondering if I made the wrong decision in taking it instead of something more academically rigorous. In any case, I was intending to drop psychology next year (hate it...) and am predicted all As. =/

    Thank you!
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    Can I put mine up for consideration especially seeing as one wasn't on this list.

    Economics
    French
    Eng Lit and LANG (combined)
    Theatre AS
    Maths AS

    Hoping to do PPE or Economics and Politics
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    what about classical civilization? essay based although not as traditional as eng lit, i think its quite hard so should be respected.
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    (Original post by girlodnyu)
    Can I put mine up for consideration especially seeing as one wasn't on this list.
    Economics 1Arts
    French 1Arts
    Eng Lit and LANG (combined) 1Arts/3Arts
    Theatre AS 3Arts
    Maths AS 1Science

    (Original post by girlodnyu)
    Hoping to do PPE or Economics and Politics
    Check out the PPE Alternative League Table
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=870981
    Maths A-level would be better than AS Maths.
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    I have added in all the other languages from the Trinity list. And they are green as the existing languages (French, German and Spanish) are green.
    Good as a 1st choice A-level: Generally Suitable A-levels (view of TRinity College Cambridge)
    Chinese 1Arts
    French 1Arts (2.1, 1.9) A(1.4,1.2) A+B(1.6,1.4) (8th, 5th)
    German 1Arts (9th, 5th)
    Irish 1Arts
    Italian 1Arts
    Japanese 1Arts
    Russian 1Arts
    Spanish 1Arts (18th,11th)
    Welsh 1Arts
    (Original post by hendy16)
    what about classical civilization? essay based although not as traditional as eng lit, i think its quite hard so should be respected.
    Classical Civilisation is also 1Arts.
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    Case study: what do research-intensive universities think of Law A-level?
    Law A-level is a striking example of a potentially ‘soft’ subject that might fox parents and students as it sounds
    impressive and ‘professional’. LSE highlights Law as a non-preferred subject but most others fail to comment upon it
    in their admissions guidance. However, our data shows that many research-intensive universities admit relatively low
    numbers of students with Law A-level, suggesting that they do in fact regard it as a non-preferred subject. Of all Alevels
    accepted, Law comprised very few entries at Imperial (3), Queen’s University Belfast (6), St Andrews (12),
    UCL (23), Oxford (47) and Bristol (62).

    When it comes to reading Law at university, Law A-level often seems to be regarded with something less than
    enthusiasm. One admissions head explained this, saying: “They want a blank canvas. A little knowledge can be a
    dangerous thing.” Another said that objections to the A-level were generally not based upon its content, but on “a
    general scepticism for non-traditional subjects”.

    • The Law department website at Queen’s University does not mention the suitability of Law A-level. However, for
      undergraduate Law admissions at Queen’s University, 2 out of a total of 738 A-level entries were taken in Law Alevel.
    • The admissions page of the Faculty of Laws at UCL states “there is no necessity” for taking Law A-level but does
      not rule it out as non-preferred subject. However, for undergraduate Law admissions at UCL, 6 out of a total of
      242 A-level entries were taken in Law A-level.
    • Durham Law School states on its FAQ page “we welcome applications from students studying A-level Law.”
      However, for undergraduate Law admissions at Durham, 18 out of a total of 527 A-level entries were taken in Law
      A-level
    .
    Yet, highlighting what a difficult job teachers, pupils and parents will inevitably have understanding what universities
    want, there is some disparity across the sector about Law. We have already noted that Cambridge does not include
    the subject on its non-preferred list. Other Law departments are admitting much higher numbers of students with
    Law A-level than those listed above. For example, at Surrey University 74 applicants with Law A-level were admitted
    to study Law out of a total of 474 A-levels accepted (if we assume each student took an average of four A-levels, this
    equates to about 60% of the total students admitted).

    Other Law departments have moved to accept Law A-level over time. One head of admissions explained that while his
    university now accepted Law A-level, “this hasn’t always been the case…there was a time where we didn’t, probably
    more than six years ago now”. And another noted: “[We are now] using what we know about how successful
    students with non-traditional subjects are in the programme.”

    Finally, there is also a suggestion that game-playing is taking place within some universities. A head of admissions
    admitted: “It’s very important to all Law Schools what ranking they have on the league tables. League tables take
    into account average A-level grades of accepted students, so with the ranking of Law Schools there is now a big
    incentive to admit the best A-level grades, and not necessarily the best combination of A-levels.”
    http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/ima...Hard_Truth.pdf

    Here is a link to an article in The Times:
    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle5516630.ece

    For context here are the A-levels categories given by Southampton Law School:

    Preferred
    • Ancient Greek
    • Ancient History
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Critical Thinking
    • Economics
    • English
    • English Language
    • English Language & Literature
    • English Literature
    • French
    • Geography
    • German
    • Government & Politics
    • History
    • Human Biology
    • Italian
    • Latin
    • Mathematics
    • Mathematics (Applied)
    • Mathematics (Pure)
    • Mathematics (Further)
    • Modern Greek
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Religious Studies
    • Russian
    • Spanish


    Suitable
    • Archaeology
    • Business Studies
    • Classical Civilisation
    • Computer Studies
    • History of Art
    • Information & Communication Technology
    • Information Technology
    • Law
    • Music (Academic)
    • Psychology
    • Sociology



    Accepted, but less suitable
    • Art
    • Art & Design
    • Design & Technology
    • Drama
    • Film Studies
    • Media Studies
    • Performing Arts
    • Textiles
    • Theatre Studies


    Not accepted
    • General Studies
    • Music (Practical)
    • Photography
    • Physical Education
    • Sport Studies

    http://www.soton.ac.uk/law/ugopportu...on_2008-09.pdf
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    What about Ancient History?

    I have Maths, FM, Accounting and Ancient History and i'm hoping for Accounting and Finance
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    (Original post by KyriakosCy)
    What about Ancient History?

    I have Maths, FM, Accounting and Ancient History and i'm hoping for Accounting and Finance
    Well it is a good sign that Southampton Law School give it their top status out of four. Trinity have:
    Maths 1science
    FM 1science
    Accounting 4. but you are applying for A+F so that should go up a bit.

    And you do want the unis you apply to to rate both Accounting and Ancient History highly as Maths and FM may be considered as one subject. So the best thing is to:
    i) Check out the wesbite and UCAS Course Search for A+F.
    ii) email each of the unis you are interested in.
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    SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES – LIST OF PREFERRED A-LEVELS


    List A (Preferred science/maths subjects)

    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Mathematics

    List B (Other science and science-related subjects)

    Geology
    Environmental Science
    Psychology
    Geography
    Computing, Information Technology
    Economics

    List C (Preferred non-science subjects)

    English (Language, Literature)
    History
    Foreign Languages
    Business Studies
    Art & Design, Design & Technology

    List D (other non-science subjects that may be acceptable depending on school’s reference and personal statement)

    Music
    Art
    Drama
    Photography
    Fashion
    Media studies
    Sports studies

    List C&D are not exhaustive but shows those subjects most commonly accepted as suitable non-science subjects. General Studies is not considered as a qualifying A-level.


    Candidates will be ranked not only on their predicted grades but also on their particular combination of subjects. Those applicants studying our preferred subjects will be more likely to receive an offer.
    http://www.bio.bris.ac.uk/admiss/Lis...A%20levels.doc.
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    Listed of prefferd A-levels for Accounting and Finance at Bath (Maths is mandatory):
    * Economics
    * Accounting
    * Ancient History
    * Any Language*
    * Biology
    * Business Studies
    * Chemistry
    * Classics
    * Economics and Business Studies
    * English Literature
    * Further Mathematics
    * Geography
    * Greek (Classical)
    * History
    * History of Art
    * Latin
    * Philosophy
    * Physics
    * Psychology
    * Pure Mathematics
    * Sociology
    * Statistics
    http://www.bath.ac.uk/management/cou..._requirements/
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    (Original post by Paulwhy)
    Well it is a good sign that Southampton Law School give it their top status out of four. Trinity have:
    Maths 1science
    FM 1science
    Accounting 4. but you are applying for A+F so that should go up a bit.

    And you do want the unis you apply to to rate both Accounting and Ancient History highly as Maths and FM may be considered as one subject. So the best thing is to:
    i) Check out the wesbite and UCAS Course Search for A+F.
    ii) email each of the unis you are interested in.
    ok, thanks!
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    As the representation figures for Media studies at Top 20-50 unis are high: 0.8 for all grades, 1.1 for A grades and 0.7 for A+B grades. Hence I have made them purple. The A-level data for Media studies is joint with Film Studies. So they are both now Purple:
    Film Std Bc 3(Arts) (33rd, 33rd)
    Media B 3(Arts) (0.1,0.2,0.8) A(0.2,0.3),1.1) A+B(0.1,0.2,0.7) (32nd, 30th)
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    Added a new introductuary question:
    How important is A-level selection?
    Well you need to do subjects:
    1) firstly you are good at and enjoy
    2) secondly form a good basis for further study. This matters both in terms of the knowledge contained in the course content and the study skills required.
    i) Some degree courses require specific A-levels. e.g. sciences (this includes Economics) often require Maths.
    ii) Do some A-levels that are in the same category (e.g. Sciences, Arts, Languages, Humanities) as the degree you may be targetting.
    iii) Avoid subjects with overlapping content (e.g. Businees and Economics).
    iv) Especially if you are aiming for a competitive uni or subject than look at how many A-levels you have chosen in each of the 3 categories above. i.e. good to have atleast 2 subjects in the Generally Suitable Category.

    But Remember:
    i)an A in business studies is more appealing than a D in maths - and playing to your strengths and interests is always going to make it easier to excel.
    ii) even LSE and Cambridge will pick somone with an AAA prediction including a blacklisted subject over someone with an AAC prediction excluding all blacklisted subjects.

    And also some details on which unis are included in each category:
    Which 8 uni are used for the Top 10 rating?
    Oxford (1st), Imperial (3rd), St Andrews (5th), Warwick (6th), UCL (7th), Durham (8th), York (9th), Bristol (10th).
    So the missing two are Cambridge (2nd) and LSE(4th).
    http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...rsityguide.php

    Which 13 unis are used for the Top 20 rating?
    Oxford (1st), Imperial (3rd), St Andrews (5th), Warwick (6th), UCL (7th), Durham (8th), York (9th), Bristol (10th), Loughborough (12th), Exeter (13th), Leicester (14th), Bath (15th), Nottingham (16th=),
    So the missing seven are Cambridge (2nd), LSE(4th), Kings College London (11th), SOuthampton (16th=), Edinburgh (18th), Lancaster (19th), Newcastle (20th), Glasgow (20th).
    http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/tol_...rsityguide.php

    So 2 of the top 10 and 7 of the top 20 unis are missing?
    Yes but given how static the data is over the unis we do have, I don't think it would make a big difference

    And what about if a different measure of which are the top 20 unis were used?
    Again I don't expect that to make a difference

    Which unis make up the 20-5o unis?
    14 uni from the Russel and 1994 groups of unis are used:
    Sheffield (22nd), SOAS (24th), Birmingham (25th), Cardiff (29th), Manchester (27th), Royal Hooloway (30th)Liverpool (34th), Queens University Belfast (31st=), Reading (31st=), Queen Mary (37th), Sussex (38th), Surrey (39th), Essex (42nd), Goldsmith (46th)

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