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Going into Medicine, are these good A Levels? watch

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    (Original post by BreakneckWalrus)
    But see, here's the thing. The reason I want to take more A Levels than normal is that my O Levels (yes, that's what we do. I live in Pakistan. We're the last batch of GCE O Levels. :P) are really few. I only take 6. Bio, Chem, Physics, Maths, English, Pure Maths. Not very impressive. So I thought maybe another A Level would kind of make up for my lack of O Levels.

    I may forget Further Maths and go for Literature, then. I didn't take it now, but I may be able to pull it off... Hopefully. Should I do this instead?

    By the way. I'm going to America for university, as that's where I'm from. Is it true that universities there don't really look at your GCSE/O Level results?
    For America the whole situation would be completely different, and I'm pretty sure you have to complete an undergrad degree first before you can do medicine there.
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    (Original post by Glee)
    Umm no i didnt take up FM. I took up physics, bio, chem and maths. I thought that taking 4 subjects would get my UCAS tarrif score up a bit, it will i think...hopefullyyy
    So what does count in an offer for med? I guess it depends on the uni?
    Offers are almost always based on 3A2s (and perhaps 1AS - check entry requirements). However, having an extra subject might help you with entry tests like UKCAT, might help you with the other subjects, may help you with interview, might be useful if you choose to do something else, can be good for your uni course, might make you look better on paper (a bit debatable), and means you can afford to get a B in one subject. I'm glad i took 5 for sure.
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    Yes, those choices are absolutely fine. Though be aware that it may not be worth the extra effort doing 5 A Levels, but by all means do so if you want. The actual subjects themselves are perfectly OK, but do remember that some (most?) medical schools do not consider Maths and Further Maths to be separate subjects - though that wouldn't really matter for you since you would still be doing 4 subjects in their eyes.

    Yet again, people continually post advice about doing a "contrasting subject" which has to be the most irritating myth I've seen around here. TWO universities state a (small) preference for this. The OP should do the subjects he ENJOYS. If he enjoys the 3 sciences and maths, then he should do those. Universities use the A Levels to see how intelligent you are - the interview, personal statement etc, are for showing what a well-rounded individual you are.
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    (Original post by BreakneckWalrus)
    Physics is my weakest subject, but I heard that A Levels Physics is easier than O Level Physics.
    Lemme know when you get your A level physics results in January.
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    (Original post by BreakneckWalrus)
    But see, here's the thing. The reason I want to take more A Levels than normal is that my O Levels (yes, that's what we do. I live in Pakistan. We're the last batch of GCE O Levels. :P) are really few. I only take 6. Bio, Chem, Physics, Maths, English, Pure Maths. Not very impressive. So I thought maybe another A Level would kind of make up for my lack of O Levels.

    I may forget Further Maths and go for Literature, then. I didn't take it now, but I may be able to pull it off... Hopefully. Should I do this instead?

    By the way. I'm going to America for university, as that's where I'm from. Is it true that universities there don't really look at your GCSE/O Level results?
    - O/A Levels don't matter much in the US
    - You need a kickass SAT score
    - You have to do a 4 year undergrad degree first before you can apply to medicine anyway in the US
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    That sounds perfect love
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    Replace Further Maths with an essay subject such as History. Physics is not needed.
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    (Original post by sandeep90)
    Replace Further Maths with an essay subject such as History. Physics is not needed.
    Why? Only 2 universities state a preference for an essay subject. It's much more important to do subjects he is interested in. No, Physics is not needed - neither is anything except chemistry and biology. :p:
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    Why? Only 2 universities state a preference for an essay subject. It's much more important to do subjects he is interested in. No, Physics is not needed - neither is anything except chemistry and biology. :p:
    I think History would aid his application more than Further Maths. Regular Maths is enough.
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    (Original post by sandeep90)
    I think History would aid his application more than Further Maths. Regular Maths is enough.
    If history would aid his application more, why don't more universities express a preference for an essay subject? Only 2 do so, so really I don't think it will make a difference whether he does history or further maths. He should do what he wants, which I presume is further maths as he has already expressed an interest in doing it.
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    If history would aid his application more, why don't more universities express a preference for an essay subject? Only 2 do so, so really I don't think it will make a difference whether he does history or further maths. He should do what he wants, which I presume is further maths as he has already expressed an interest in doing it.
    Don't some Universities also only state that they want C/B grades in GCSE Maths, English and Science? In reality we know that you'll most likely need A/A* grades to really stand a chance.
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    (Original post by sandeep90)
    Don't some Universities also only state that they want C/B grades in GCSE Maths, English and Science? In reality we know that you'll most likely need A/A* grades to really stand a chance.
    Yes, what you state there is indeed true. However, I (perhaps wrongly) assume the same isn't true for subject choice.

    Because they state that the MINIMUM grades required are C/B grades in Maths etc, but do not state that that is ALL you need. Whereas, for subject choice, they don't mention anything like that, and just say, do Biology, Chemistry, and whatever else you want. Medical schools have much more important things to be worrying about. After all, is it really fair to discriminate against people who really enjoy science?

    It's fairly obvious that when grades are concerned, it's always better to get higher grades. Whereas subject choice is very much subjective, and cannot be "assessed" in the same way. People guessing policies of medical school and making subject choices on that, seems very silly to me.
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    Yes, what you state there is indeed true. However, I (perhaps wrongly) assume the same isn't true for subject choice.

    Because they state that the MINIMUM grades required are C/B grades in Maths etc, but do not state that that is ALL you need. Whereas, for subject choice, they don't mention anything like that, and just say, do Biology, Chemistry, and whatever else you want. Medical schools have much more important things to be worrying about. After all, is it really fair to discriminate against people who really enjoy science?

    It's fairly obvious that when grades are concerned, it's always better to get higher grades. Whereas subject choice is very much subjective, and cannot be "assessed" in the same way. People guessing policies of medical school and making subject choices on that, seems very silly to me.
    Fair points, but all I'm saying is that with Medicine being as competitive as it is, you will probably need every advantage you can get. No matter how small it is.
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    don't do physics, drop further maths at a2 after getting an a at as. that's exactly what my friend did and she got an offer from oxford.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Offers are almost always based on 3A2s (and perhaps 1AS - check entry requirements). However, having an extra subject might help you with entry tests like UKCAT, might help you with the other subjects, may help you with interview, might be useful if you choose to do something else, can be good for your uni course, might make you look better on paper (a bit debatable), and means you can afford to get a B in one subject. I'm glad i took 5 for sure.
    you can afford to get a B in a subject beacuse of the UCAS tarriff right? Meaning that my extra subject would compensate for the B which my have lowered my score. But wow great advice, me too then +rep
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    (Original post by DaveJ)
    Yes, those choices are absolutely fine. Though be aware that it may not be worth the extra effort doing 5 A Levels, but by all means do so if you want. The actual subjects themselves are perfectly OK, but do remember that some (most?) medical schools do not consider Maths and Further Maths to be separate subjects - though that wouldn't really matter for you since you would still be doing 4 subjects in their eyes.

    Yet again, people continually post advice about doing a "contrasting subject" which has to be the most irritating myth I've seen around here. TWO universities state a (small) preference for this. The OP should do the subjects he ENJOYS. If he enjoys the 3 sciences and maths, then he should do those. Universities use the A Levels to see how intelligent you are - the interview, personal statement etc, are for showing what a well-rounded individual you are.
    YUP
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    (Original post by Glee)
    you can afford to get a B in a subject beacuse of the UCAS tarriff right? Meaning that my extra subject would compensate for the B which my have lowered my score. But wow great advice, me too then +rep
    I don't know if you are a potential medic but in this case only 1 med school (peninsula) uses the tariff. The rest will say 'AAAc' or 'A*AA with at least A in chemistry', etc - the fourth A2 will not count to that. Also, generally the 'top' unis tend not to use it (as above0 and when they use the points thing then tend to say 'in 3 A-levels' so the fourth one might not count. I suppose some might not have that condition though - i don't know. Check websites.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    I don't know if you are a potential medic but in this case only 1 med school (peninsula) uses the tariff. The rest will say 'AAAc' or 'A*AA with at least A in chemistry', etc - the fourth A2 will not count to that. Also, generally the 'top' unis tend not to use it (as above0 and when they use the points thing then tend to say 'in 3 A-levels' so the fourth one might not count. I suppose some might not have that condition though - i don't know. Check websites.
    Yes couldnt agree more. But i suppose taking 4 As levels was a wise choice beacuse they select you for an interview (with the conditional offer) from a wide selection of students, who may only have 3 AS subjects, or 3 AS levels with one like Critical thinking (Which in Imperial for example i think doesnt count). But in A2s they usually set/asign 3 subjects, so in that case I dont really have to take 4!
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    (Original post by BreakneckWalrus)
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Maths
    Further Maths

    I have from now until August free, because I'm cool and took my final O Level exams in January. So I'm going to learn some of the A Level Biology, Chemistry, and Maths courses in this time. I was thinking about taking Psychology during my AS year but I don't think it'll make much difference on my application and it'll just be extra stress.

    Is it difficult to get A's in these courses? I'm pretty good at Chemistry, so I have confidence in myself in regards to that. Physics is my weakest subject, but I heard that A Levels Physics is easier than O Level Physics. Biology is just a bunch of memorization. A lot of it. I've checked out a bit of it, and it's... Quite a lot.

    Just to clarify, the new Edexcel papers are the ones with the weird subject codes, right? 6BI01? Salters-Nuffield? The 2009 papers had a different format than the previous one. Don't really like it... But that's not relevant anyway.

    Just want to know, these are the ones that everyone else is taking, right? Cause we took GCE O Levels instead of GCSE.

    Thanks!
    Best combination of A Levels for Medicine.

    I say this because Cambridge think this. And we all know Cambridge is far superior to every single other medical school.
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    (Original post by Glee)
    Yes couldnt agree more. But i suppose taking 4 As levels was a wise choice beacuse they select you for an interview (with the conditional offer) from a wide selection of students, who may only have 3 AS subjects, or 3 AS levels with one like Critical thinking (Which in Imperial for example i think doesnt count). But in A2s they usually set/asign 3 subjects, so in that case I dont really have to take 4!
    4AS is definitely a good idea yeah - a lot of unis require it.
 
 
 

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