Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hey everyone,

    I am currently in year 11 at school and have been given a deadline of Friday to hand in my provisional A level options, but I'm still unsure of which subjects to take, so I was hoping to get advice from some people. Here's the deal so far:

    The one subject I am completely certain on taking is maths, as it's by far my strongest, it's highly valued and I also quite enjoy it (call me a nerd if you will ). For this reason I also wish to take Further Maths. These are worth 2 A levels and only take up one 'slot' as it were, so I am able to choose another 3.

    I am also pretty much certain I am going to do A level French, since I obtained an A* at GCSE after a 1 year course and I hear languages are very highly valued at universities. It's also a nice skill to have when going abroad.

    The dilemma I have however, is my final 2 A level slots. Originally I wanted to do Music and a science, but I am unsure as to whether to replace one of these with Geography. I have chosen Physics as my science, as it's the one that interests me most and am probably best at. So basically I need to pick 2 out of Physics, Geography and Music.

    My first instinct is to go for Physics, as I am quite interested in it, especially the astrophysics side of things and learning about stars, the universe etc. So I think this would be my first option out of the two slots, however I could dismiss this subject if Geography and Music suddenly appeal to me.

    The main problem is choosing between Geography and Music, as I am interested in both, but I'm not entirely sure of what they involve. If anyone could give me advice on this it would be great. Regarding Music, I am grade 7 piano and have been given full marks by my teacher for my composition at GCSE. However, I'm not sure whether A level Music would benefit me in terms of university applications and job offers. Can anyone tell me how much Music is valued compared to Geography? Regarding Geography, I am (obviously) doing it at GCSE and there is tonnes of coursework. What I was wondering was whether a large proportion of the A level is based on coursework ? (My school does AQA Geog). Also, I want to know what the A level covers, as I'm very interested in the physical side of geography rather than the human side. If geog A level involves lots of writing and less of the one word answer kind of stuff, I probably would be less likely to take it (I'm not much much of a keen writer, hence I'm not doing English).

    Bearing in mind I have no idea what I want to do in the future, what would you advise me? Assuming I take Maths (with Further Maths), French, and Physics, which out of Music and Geog would compliment these other ones most? Geography is a social art and Music is a creative art, so both would show variety and a wide ranged base of skills, but which would be better? Another thing to note is that astrophysics does appeal to me, although I'm not sure this is what I want to do. This is the same case with Music, I'm good at it and I enjoy it, but I'm not sure if I want to pursue it or to simply keep it as a hobby. For example, would I be missing out if I were to drop it if I wanted to write a hit pop song, or can I do this in my free time without doing Music for A level? So in terms of university applications, would Geography or Music look better with the other three?

    If anyone could take in all these points and give me advice based on what I've said I would be extremely grateful and much appreciated!

    Thanks very much!

    P.S. Long and detalied replies welcome!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    This advice isn't relevant to Geography vs. Music but it's something you might want to consider.

    I'm applying for maths at uni (currently in year 13) and have been to 3 open days, at York, Edinburgh and Manchester. All three have said that their "perfect A levels" are Maths(+Further Maths) Physics and Chemistry. If I was you I'd seriously consider doing chemistry for the one reason: There's seriously less coursework for it.

    When I was in year 12, a lot of people in my Further Maths class dropped out because they were struggling to keep up with further maths (which is mainly independent) and their Geography (which has essays pretty much every lesson as well as learning bucket loads of facts and figures).

    hope this helps
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks, that does help

    I have pretty much decided on Physics so that links in nicely with Maths + FM, and I do like the idea of not much coursework for Chemistry but the only problem is I'm not very good at it! It is for this reason I'm leaving my 4th option open for Geog and Music, but as you said I might need to look at my workload if I do Further Maths and Geography.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Music and Geography are both equally respected A levels, but whether or not one would be better for the more maths related degrees I don't know.

    I would take a serious look at what exactly you do in the Music A level though, since I know several people in my year that loved GCSE Music but are really hating the A level.

    Either way remember that, assuming you take Maths/Fmaths/Physics to the full A2, your choice in 5th AS level (and possibly 4th A2 level) will have little significance. You really need to just decide which you will most prefer out of Geography and Music. Also bear in mind that it would be perfectly fine to take neither if you're worried about the workload - most people only do 4 AS levels anyway.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Learn to be concise. Please.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    You'll know more about this than me. The gradings do count for 'something' ie. qualifcation equivalents - on that basis, i'd assume having them proves musical aptitude rather than having any need for an A-level (as you don't particularly want to follow that route). Hobbies are good

    I'd go with Maths/FMaths/French/Physics/Geog - though this is equal to 5, i'm not sure how your school/college timetables the hours to get Maths and FMaths really into one? They're both seperate courses.

    By that, though, you have scope to drop 2 of French/Physics/Geog if you didn't like them by the end.

    It's not going to make a huge difference in terms of university as to what you choose but Music doesn't fit with any of them, where atleast Geography has ties with science (I remember a friend saying something about Oxford wanting/preferring Physics when applying for Geography).

    I have friends doing AQA spec, not sure how it breaks down though - i'd just have a little look through the syllabus on the website and see what you make of it.

    Basically, the way I see it: do Music and you probably won't be doing Geography again. Do Geography and you can continue doing Musical things as a hobby.

    Your 3 (Maths/Further/Physics) grades are what is going to make the end difference.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I think the general thought is that I should go for geography, although as the first reply said I don't want to overload myself with Further Maths and Geography work. At least I don't have English coursework to worry about!

    What I really need is someone who's done A level music so they can tell me whether or not it would help me with writing songs or if I can still do this without the extra knowledge of what A level Music offers.

    Most of you say geography ties in with the others more, but as I was saying I'm not sure what I want to do in the future and Music may give me greater variety? And if anyone has done Further Maths and Geography can they tell me what the amount of work is like doing both?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Personally I'd go for geography because when you apply to university (unless its for music) then geography will add more to your application and show that you have skills such as essay writing which you wouldnt necessarily gain from the sciences/ maths. You could still advance your musical skills and write this down (getting ucas points for your grades etc) without necessarily having the a level
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Further maths is pretty easy if you have a real aptitude for maths, but I know lots of people who find it difficult, so as long as you're sure of yourself go with it.

    In terms of music/geo, I think music is not really worth taking. I'm in a similar position to you musically (grade 8 instrument, 6 theory) and uyou won't get much out of taking it to a level. It is unlikely to really help your composition skills, it would be better to get a good theory teacher and take music theory beyond grade five externally. I recommend geography.

    Edit: As someone mentioned above, you will also get credit for external music exams anyway.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for your help everyone!

    After reading your posts and having just had a conversation with my piano teacher, I have decided to opt for Geography over Music. The reasons being is that with Geography I can put the social art down and still show the creative side to myself with Grade 8 Piano (which I'm aiming for by the time I leave school), Grade 5 theory, and hopefully an A* in GCSE Music. Also, as I would probably only take the chosen subject to AS level, my piano teacher said that Geography would definitely be more valuable over Music in terms of skills to show off to unis, although Music would be better to take to A2.

    This is something all musicians should think about if you're reading this - if you don't like the historical and listening side of Music then you can still show off your skills with instrument and theory grades as mentioned above. And you can still keep up your love of music while keeping in touch with other subjects you like.

    Again, thanks everyone for your advice.

    P.S. This was my first time on the site, so is there something I can do like give people rep or something? I'm new to this so forgive my lack of knowledge...
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Will you be richer or poorer than your parents?
    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

    Rosette

    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:

    HEAR

    HEAR

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

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • 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

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