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    Okay so theres so many questions I have, any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    Im doing my GCSEs and have been predicted good grades, and am hoping to do modern languages in uni.

    1. If universities only ask for 3 grades (inc. oxbridge and other top unis) would it put me at a disadvantage to just do 3 for both AS and A2? I want to do English Literature, Spanish and French. Surely its better to get AAA than AABB? The ones I've chosen are all quite heavy subjects and although I think I'd possibly be capable of doing 4 at least for AS, there are no other subjects I feel like I really want to do (except for art or textiles which I enjoy but I'm worried about the time I'd have to put in - from the experience of GCSEs it would definitely affect my other subjects).

    2. When applying for Modern Languages, apart from the languages you intend to study obviously, are there any subjects that would really help at A-Level? I've looked at various websites and they don't say anything specific under entry requirements. I understand that Oxford is based hugely on literature, which is one of the reasons I've chosen English Lit. I guess my question is, would it be sensible to chose for example a science subject to show that I am well rounded? Or does it not really matter?

    3. In a college open evening last night I was told I'd have to take 4 if I applied there. In this case my choices right now for a fourth subject (most likely one I will drop after AS) are Law, Philosophy and Psychology. I am taking Psychology for GCSE and find it very interesting, but it's really difficult to get an A* (I managed after re-sitting in January). What puts me off about these subjects is that I've heard they are all quite difficult yet still considered 'soft subjects' to universities. I don't feel like putting myself through the extra work if it's not really going to get acknowledged if that makes sense. I'm assuming psychology A level is similar to GCSE but I don't know much about philosophy and Law so any advice/information about those would be great. I also have the choice of Biology and Geography which I'll do if I need to but I have to say, the idea's not too appealing.

    4. In uni, what's the difference between learning just the language, and language 'studies'?

    Sorry about all the questions and the long post, I'm just so confusedddddddd
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    Okay so theres so many questions I have, any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    Im doing my GCSEs and have been predicted good grades, and am hoping to do modern languages in uni.

    1. If universities only ask for 3 grades (inc. oxbridge and other top unis) would it put me at a disadvantage to just do 3 for both AS and A2? I want to do English Literature, Spanish and French. Surely its better to get AAA than AABB? The ones I've chosen are all quite heavy subjects and although I think I'd possibly be capable of doing 4 at least for AS, there are no other subjects I feel like I really want to do (except for art or textiles which I enjoy but I'm worried about the time I'd have to put in - from the experience of GCSEs it would definitely affect my other subjects).

    2. When applying for Modern Languages, apart from the languages you intend to study obviously, are there any subjects that would really help at A-Level? I've looked at various websites and they don't say anything specific under entry requirements. I understand that Oxford is based hugely on literature, which is one of the reasons I've chosen English Lit. I guess my question is, would it be sensible to chose for example a science subject to show that I am well rounded? Or does it not really matter?

    3. In a college open evening last night I was told I'd have to take 4 if I applied there. In this case my choices right now for a fourth subject (most likely one I will drop after AS) are Law, Philosophy and Psychology. I am taking Psychology for GCSE and find it very interesting, but it's really difficult to get an A* (I managed after re-sitting in January). What puts me off about these subjects is that I've heard they are all quite difficult yet still considered 'soft subjects' to universities. I don't feel like putting myself through the extra work if it's not really going to get acknowledged if that makes sense. I'm assuming psychology A level is similar to GCSE but I don't know much about philosophy and Law so any advice/information about those would be great. I also have the choice of Biology and Geography which I'll do if I need to but I have to say, the idea's not too appealing.

    4. In uni, what's the difference between learning just the language, and language 'studies'?

    Sorry about all the questions and the long post, I'm just so confusedddddddd
    I would advise doing 4 AS subjects, just because if you're aiming for the top universities the vast majority of students will have done 4+ AS levels, which is generally considered the 'standard' number. It should be manageable.

    It wouldn't be worth choosing a science subject just to prove you're well-rounded, given that universities in the UK focus on specialisation, so it's not important for the purposes of a language degree that you can do maths etc. Choose a subject you are genuinely interested in and which you feel you can do well in.

    Philosophy is definitely not considered a soft subject at university! I took it AS level and it was really beneficial to my general intellectual development, helping me to think more critically. Also, a lot of the thinkers we studied influenced the writers I now study for my French degree so it's actually still useful even though I dropped it after AS.


    There's no difference between 'language' and 'language studies'. I think the latter name was conceived to try to convey how there are actually many disciplines tied up with studying a language at degree level, but that doesn't mean that degree courses with the former type of title don't cover the same things. What's most important is to look at individual universities' course options.
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    Thanks! After what you've told me I'm leaning more towards either philosophy or psychology. Would you mind telling me a little bit more about the philosophy course? I just searched it on tsr now and understand it's a lot of essay writing as well as being quite unpredictable when it comes to grades - many people are saying you need to be a natural and even those who work really hard end up with Cs and Ds, what do you think?
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    Thanks! After what you've told me I'm leaning more towards either philosophy or psychology. Would you mind telling me a little bit more about the philosophy course? I just searched it on tsr now and understand it's a lot of essay writing as well as being quite unpredictable when it comes to grades - many people are saying you need to be a natural and even those who work really hard end up with Cs and Ds, what do you think?
    I say philosophy over psychology easily...

    Plus you could learn about some French philosophers, and read a book in their language to improve language as well!

    I plan on taking French too I love languages... But haven't had the chance to study more than French and Welsh
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    (Original post by L'Evil Fish)
    But haven't had the chance to study more than French and Welsh
    Welsh is great! I think it sounds quite sweet haha
    I live in Wales but the only word I even know is 'Gwasanaethau'

    What do you actually learn about in Philosophy though? Is it a lot of facts and learning? Or more of a discussion/no right or wrong answers?
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    Thanks! After what you've told me I'm leaning more towards either philosophy or psychology. Would you mind telling me a little bit more about the philosophy course? I just searched it on tsr now and understand it's a lot of essay writing as well as being quite unpredictable when it comes to grades - many people are saying you need to be a natural and even those who work really hard end up with Cs and Ds, what do you think?
    Mmm in my Philosophy class most people did relatively well and you can get an A from hard work. I don't see how it's any less predictable than other subjects...

    There are a few facts to learn but most of it is discussing the validity of different arguments, which is where all the fun is at!

    We studied Plato, Aristotle, the arguments for God, the Judeo-Christian God, the problem of Evil (why does God allow suffering?).

    We also covered different ethical theories like relativism (what if there is no objective morality?), natural law, utilitarianism, Kant's categorical imperative and we applied these to ethical issues such as abortion, war, euthanasia, right to a child etc.

    It was a really fascinating course! (I did OCR)
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    Okay so theres so many questions I have, any help would be appreciated, thanks!

    Im doing my GCSEs and have been predicted good grades, and am hoping to do modern languages in uni.

    1. If universities only ask for 3 grades (inc. oxbridge and other top unis) would it put me at a disadvantage to just do 3 for both AS and A2? I want to do English Literature, Spanish and French. Surely its better to get AAA than AABB? The ones I've chosen are all quite heavy subjects and although I think I'd possibly be capable of doing 4 at least for AS, there are no other subjects I feel like I really want to do (except for art or textiles which I enjoy but I'm worried about the time I'd have to put in - from the experience of GCSEs it would definitely affect my other subjects).

    2. When applying for Modern Languages, apart from the languages you intend to study obviously, are there any subjects that would really help at A-Level? I've looked at various websites and they don't say anything specific under entry requirements. I understand that Oxford is based hugely on literature, which is one of the reasons I've chosen English Lit. I guess my question is, would it be sensible to chose for example a science subject to show that I am well rounded? Or does it not really matter?

    3. In a college open evening last night I was told I'd have to take 4 if I applied there. In this case my choices right now for a fourth subject (most likely one I will drop after AS) are Law, Philosophy and Psychology. I am taking Psychology for GCSE and find it very interesting, but it's really difficult to get an A* (I managed after re-sitting in January). What puts me off about these subjects is that I've heard they are all quite difficult yet still considered 'soft subjects' to universities. I don't feel like putting myself through the extra work if it's not really going to get acknowledged if that makes sense. I'm assuming psychology A level is similar to GCSE but I don't know much about philosophy and Law so any advice/information about those would be great. I also have the choice of Biology and Geography which I'll do if I need to but I have to say, the idea's not too appealing.

    4. In uni, what's the difference between learning just the language, and language 'studies'?

    Sorry about all the questions and the long post, I'm just so confusedddddddd
    Most "top" universities want a 4th AS subject, usually as a pass depending on course/university could be up to an A though. I can't imagine Oxford being a university that doesn't want a 4th AS. Plus you'll be up against candidates who have the 4th AS.
    Also, check university entrance requirements because some universities won't accept A-level Law as one of your 3 a levels but will accept it as the 4th AS. Others won't accept it all, and others will accept it for both the A level and 4th AS. This goes for a few subjects.
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    (Original post by qwertyuiop1993)
    Mmm in my Philosophy class most people did relatively well and you can get an A from hard work. I don't see how it's any less predictable than other subjects...

    There are a few facts to learn but most of it is discussing the validity of different arguments, which is where all the fun is at!

    We studied Plato, Aristotle, the arguments for God, the Judeo-Christian God, the problem of Evil (why does God allow suffering?).

    We also covered different ethical theories like relativism (what if there is no objective morality?), natural law, utilitarianism, Kant's categorical imperative and we applied these to ethical issues such as abortion, war, euthanasia, right to a child etc.

    It was a really fascinating course! (I did OCR)
    Sounds really interesting. I'll look into it some more but this has really helped me - thank you!
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    Welsh is great! I think it sounds quite sweet haha
    I live in Wales but the only word I even know is 'Gwasanaethau'

    What do you actually learn about in Philosophy though? Is it a lot of facts and learning? Or more of a discussion/no right or wrong answers?
    I'm from Cardiff so don't hear much of it

    It's more discussion, famous philosophers and their thoughts, what you think about things... Above posts are thorough.
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    Just to add a couple of things...

    Definitely try philosophy if you can. It's great for the kind of critical analysis and analytical thinking skills you'll need to do well in college and uni. It's not hard to do well in; I think people who screw up in it just aren't engaged. It's basically easy from an exam/assessment point of view if you've put in the thinking work in class. If you've never done it before, ask your college to let you sit in in a class (evening if possible) or see if they run tasters, or you could meet with a tutor to discuss it. Pick up some light philosophy books from the library to see if you like it. It's all
    so traditionally much more highly regarded than psych, which a lot of people still consider a soft option.

    I'm doing psychology at level 3 (access to HE, not A level, but the syllabus is similar) at the moment and it's got nothing on philosophy. Psychology isn't about thinking, at this level; it's about what other people have already said about thinking. Philosophy is a lot more engaging, i think. If i could've done it again instead, i would've.

    For languages, i'd stick to other humanities subjects, but all the languages admissions tutors i've spoken to have stressed that the single most important thing to them is commitment, and you demonstrate that through your personal statement. If you're seriously considering taking a language at uni, work that into other areas of your life now. Lang-8 is a great language exchange blog, check it out. Basically, take whatever subjects interest you and you think you can do best in, do language stuff in your spare time, and write all about it in your personal statement, justifying why you took the subjects you did and tying it altogether somehow. If you're doing two languages right now and they're both latin-based, consider taking them both at AS, it'll show you're good at language-learning, but otherwise i don't think your other choices are too crucial.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by wl86)
    Just to add a couple of things...

    Definitely try philosophy if you can. It's great for the kind of critical analysis and analytical thinking skills you'll need to do well in college and uni. It's not hard to do well in; I think people who screw up in it just aren't engaged. It's basically easy from an exam/assessment point of view if you've put in the thinking work in class. If you've never done it before, ask your college to let you sit in in a class (evening if possible) or see if they run tasters, or you could meet with a tutor to discuss it. Pick up some light philosophy books from the library to see if you like it. It's all
    so traditionally much more highly regarded than psych, which a lot of people still consider a soft option.

    I'm doing psychology at level 3 (access to HE, not A level, but the syllabus is similar) at the moment and it's got nothing on philosophy. Psychology isn't about thinking, at this level; it's about what other people have already said about thinking. Philosophy is a lot more engaging, i think. If i could've done it again instead, i would've.

    For languages, i'd stick to other humanities subjects, but all the languages admissions tutors i've spoken to have stressed that the single most important thing to them is commitment, and you demonstrate that through your personal statement. If you're seriously considering taking a language at uni, work that into other areas of your life now. Lang-8 is a great language exchange blog, check it out. Basically, take whatever subjects interest you and you think you can do best in, do language stuff in your spare time, and write all about it in your personal statement, justifying why you took the subjects you did and tying it altogether somehow. If you're doing two languages right now and they're both latin-based, consider taking them both at AS, it'll show you're good at language-learning, but otherwise i don't think your other choices are too crucial.

    Good luck!
    Lang8 looks great so I might try that later!
    Could you suggest some light philosophy books like you mentioned?
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    Could you suggest some light philosophy books like you mentioned?
    anyone?
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    (Original post by AbiNoisette)
    anyone?
    This might be a good place to start:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philosophy-V.../dp/0192854216
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    Sorry for delay; head to the library and the philosophy section and pick up anything with an engaging cover and you'll know it's entry-level i'm not even kidding. or try this one, he writes accessibly:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-All-Ab...3334734&sr=8-1

    lang-8 is truly brilliant, too, i can't recommend it enough. you'll learn the kind of subtleties of language A-level never covers and you otherwise wouldn't learn until you're out there speaking it every day. you can knock years of your learning process if you take it seriously and post every few days, and correcting other people's stuff enables you to develop further as an English speaker, and understand better how the language is as it is.

    Have fun!
 
 
 
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