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    I'm in college doing English, History and Law, on track to get AAA and going to study English at the University of York in September. I did Biology AS but failed miserably, got Us I wanted to study midwifery but due to doing so badly in biology I decided to just pursue English since it's consistently been my best subject.

    Anyway, I recently discovered Access courses since a friend at work is doing one at the moment. It's so tempting to drop the idea of going to study English and do an Access to Nursing/Midwifery instead I'm finding college unbearable and ridiculously hard to motivate myself to study for at the moment, as well as the idea of university itself, knowing I've absolutely no idea what I'd do afterwards seeing as most of my interests are in the healthcare field (though it's primarily midwifery I'm interested in). At the moment the only reason I'm motivated to carry on is to go live the student lifestyle rather than to study/get a good job...

    the only thing is, how do I know it's the right choice for me? It's such a huge difference from doing English and obviously I'd have to be 100% sure to convince my parents and college to let me do it. I'm not all that good at science (B in GCSE Biology and C in Chemistry) so would I even be able to cope with doing the access to nursing/midwifery course?
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    (Original post by when she was 22)
    I'm in college doing English, History and Law, on track to get AAA and going to study English at the University of York in September. I did Biology AS but failed miserably, got Us I wanted to study midwifery but due to doing so badly in biology I decided to just pursue English since it's consistently been my best subject.

    Anyway, I recently discovered Access courses since a friend at work is doing one at the moment. It's so tempting to drop the idea of going to study English and do an Access to Nursing/Midwifery instead I'm finding college unbearable and ridiculously hard to motivate myself to study for at the moment, as well as the idea of university itself, knowing I've absolutely no idea what I'd do afterwards seeing as most of my interests are in the healthcare field (though it's primarily midwifery I'm interested in). At the moment the only reason I'm motivated to carry on is to go live the student lifestyle rather than to study/get a good job...

    the only thing is, how do I know it's the right choice for me? It's such a huge difference from doing English and obviously I'd have to be 100% sure to convince my parents and college to let me do it. I'm not all that good at science (B in GCSE Biology and C in Chemistry) so would I even be able to cope with doing the access to nursing/midwifery course?
    It seems to me that you excel very well with literature and humanities based courses.

    You say that you're on track for AAA in English, History and Law, so in my view I would stick at this, get the grades and after that take a step back in order to think about what you truly want to do.

    If midwifery is you're main interest then my view would be get you're English, history and law under you're belt, do the access course in midwifery in order to go into nursing.

    I'm a chemistry student at Edinburgh university and I agree that its a subject you "either get or don't", but the chemistry involved in nursing won't be too crazy. I've realised chemistry is the make or break subject for a lot of people, but with a decent amount of study hours (about an effective 2 hours), you could most definitely get through.
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    (Original post by Enavor)
    It seems to me that you excel very well with literature and humanities based courses.

    You say that you're on track for AAA in English, History and Law, so in my view I would stick at this, get the grades and after that take a step back in order to think about what you truly want to do.

    If midwifery is you're main interest then my view would be get you're English, history and law under you're belt, do the access course in midwifery in order to go into nursing.

    I'm a chemistry student at Edinburgh university and I agree that its a subject you "either get or don't", but the chemistry involved in nursing won't be too crazy. I've realised chemistry is the make or break subject for a lot of people, but with a decent amount of study hours (about an effective 2 hours), you could most definitely get through.
    This is what's annoying! I seem to do quite well with relatively little effort in 'essay' type subjects, I always have done (so I'm really lucky in that respect). I had to revise loads just to get a C in GCSE Chemistry. So I now it'd be a huge risk to throw away what could be good a-levels. I do want to finish them, and go to university, but I want to do midwifery too. Shame I can't just finish a-levels and reapply for midwifery next year through UCAS seeing as Biology is needed.

    Something I'd considered before this was doing AS and A2 Biology in one year from September, and reapplying for the 2014 cycle? However it's a big ask because I know I'll struggle and find it really difficult having already done it as well as that I'm sure some universities won't approve of me having done a-levels in 3 years etc.

    Chemistry really is awful (imo ). I'm glad it's not my life ambition to do something like chemistry!
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    You do know that an access course is only valid for a certain period of time, its such a waste of time in the long run. This is a person who has done both, in my experience it just serves its cause. Rather have A-Levels behind my back.
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    I would keep at it and then maybe do an access course next year and do some work experience, if its something you really want to do then do it. I was in a similar position but decided i wanted to do nursing so i have changed course completely and could not be happier and wouldn't go back at all
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    (Original post by SloaneRanger)
    You do know that an access course is only valid for a certain period of time, its such a waste of time in the long run. This is a person who has done both, in my experience it just serves its cause. Rather have A-Levels behind my back.
    Really? I had no idea. My intention is to somehow get to do a degree in Midwifery though, not just the access course. Just no idea how to go about doing it because I don't have A-Level Biology.

    (Original post by NatashaB5051)
    I would keep at it and then maybe do an access course next year and do some work experience, if its something you really want to do then do it. I was in a similar position but decided i wanted to do nursing so i have changed course completely and could not be happier and wouldn't go back at all
    Yeah that seems like a good idea I definitely think finishing a-levels is a good idea but the question is how to get from doing all essay style subjects to doing Midwifery at uni!
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    (Original post by when she was 22)
    I'm in college doing English, History and Law, on track to get AAA and going to study English at the University of York in September. I did Biology AS but failed miserably, got Us I wanted to study midwifery but due to doing so badly in biology I decided to just pursue English since it's consistently been my best subject.

    Anyway, I recently discovered Access courses since a friend at work is doing one at the moment. It's so tempting to drop the idea of going to study English and do an Access to Nursing/Midwifery instead I'm finding college unbearable and ridiculously hard to motivate myself to study for at the moment, as well as the idea of university itself, knowing I've absolutely no idea what I'd do afterwards seeing as most of my interests are in the healthcare field (though it's primarily midwifery I'm interested in). At the moment the only reason I'm motivated to carry on is to go live the student lifestyle rather than to study/get a good job...

    the only thing is, how do I know it's the right choice for me? It's such a huge difference from doing English and obviously I'd have to be 100% sure to convince my parents and college to let me do it. I'm not all that good at science (B in GCSE Biology and C in Chemistry) so would I even be able to cope with doing the access to nursing/midwifery course?
    Whatever you do, finish your A levels. The end is in sight and you are predicted to do really well. I know that all 4 of my kids were fed up at this stage in year 13.....so close to finishing and pretty bored with it all! Do your best and get great grades!

    I reckon you have a few options....you could have a Gap Year, try to get experience in the field and knock out either an ACCESS course or relevant A level.

    You could try to get a place on a nursing course through clearing and then a little further down the line do a shortened (18 month) midwifery course. (You could perhaps arrange to do some work experience between finishing your exams in June and your results in August).

    If you trawl through the UCAS website, you'll see that even for midwifery, (which as you know, usually has tougher entry requirements than nursing), some universities don't ask for an A level in a Science. Some also accept Sociology or Psychology, which would be much easier to do in a year.

    Or.....you could do your English degree and then do a PgDip in nursing in 2 years. This (like an undergraduate midwifery course) is funded by the NHS, so wouldn't result in extra 'debt'.


    Good luck! By the way.....midwifery is a terrific career choice!
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    (Original post by NHSFan)
    Whatever you do, finish your A levels. The end is in sight and you are predicted to do really well. I know that all 4 of my kids were fed up at this stage in year 13.....so close to finishing and pretty bored with it all! Do your best and get great grades!

    I reckon you have a few options....you could have a Gap Year, try to get experience in the field and knock out either an ACCESS course or relevant A level.

    You could try to get a place on a nursing course through clearing and then a little further down the line do a shortened (18 month) midwifery course. (You could perhaps arrange to do some work experience between finishing your exams in June and your results in August).

    If you trawl through the UCAS website, you'll see that even for midwifery, (which as you know, usually has tougher entry requirements than nursing), some universities don't ask for an A level in a Science. Some also accept Sociology or Psychology, which would be much easier to do in a year.

    Or.....you could do your English degree and then do a PgDip in nursing in 2 years. This (like an undergraduate midwifery course) is funded by the NHS, so wouldn't result in extra 'debt'.


    Good luck! By the way.....midwifery is a terrific career choice!
    Yeah! I think it's important that I finish what I started, was just saying to my dad the other day I don't understand people who quit now when there's so little time left - might as well, at this point

    I'd only really looked at like Uni of Leeds and Manchester before so have just seen that like you said, Edge Hill accept psychology/sociology etc - I think I could do quite well in those subjects I definitely like the idea of taking a gap year to do an extra a-level and work experience but I had thought that biology would just be too much (which is what worries me about the degree in general anyway). It's just finding somewhere to do the full a-level in a year. I know my college lets people but I don't think they'd let me do it without studying something else as well. I've seen the Open College but don't exactly have £400 or however much it is to spare. I'll talk to one of my tutors when we go back to college and get their opinion

    Thank you! The postgrad seems like a good choice too, it's good to just bide my time if I'm still unsure in a few months or whatever. But thanks so much very helpful!
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    (Original post by when she was 22)
    I'm in college doing English, History and Law, on track to get AAA and going to study English at the University of York in September. I did Biology AS but failed miserably, got Us I wanted to study midwifery but due to doing so badly in biology I decided to just pursue English since it's consistently been my best subject.

    Anyway, I recently discovered Access courses since a friend at work is doing one at the moment. It's so tempting to drop the idea of going to study English and do an Access to Nursing/Midwifery instead I'm finding college unbearable and ridiculously hard to motivate myself to study for at the moment, as well as the idea of university itself, knowing I've absolutely no idea what I'd do afterwards seeing as most of my interests are in the healthcare field (though it's primarily midwifery I'm interested in). At the moment the only reason I'm motivated to carry on is to go live the student lifestyle rather than to study/get a good job...

    the only thing is, how do I know it's the right choice for me? It's such a huge difference from doing English and obviously I'd have to be 100% sure to convince my parents and college to let me do it. I'm not all that good at science (B in GCSE Biology and C in Chemistry) so would I even be able to cope with doing the access to nursing/midwifery course?
    I knew someone that went onto nursing and she definitely didn't have biology. Maybe there was a foundation year included. I'm not entirely sure.

    EDIT: I have had a look on UCAS quickly and there are quite a few that don't require biology/other science subject. One example is York for Midwifery wanting BBB at A level. Can't remember the rest.
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    (Original post by when she was 22)
    I'm sure some universities won't approve of me having done a-levels in 3 years etc.
    You're not doing A Levels in 3 years. You're doing A Levels in 2 years, then realising the subjects aren't for you and starting something new.

    Doing A Levels in 3 years would mean that you spent 3 years on the English, History and Law A Levels you're doing now.

    (Original post by when she was 22)
    Yeah! I think it's important that I finish what I started, was just saying to my dad the other day I don't understand people who quit now when there's so little time left - might as well, at this point

    I'd only really looked at like Uni of Leeds and Manchester before so have just seen that like you said, Edge Hill accept psychology/sociology etc - I think I could do quite well in those subjects I definitely like the idea of taking a gap year to do an extra a-level and work experience but I had thought that biology would just be too much (which is what worries me about the degree in general anyway). It's just finding somewhere to do the full a-level in a year. I know my college lets people but I don't think they'd let me do it without studying something else as well. I've seen the Open College but don't exactly have £400 or however much it is to spare. I'll talk to one of my tutors when we go back to college and get their opinion

    Thank you! The postgrad seems like a good choice too, it's good to just bide my time if I'm still unsure in a few months or whatever. But thanks so much very helpful!
    Midwifery is one of the more competitive branches of nursing, so it would be a good idea to try to get some work experience over the summer. You can hold onto your York offer and decide on results day if you actually want to go there, or if you want to try reapplying.

    The other point is that if you know you're going to struggle with biology you've got a whole summer to get a head start. You could even self teach the whole A Level course if your school won't let you do it in one year, although this will be difficult.
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    (Original post by Juno)
    You're not doing A Levels in 3 years. You're doing A Levels in 2 years, then realising the subjects aren't for you and starting something new.

    Doing A Levels in 3 years would mean that you spent 3 years on the English, History and Law A Levels you're doing now.



    Midwifery is one of the more competitive branches of nursing, so it would be a good idea to try to get some work experience over the summer. You can hold onto your York offer and decide on results day if you actually want to go there, or if you want to try reapplying.
    Sorry to be pedantic, but midwifery isn't a branch of nursing. It's a totally separate profession. I think this misperception arises from the fact that until relatively recently, it was necessary to be a qualified nurse before training as a midwife. When I undertook midwifery training in 1984 (as a registered nurse) it was only in Derby that one could undertake direct entry midwifery training.

    OK.....so I'm negged for saying something correct!? You will find that midwives really object to being described as nurses!
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    (Original post by Juno)
    You're not doing A Levels in 3 years. You're doing A Levels in 2 years, then realising the subjects aren't for you and starting something new.

    Doing A Levels in 3 years would mean that you spent 3 years on the English, History and Law A Levels you're doing now.



    Midwifery is one of the more competitive branches of nursing, so it would be a good idea to try to get some work experience over the summer. You can hold onto your York offer and decide on results day if you actually want to go there, or if you want to try reapplying.

    The other point is that if you know you're going to struggle with biology you've got a whole summer to get a head start. You could even self teach the whole A Level course if your school won't let you do it in one year, although this will be difficult.
    Oh I didn't even think of them making the distinction really. It's good that they do though
    Yeah I'm gonna start looking for work experience ASAP, would be good to sort some out over the summer and the (potential) gap year if that's what I decide to do.

    (Original post by Gummibaerchen)
    I knew someone that went onto nursing and she definitely didn't have biology. Maybe there was a foundation year included. I'm not entirely sure.

    EDIT: I have had a look on UCAS quickly and there are quite a few that don't require biology/other science subject. One example is York for Midwifery wanting BBB at A level. Can't remember the rest.
    Yeah I've seen some that don't now! I'd mainly been looking at Leeds/Manchester when I assumed everywhere would ask for biology. Wish I'd realised this before applying this year, hah, annoying. The gap year is seeming the most appealing to me right now! I can talk to my college about it and see what they say, if they'd be willing to let me stay on and do another a-level (though I doubt it tbh) and if not see where I can get one.
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    Psychology and sociology do come up in nursing degree courses (dont no about midwifery) and a lot of uni work now in the degrees are a mixture of essays and exams combined with placement normally 50/50. If you have struggled with science i would recommend an access course over doing an a level in a year as it will give you good grounding for starting and biology is important in this. I would recommend you look at getting a good anatomy and physiology book or biology book and have a look at that .
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    (Original post by NatashaB5051)
    Psychology and sociology do come up in nursing degree courses (dont no about midwifery) and a lot of uni work now in the degrees are a mixture of essays and exams combined with placement normally 50/50. If you have struggled with science i would recommend an access course over doing an a level in a year as it will give you good grounding for starting and biology is important in this. I would recommend you look at getting a good anatomy and physiology book or biology book and have a look at that .
    I definitely don't think I'd be able to cope with a-level Biology in one year. I could understand the topics and stuff, it's just that I found it really difficult to apply the knowledge to exam questions etc! Can see myself doing Psychology or Sociology though, it's just finding somewhere that will let me do just one a-level under my circumstances, pretty sure all colleges require you to do a certain amount of study. I can't really go for one of those 'distance learning' types that you need to pay for either. Not got the money to do that unfortunately!

    Access is a good choice too, however from what I've read it seems like I'd have to pay for that course too if I finished my a-levels? 2 colleges near me offer it but one says you have to be 19 before starting it. Hmmm.

    Think I'll have to ask my college's advice and see if anywhere would be willing to let me do just one or two a-levels next year. Not too likely but still worth a try! Thank you, I'll definitely do that too
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    Could you defere for a year? in that time you could either do an access course or work, either way your mind will be made up.

    Most access course require you to be 19 or older to join although I think there is something called first focus or foundation for 19 below students.

    Have you though about doing a science foundation year at the university you would like to go and do your degree at instead? T

    I am just coming to the end of my access course (science pathway) and I can tell you it isn't easy or cheap! Basically learning at A level standard but condensed into a year. If you are struggling to motivate yourself now I think you may struggle on an access course. However, with you being a school leaver you want have to take GCSE equiv maths, english and science, so you're work load would be slightly less. I am currently studying 6 classes, some of which are nearly either a double or triple subject.

    Apparently the access course is changing come Sept 2013 and the fees are increasing too. (You may get the course for free depending on your age though)

    If it is something you really want to do then do it, however, do lots of research as some universities do not accept access course to get onto their degrees. Midwifery is very competitive too, some course have 600 applicants for 30 spaces.
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    (Original post by xxxxLillyxxxx)
    Could you defere for a year? in that time you could either do an access course or work, either way your mind will be made up.

    Most access course require you to be 19 or older to join although I think there is something called first focus or foundation for 19 below students.

    Have you though about doing a science foundation year at the university you would like to go and do your degree at instead? T

    I am just coming to the end of my access course (science pathway) and I can tell you it isn't easy or cheap! Basically learning at A level standard but condensed into a year. If you are struggling to motivate yourself now I think you may struggle on an access course. However, with you being a school leaver you want have to take GCSE equiv maths, english and science, so you're work load would be slightly less. I am currently studying 6 classes, some of which are nearly either a double or triple subject.

    Apparently the access course is changing come Sept 2013 and the fees are increasing too. (You may get the course for free depending on your age though)

    If it is something you really want to do then do it, however, do lots of research as some universities do not accept access course to get onto their degrees. Midwifery is very competitive too, some course have 600 applicants for 30 spaces.
    That's true. I don't want to defer or anything till I've made any concrete plans with the gap year. I'm not expecting any of it to be easy by the way! So I hope it didn't come across that way I know it's not the easy way out, it's just me trying to switch to something I'll enjoy more in the long run. Science foundation year sounds good except I've no idea how to go about applying for that, how it works etc, I'll have to have a look around.
    Thanks for your advice!
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    Do what you feel is right and what makes you happy.

    Follow your heart but take your brain with you is the best advice I can give. (always handy to take your brain with you when you do a degree, but you know what I mean)

    In the end only you know what is best for you
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    I think it's great that you're willing to put the work in to do something you really want to do, but (without trying to dishearten you) midwifery is one of the toughest courses to get onto. Although more midwives are required in the profession, there is less funding by the NHS so very few places. I've got two friends who've applied this year, one has had 1 offer and the other still hasn't had any.

    If you're sure this is what you want to do then definitely go for it, however you need to get as much work experience as you can - this can sometimes be tricky and a lot easier if you have 'contacts' within the profession however with a lot of determination and persistance it is possible! Look into children's centres for advice on groups you could attend e.g. breastfeeding and parenting classes, these are good places to gain experience in the post-natal care and show you understand midwifery isn't just about the birth.

    As some others have stated, biology isn't necessary at every university (Bangor for example have no subject requirements) however you probably would be at a disadvantage if you have no science subjects. Health+social and psychology would be good options. Have a look at uni's you like the look of and email them to find out what subjects they're looking for and would help your application, no point doing things that may not actually benefit you! Also, how strong is your maths? Most universities require maths tests to be completed at interviews and usually B's in maths, English+science at GCSE.

    Finish your A Levels and keep your options open. Just a thought about the access course - would you have to pay for that? I know you can get onto some of them for free/small fee if you have no equivalent qualifications e.g. level 3/a levels, but not sure if you do have them. Good luck
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    (Original post by Sarah120610)
    I think it's great that you're willing to put the work in to do something you really want to do, but (without trying to dishearten you) midwifery is one of the toughest courses to get onto. Although more midwives are required in the profession, there is less funding by the NHS so very few places. I've got two friends who've applied this year, one has had 1 offer and the other still hasn't had any.

    If you're sure this is what you want to do then definitely go for it, however you need to get as much work experience as you can - this can sometimes be tricky and a lot easier if you have 'contacts' within the profession however with a lot of determination and persistance it is possible! Look into children's centres for advice on groups you could attend e.g. breastfeeding and parenting classes, these are good places to gain experience in the post-natal care and show you understand midwifery isn't just about the birth.

    As some others have stated, biology isn't necessary at every university (Bangor for example have no subject requirements) however you probably would be at a disadvantage if you have no science subjects. Health+social and psychology would be good options. Have a look at uni's you like the look of and email them to find out what subjects they're looking for and would help your application, no point doing things that may not actually benefit you! Also, how strong is your maths? Most universities require maths tests to be completed at interviews and usually B's in maths, English+science at GCSE.

    Finish your A Levels and keep your options open. Just a thought about the access course - would you have to pay for that? I know you can get onto some of them for free/small fee if you have no equivalent qualifications e.g. level 3/a levels, but not sure if you do have them. Good luck
    It worries me definitely! That I could put a lot into this and not get anywhere with it next year, I have to admit I'd be pretty gutted if I had to delay uni by 2 years and reapply, etc.

    Ohh those are good ideas, thank you! Easter break is a perfect time to get some experience sorted for later and hopefully ask around/find places. My mum is a nurse, although not a midwife, so it might be worth asking if she can help me out with getting some relevent experience I know some managers from the hospital quite well so I'm sure it's worth asking if they could help me out too.

    I got a B in Maths so hopefully that's enough! A in English, B in Biology, C in Chemistry. I'm wondering whether my current college would be on board with letting me do 2 subjects next year (health and social and psychology as you suggested, they're both done at my college) - I know they've let some people do a whole a-level in one year, so it's worth a try.

    I think I would have to pay for Access! Once I finish my a-levels, anyway - and I do want to finish them. I wish I'd decided to take action about this earlier I've been so complacent and sort of just accepted that I'd be doing something different to what I originally planned... it's just been getting to me lately though that I've been going through career options in my head, things I can do with English etc, knowing I want to be in healthcare really. If I go through with this degree, although I'm sure I'd enjoy it cos I do enjoy the subject, I'd just be at a loss by the end and to get anywhere vaguely medical I'd have to go down the postgrad route.
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    (Original post by when she was 22)
    ....


    I think it could be disheartening for you, but in the scheme of things 2 years is not that long. With the government going the way it is, we'll be working till we're in our 70s so you may as well do something that you really enjoy!

    If there's a SCBU unit at your hospital, that'd be a really good bit if experience, alongside going to scans - the more variety the better! Don't be put off if they won't let you do it, different hospitals have different policies but the fact your mum is a nurse and you have some connections definitely works to your advantage!

    B in maths is great and i would have thought it will help you get through the selection process to interview but there will still be the maths tests so if you manage to persuade your college to let you do them in a year, then start recapping your gcse maths skills now so you're prepared! Just a thought on doing them in a year, although it may be possible, it could be tricky as a lot of the exam boards make as+a2 synoptic and you'd be learning everything alongside each other - it depends how you see this, it could be an advantage or disadvantage but definitely something to consider. I wouldn't worry about the C in chemistry, biology seems to be more important.

    I know how you feel, it's all so daunting and you just have to make a decision which will affect the rest of your life and you get set on a plan and it's scary to realise it's not actually what you want to do! Have you looked into speech+language therapy? With your grades and English literature this could be another option to going into healthcare without having to do more a levels.
 
 
 
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