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Will these 6 A-levels be too much? Watch

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    Hello! I've recently completed my GCSEs, and am struggling with making my A-level choices for the coming academic year.

    At the moment, I am thinking about taking the following:
    - Maths
    - Chemistry
    - Biology
    - Physics
    - Geography
    - Film Studies (as an extra curricular subject, purely out of interest in the subject area)

    Whilst I enjoy all the subjects that I have chosen (with the exception of physics), I was wondering:
    a) if opting for 6 A-levels would be more of a deterrence than an advantage.
    b) if taking Film Studies would make it harder to apply for a reputable university.

    (I also took the new specification of AS Creative Writing as an extra curricular subject during year 11.)

    Whilst I am quite unsure about what I wish to pursue in the future, I am hopeful that it will be related to either the sciences or law.

    Thank you, in advance, for any help given.
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    If I was you, I would take Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics... and cut out Geog and Film. IMO you will be overloaded by the additional 2, or have lower grades generally albeit with more A levels. Some Universities state that they want such and such grades in so many A levels (or referring to specific courses).
    For interest, if you have time, there is always free course content on other subjects available online through universities (such as Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Open University, etc.).
    What are your future plans?
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    a). It could very well be if you don't do consistently well in all six. AAABCC is worse than A*AA.

    b).Film Studies is fine since you study mainly "strong" subjects.

    However, please note that some universities may only pick the three most relevant subjects and exclude the others, hence making it more difficult to meet the offer. You can even get an offer which consists of all six subjects. I suggest to speak to the universities that you are thinking of applying to and asking their stance on six A Levels.
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    In my opinion Yes, I did 5 AS's this year and struggled, come exam season it is hell. Just pick the ones you're most interested in, you could always pursue your interest in film in your spare time.
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    No reason to take more than 4 AS levels seriously. Cut this whole " 5 or 6 " idea
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    If I was you, I would take Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics... and cut out Geog and Film. IMO you will be overloaded by the additional 2, or have lower grades generally albeit with more A levels. Some Universities state that they want such and such grades in so many A levels (or referring to specific courses).
    For interest, if you have time, there is always free course content on other subjects available online through universities (such as Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Open University, etc.).
    What are your future plans?
    Thank you for the reply!
    I think I will end up dropping either Physics or Geography within the first few terms, and have only taken both as I am not sure yet sure whether I would prefer to go down the route of anthropology or pharmacy.
    I've looked at a few university requirements, and it should be fine with the subjects I'll end up taking.
    I'll be sure to look up the free content you have mentioned.
    I've already completed many MOOCs, which are very enjoyable and informative, giving a really good insight into different subject areas.
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    (Original post by SecretDuck)
    a). It could very well be if you don't do consistently well in all six. AAABCC is worse than A*AA.

    b).Film Studies is fine since you study mainly "strong" subjects.

    However, please note that some universities may only pick the three most relevant subjects and exclude the others, hence making it more difficult to meet the offer. You can even get an offer which consists of all six subjects. I suggest to speak to the universities that you are thinking of applying to and asking their stance on six A Levels.
    I've looked up a few forums regarding similar situations, as well as looked on university websites, and many sources state the same; that fewer, higher A level grades are regarded highly in comparison to more A levels at lower grades (a likely outcome of overloading work). Thanks very much for the reply!
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    (Original post by Yellow Car)
    I've looked up a few forums regarding similar situations, as well as looked on university websites, and many sources state the same; that fewer, higher A level grades are regarded highly in comparison to more A levels at lower grades (a likely outcome of overloading work). Thanks very much for the reply!
    No worries

    Yeah, some unis can make it even more difficult to meet the offer if a "relevant subject" is something you're not doing well in.
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    If I were you I'd drop Film Studies and keep the other five if you genuinely believe that you can handle the pressure. It depends how much free time you have/how hard you work etc etc.

    Those 5 main ones are very much "hard" subjects. One of my friends got 13A* at GCSE and was (obviously) predicted straight A*s at A-Level. She's very intelligent, but took 6 AS subjects (Maths, Chem, Bio, Physics, English and French) and got BBBCCC in her January mock exams (waiting for AS results). She completely regrets taking so many and believes that she stretched herself too thin.

    I'd stick to 5 AS subjects maximum; I'm not saying what happened to my friend will happen to you, but you never know. It's better to have AAAA than AAABBB.
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    (Original post by Yellow Car)
    Thank you for the reply!
    I think I will end up dropping either Physics or Geography within the first few terms, and have only taken both as I am not sure yet sure whether I would prefer to go down the route of anthropology or pharmacy.
    I've looked at a few university requirements, and it should be fine with the subjects I'll end up taking.
    I'll be sure to look up the free content you have mentioned.
    I've already completed many MOOCs, which are very enjoyable and informative, giving a really good insight into different subject areas.
    Ah, I don't know a great deal about either, just that they're very sciency - both interesting subject areas though, particularly anthropology.
    Still, most people do find 4 hard and tend to do 3 (which is the norm).
    As you can look at the entry req's, you can tailor your choices towards those
    Many universities (with exception of some redbricks, just ask for a certain no. of UCAS points anyway, so would be fine).
    The content for Oxford, Harvard and Yale are mostly on YouTube, whilst Open University has a good website too (though long time since watched).
    Best of luck!
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    I did 5 A levels and the EPQ. My school only allows 4 A levels so I did taught myself Further Maths and entered as a private candidate. To tell you the truth, the only reason I got through it is because I really enjoy maths - but even then I was really pushed for time towards exam time.
    Got a whole load of Uni feedback from all sorts of Uni's this year and they all say the same thing wrt the number of A levels - 3 is enough, 4 is great, 5 is exceptional. BUT doing well in 3 is a lot more impressive than doing okay in 5
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    (Original post by ermm)
    I did 5 A levels and the EPQ. My school only allows 4 A levels so I did taught myself Further Maths and entered as a private candidate. To tell you the truth, the only reason I got through it is because I really enjoy maths - but even then I was really pushed for time towards exam time.
    Got a whole load of Uni feedback from all sorts of Uni's this year and they all say the same thing wrt the number of A levels - 3 is enough, 4 is great, 5 is exceptional. BUT doing well in 3 is a lot more impressive than doing okay in 5
    Just curious, what were you applying for? And where were you accepted? Because I'm considering doing what you've done but it really really does seem like A LOT of work. I'm already pulling my hair out with all the things I need to do for school :-/
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    3 subjects are enough. you won't learn 6 in 6 months.It's really tough to. Just take the main ones. Think of which degree your gonna do and choose the specific alevel subjects.Check the uni web for which course your gonna take and the alevel subjects they require.
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    (Original post by TheAnnabelle)
    Just curious, what were you applying for? And where were you accepted? Because I'm considering doing what you've done but it really really does seem like A LOT of work. I'm already pulling my hair out with all the things I need to do for school :-/
    I applied for Physics and a few variations of it. I was accepted by Imperial, Warwick, Bristol, Durham and MIT.
    I'd say it's worth doing, but you should be fairly confident that you're going to have the willpower to see it through to the end. I always found the first half of the year a lot easier than the second half as the content starts of easier and then progressively gets harder. I also had a tendency to leave difficult topics (like stupid FP3 vectors) till the very end and then struggle a little.
    Another note, I'm on my gap year and applied to Cambridge twice. Both times I was pooled (almost entirely because I'm a bit useless at Chemistry) and an important part of the feedback I got was the vast majority of the students who received offers did 4 or less subjects.
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    Like other people said, id take fewer subjects.
    It is possible to do well in a lot of subjects, but it will be really hard.
    I knew a chinese girl at 6th form who did 6 a-levels. She did biology, chemistry, physics, maths, further maths and general studies (which was compulsory). She got AAAAAD. The D was in general studies. She actually got full marks in some exams. This was the last year before the A* grade came in, so had she done them a year later- the 5 A's would all have been A*'s. She also did voluntary work etc. But on the other hand she had no spare time or social life.
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    (Original post by ermm)
    I applied for Physics and a few variations of it. I was accepted by Imperial, Warwick, Bristol, Durham and MIT.
    I'd say it's worth doing, but you should be fairly confident that you're going to have the willpower to see it through to the end. I always found the first half of the year a lot easier than the second half as the content starts of easier and then progressively gets harder. I also had a tendency to leave difficult topics (like stupid FP3 vectors) till the very end and then struggle a little.
    Another note, I'm on my gap year and applied to Cambridge twice. Both times I was pooled (almost entirely because I'm a bit useless at Chemistry) and an important part of the feedback I got was the vast majority of the students who received offers did 4 or less subjects.
    Thanks so much! I think I might leave my A-levels at 4 in that case and maybe do some other things to amp up my app!
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    You're putting too much pressure on yourself. Also bare in mind you can get into the best universities despite studying 4 A levels.


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    (Original post by CallMeJay)
    You're putting too much pressure on yourself. Also bare in mind you can get into the best universities despite studying 4 A levels.


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    I may be getting old, but isn't the norm still 3 A levels?
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    I may be getting old, but isn't the norm still 3 A levels?
    Correct, for most UK university courses.
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    (Original post by hellodave5)
    I may be getting old, but isn't the norm still 3 A levels?
    Indeed I should've been more clear. Do 4 AS subjects, then drop one at A2


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