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

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Hello,

    I'm starting year 11 soon and so will be coming to a decision on what to study for my A-levels, however, I don't have a clue what I want to do. Ideally, A levels should be tailored to what I want to study at Uni but (surprise surprise) I don't know what to do there either. And don't even ask me about a career choice.

    I've been really enjoying physics recently and decided that no matter what, I'd like to carry it on at A level. Despite this, I'm not sure whether it's suited for me at Uni. The courses look so complex and difficult, and I already work hard just to understand the basics of my course now (probably to do with substandard teaching through primary and most of secondary) I'm still planning on getting A/A*s for the triple sciences, as well as an A* in maths. This is one option I'm considering for Uni, but because I don't feel as comfortable with the subject yet I don't know how I'd cope (though I'm still really interested and willing to put the work in).

    My other option is going down the languages route and choosing eng lit, lang and others. I'm naturally gifted at analysing texts and find that I can already complete tasks to an A level standard. However, the courses I've looked at for literature/linguistics just look so dull and I haven't been reading outside of school for a while. I'm also expected an A* in my english GCSEs.

    That might confuse you a bit, but my final questions are as follows: what is the workload like for a typical physics course at Uni? What is the subject like at a more prestigious Uni (like Oxbridge or any others you can recommend)? For both an average Uni and a prestigious Uni, how big is the leap from A level to Uni? And finally, do you think I should put the work in for physics/maths because I'm interested in them or take english because it'll be easier for me?

    Thanks
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    For A levels, pick the 4 (or 5, as some people do) subjects you most enjoy. If you're considering physics, maths and physics A levels are a must. Further maths would also be very useful (especially for top unis, where it's almost a requirement), but given that you're unsure about what you'll do at uni, you might feel that further maths would specialise you too much.

    That said, the only entry requirement for an English degree is English A level (I know someone with an offer for English at Oxford, who's doing English, chemistry and maths). So if you do further maths, I don't think it'd really hurt your chances of getting into uni for English.

    As an aside, I would (completely biased-ly) encourage you to consider chemistry at A level. I didn't enjoy it at GCSE, but love it now.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    So you're put off physics because it looks hard? COME ON! You're learning how the universe works!

    Physics > all

    :unimpressed:
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StarvingAutist)
    So you're put off physics because it looks hard? COME ON! You're learning how the universe works!

    Physics > all

    :unimpressed:
    Hehe, except for maths, perhaps. In response to the OP, consider doing an English A level (Lit I think). As long as you do maths and physics as well, you should keep your options open. The fourth one will be trickier, I would also suggest Further maths, as another poster did. You might want to ask some teachers though.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by William Turtle)
    For A levels, pick the 4 (or 5, as some people do) subjects you most enjoy. If you're considering physics, maths and physics A levels are a must. Further maths would also be very useful (especially for top unis, where it's almost a requirement), but given that you're unsure about what you'll do at uni, you might feel that further maths would specialise you too much.

    That said, the only entry requirement for an English degree is English A level (I know someone with an offer for English at Oxford, who's doing English, chemistry and maths). So if you do further maths, I don't think it'd really hurt your chances of getting into uni for English.

    As an aside, I would (completely biased-ly) encourage you to consider chemistry at A level. I didn't enjoy it at GCSE, but love it now.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hm, so like Physics, Maths, Further Maths and English Lit? I'd consider it, because I do really well at maths anyway, but it's kinda boring at GCSE. Chemistry was always another option, though at the moment I'm just not finding it challenging - it seems to be just about learning the rules about bonding, elements, reactions etc.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by StarvingAutist)
    So you're put off physics because it looks hard? COME ON! You're learning how the universe works!

    Physics > all

    :unimpressed:

    I know, I know :rolleyes: but I'm used to being naturally good at things and physics is one of the only subjects that really makes me think and work hard to understand ideas. I'm not sure whether that's a good or bad thing - though I must admit that it is my favourite subject by a mile
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Oh and by the way, I'm currently doing my french AS level (to be completed at the end of year 11 with the rest of my GCSEs) so I wanted to finish that off for A2 in my first year of sixth - which makes my options even more confusing oops :confused:
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    Hm, so like Physics, Maths, Further Maths and English Lit? I'd consider it, because I do really well at maths anyway, but it's kinda boring at GCSE. Chemistry was always another option, though at the moment I'm just not finding it challenging - it seems to be just about learning the rules about bonding, elements, reactions etc.
    Absolutely maths is boring at GCSE, but the more you do, and the harder it gets, the more interesting it gets.

    I maintain that GCSE chemistry does not deserve the name. It was a complete joke. It was certainly my least favourite science at the time. For me, it was the biggest step up from GCSE, and it remained the most conceptually difficult of all my A levels (that is, harder than maths, physics and biology). Don't let me sway you if it's not something you want to do, though.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Pick subjects you enjoy for AS level - I did as I didn't know whether to go down the Arts or Sciences route! I studied Physics, Maths, English Lit and Music all the way through to A level and loved having the variety (and each gave me skills I have definitely used since!) Don't limit yourself at this point unless you have definite ideas of what you want to do as long as you'd enjoy and succeed at a wider range of subjects. One admissions tutor said they loved the fact I had taken a wide range as it meant they could see I had the necessary skills for the course, but could also bring a lot more to it too!

    Now I'm at one of the top UK physics departments, but could equally have gone on to study English or music!

    Also from my point of view, don't worry too much about further maths (if it means leaving something else out, it's pretty good as a 5th AS level). Not studying it hasn't limited me at all and didn't disadvantage me at any point. I didn't take it as it didn't fit in the timetable alongside my other options, but as other posters have said Maths at A level is really different to GCSE anyway so it is a good option to take if you can (much more interesting than GCSE).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pianofluteftw)
    Now I'm at one of the top UK physics departments, but could equally have gone on to study English or music!
    If you don't mind my asking, where did you study? Just so I can consider it also
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by h8skoooooool)
    If you don't mind my asking, where did you study? Just so I can consider it also
    Durham! I'm biased but it is awesome!

    I also applied to Oxford (didn't get the offer in the end) Bristol, Warwick and York (got offers from these three).
 
 
 
  • 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
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • 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.