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    Hi,
    This is my first post in TSR and I need some help with picking my options next month.

    I would like to go to LSE to study Economics as it is my dream school and perfect location (20 mins from home). But for the sake of this thread, lets just include any top university.

    So I know LSE Economics requires A-Level Maths so defiantely picking that.
    They also strongly prefer Further Maths so that too.
    For a science, the most interesting one for me is Chemistry.
    Now, LSE don't require Economics but I think I can get a very good grade in it as I am very interested in the subject and all the topics and things that you study.

    A person on another thread said that for Economics at a top university, 5 A2's is the best thing to do. Obviously it is the best thing but is it possible to even get relatively good grades while doing 5 A2's. Nevermind the exam stress but leading up to it, all the workload?

    Do people who actually go to Oxbridge, LSE and UCL etc. do 5 A2's?

    Because I really want to go to a top university but don't think I can handle the workload of 5 A2's

    I will be ok with 5 AS and 4 A2's I think, hopefully.

    My fifth AS could be either History or Sociology but I don't which one universities think is better. The History AS topics at my school are the most boring things to me but the A2 topics are the most interesting topics I know. So choosing history depends on my previous questions about whether 5 A2's are a lot.

    Another subject I would be very interested in is Sociology but is it any good according to the top universities? It also doesn't have any coursework requirements for my schools chosen exam board which is really great for me since they always bring down my grade. History has a 25% coursework requirement.

    Basically what I want to know is:
    Whether sociology is a good a-level to do at AS and then drop?
    To do 5 AS then 4 A2 is best idea?
    Or 5 AS and 5 A2 is even possible to then go and get A's in all subjects and A*'s?
    How hard the mechanics modules in FM are for someone who doesn't enjoy physics or that kind of maths but is good at and enjoys other modules?
    What usual applicants and students of Economics at top universities did for A-level and what they got around?
    How much workload there actually is in year 12 and 13?

    Thank you to all who reply.
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    It's good you're already planning for University before starting for your A-Levels, some advice:

    1) Start self-teaching A-Level Mathematics now (Core 1, Core 2) so you find the workload easier to handle when you start college.
    2) Start self-teaching Economics now, again to lessen the workload. I have made a thread for this.
    3) If you plan on doing Economics as a degree, especially at the top Universities then picking Statistics modules in Maths is wise (S1 - S4)
    4) Only you will know how much you can handle but if you are prepared to work hard then 5 A2 is indeed possible.

    If you plan on doing 5 A-Levels then I'd personally pick the following:

    1) Mathematics
    2) Further Mathematics
    3) Economics
    4) Chemistry - If you want as the above 3 are really all you need
    5) Government & Politics - It goes well with Economics but same can be said about Sociology I guess.

    Good luck!
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    To answer your questions:

    (i) I wouldn't bother with sociology - it's perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a soft subject. History would be a much better choice.

    (ii) If you can honestly manage 5 AS's then yes, but always remember that this is only viable if you will achieve A's in each. I don't actually know how much of a difference 5 makes over 4, but I know it only looks good if you nail the exams.

    (iii) Of course it's possible, it just makes the workload harder and harder to actually comfortably achieve those grades. You would struggle to get 5 A* at A2, so I would not advise attempting it - you're better off doing things like the EPQ.

    (iv) I do physics, but they're not too bad, mainly problem solving. Plus, the way the FM system works means that you wouldn't even have to take mechanics as you could take FP3, FP4, S3, S4, etc instead of the mechanics modules if you're that against them. Your maths should be good enough to cope with mechanics if you're looking to do Economics at LSE which is very mathematical. If you take the mechanics modules and physics, as the courses in parts run in parallel it would be a beneficial choice for both subjects.

    (v) I saw a page on the LSE website (will have a look to link in a moment) that said their, essentially, 'ideal' student will study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and History. The majority of 'top universities' provide very mathematical courses, so most candidates will have Maths and Further Maths. Most will have a science, and most likely the more mathematical/statistical ones, so Chemistry or Physics (but I would suggest Physics potentially goes better with M & FM). Then, most likely either History, Economics, Government and Politics*, Geography, English Literature or another solid written based subject. *Gov & P appears as semi-soft in some university lists, eg Cambridge Trinity College, so best to take History if you can. At LSE they will have most likely A*A*A minimum, with the odd exception, but the majority of people on the course will have the IB or other international qualification. LSE, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, etc will all get high calibre applicants as all the courses are slightly different and appeal to different people, so I would be wary of applying to all 'top universities' as you describe them. Outside of LSE, I would say that it remains pretty similar to A*A*A at the Universities just mentioned, with perhaps more A*AA or AAA students. Oxford put more weight on the TSA and AS's than other courses and their respective tests to differentiate between candidates, as the course is the Universities' most competitive.

    (vi) Depends how you manage your time. From experience here, it's better to do an hour a day for the whole year, than end up slogging 16 hour days at the end. This never happened, but we were meant to get one .5-1hour homework after each lesson, and do one hour of self study for each lesson. We had 16 hours timetabled at AS, so I guess the workload is about 48 hours per week for 4 AS levels. You probably wouldn't need to do quite that much, but it would be close.

    EDIT: Here's the quote from the LSE website - they've reworded it from last year - "In addition to Maths, the selectors prefer to see subject combinations which indicate that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Subjects which appear as common post-16 choices are Economics (although not a required subject); Physics; History; Chemistry; English and Government and Politics."

    Trinity college Cambridge link, here.

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    Thanks for your reply.

    I have done further maths gcse which from what my teachers have said is the majority of C1 but yes I have planned to already spend some of this summer reading and teaching myself as much as I can of maths chemistry and economics. I just need to gather some textbooks and then i will start.

    I was just like wondering how many people have done 5 A2's and how they coped and what they got and if it is actually necessary.
    I understand why you said government and politics but I find the exam board topics my school have chosen to be very boring and so I'd probably not do well.

    Since LSE prefer FM I am going to do it but they have also said that 3 A2 with 2 being Maths and FM, and 3rd being another subject, doesn't give me enough variety so they don't like that. So thats why I want/need to do 4 atleast. So that my 4th subject gives me a range.
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    (Original post by vimto39)
    To answer your questions:

    (i) I wouldn't bother with sociology - it's perceived (rightly or wrongly) as a soft subject. History would be a much better choice.

    (ii) If you can honestly manage 5 AS's then yes, but always remember that this is only viable if you will achieve A's in each. I don't actually know how much of a difference 5 makes over 4, but I know it only looks good if you nail the exams.

    (iii) Of course it's possible, it just makes the workload harder and harder to actually comfortably achieve those grades. You would struggle to get 5 A* at A2, so I would not advise attempting it - you're better off doing things like the EPQ.

    (iv) I do physics, but they're not too bad, mainly problem solving. Plus, the way the FM system works means that you wouldn't even have to take mechanics as you could take FP3, FP4, S3, S4, etc instead of the mechanics modules if you're that against them. Your maths should be good enough to cope with mechanics if you're looking to do Economics at LSE which is very mathematical. If you take the mechanics modules and physics, as the courses in parts run in parallel it would be a beneficial choice for both subjects.

    (v) I saw a page on the LSE website (will have a look to link in a moment) that said their, essentially, 'ideal' student will study Maths, Further Maths, Physics and History. The majority of 'top universities' provide very mathematical courses, so most candidates will have Maths and Further Maths. Most will have a science, and most likely the more mathematical/statistical ones, so Chemistry or Physics (but I would suggest Physics potentially goes better with M & FM). Then, most likely either History, Economics, Government and Politics*, Geography, English Literature or another solid written based subject. *Gov & P appears as semi-soft in some university lists, eg Cambridge Trinity College, so best to take History if you can. At LSE they will have most likely A*A*A minimum, with the odd exception, but the majority of people on the course will have the IB or other international qualification. LSE, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, Warwick, etc will all get high calibre applicants as all the courses are slightly different and appeal to different people, so I would be wary of applying to all 'top universities' as you describe them. Outside of LSE, I would say that it remains pretty similar to A*A*A at the Universities just mentioned, with perhaps more A*AA or AAA students. Oxford put more weight on the TSA and AS's than other courses and their respective tests to differentiate between candidates, as the course is the Universities' most competitive.

    (vi) Depends how you manage your time. From experience here, it's better to do an hour a day for the whole year, than end up slogging 16 hour days at the end. This never happened, but we were meant to get one .5-1hour homework after each lesson, and do one hour of self study for each lesson. We had 16 hours timetabled at AS, so I guess the workload is about 48 hours per week for 4 AS levels. You probably wouldn't need to do quite that much, but it would be close.

    EDIT: Here's the quote from the LSE website - they've reworded it from last year - "In addition to Maths, the selectors prefer to see subject combinations which indicate that you possess both analytical and writing abilities. Subjects which appear as common post-16 choices are Economics (although not a required subject); Physics; History; Chemistry; English and Government and Politics."

    Trinity college Cambridge link, here.

    Thank you soo much for your reply.
    Personally, I hate physics and would definately get a very bad grade if I were to do it. Its not because I am overall a bad or mediocre student because ( just to defend myself at a risk of sounding like im aiming way way too high for LSE), I did get an A grade in y10 additional science and have now retaken to get a* this year and I got A* in maths in y10 and in yr8 got an A (my school made some people take it). But physics I just find very complicated.

    The history course at my school includes some ok but a bit boring modules in yr12 but very interesting modules in y13. So if I can cope and deal with y12 history , then I wouldn't mind doing history. If what you say is true and that sociology is a soft subject, then I guess I will do History.

    I do want to be realistic though and that is the reason for my questions about how many to take and the workload.

    Your fifth point is very appreciated and I understand what you're saying.
    SO, now I have some idea of options:
    Maths, F. Maths, Chemistry, Economics, History

    Thanks again.
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    (Original post by sadaf2)
    Hi,
    This is my first post in TSR and I need some help with picking my options next month.

    I would like to go to LSE to study Economics as it is my dream school and perfect location (20 mins from home). But for the sake of this thread, lets just include any top university.

    So I know LSE Economics requires A-Level Maths so defiantely picking that.
    They also strongly prefer Further Maths so that too.
    For a science, the most interesting one for me is Chemistry.
    Now, LSE don't require Economics but I think I can get a very good grade in it as I am very interested in the subject and all the topics and things that you study.

    A person on another thread said that for Economics at a top university, 5 A2's is the best thing to do. Obviously it is the best thing but is it possible to even get relatively good grades while doing 5 A2's. Nevermind the exam stress but leading up to it, all the workload?

    Do people who actually go to Oxbridge, LSE and UCL etc. do 5 A2's?

    Because I really want to go to a top university but don't think I can handle the workload of 5 A2's

    I will be ok with 5 AS and 4 A2's I think, hopefully.

    My fifth AS could be either History or Sociology but I don't which one universities think is better. The History AS topics at my school are the most boring things to me but the A2 topics are the most interesting topics I know. So choosing history depends on my previous questions about whether 5 A2's are a lot.

    Another subject I would be very interested in is Sociology but is it any good according to the top universities? It also doesn't have any coursework requirements for my schools chosen exam board which is really great for me since they always bring down my grade. History has a 25% coursework requirement.

    Basically what I want to know is:
    Whether sociology is a good a-level to do at AS and then drop?
    To do 5 AS then 4 A2 is best idea?
    Or 5 AS and 5 A2 is even possible to then go and get A's in all subjects and A*'s?
    How hard the mechanics modules in FM are for someone who doesn't enjoy physics or that kind of maths but is good at and enjoys other modules?
    What usual applicants and students of Economics at top universities did for A-level and what they got around?
    How much workload there actually is in year 12 and 13?

    Thank you to all who reply.
    You won't need 5 ASs, let alone A2s. It's not so bad though, I'm at the end of year 12 having done 4 ASs and 1 A2 this year and will continue with the remaining 4 next year.

    You can still get good grades doing 5, but be prepared to cut down on everything else you do (I didn't and felt like I was close to a breakdown :') )

    If you're not sure about the mechanics modules, just don't use them (if you have a choice). I've done M1, S1 and D1 and they are all easy. S1 involves a lot of shoving numbers into formulae and isn't very exciting but...
    D1 you may not know much about, but if you have the choice, I'd take it. It's ridiculously easy.

    Back to the doing 5 point- If you have 5, they will look at them all and could well make you an offer which involves 4 A levels (or very rarely 5). If you only have 3 or 4, they will almost certainly stick to the standard 3 A level offer.

    The workload very much depends on the subject. Chemistry has a lot of learning (memorising), maths is fine if you understand it easily. Coursework/essay subjects require a lot more effort (I did computing which has monster coursework and resulted in a few late nights and i heard similar from people taking english/history etc.)

    Hope this helps
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    (Original post by sadaf2)
    Hi,

    Do people who actually go to Oxbridge, LSE and UCL etc. do 5 A2's?

    Basically what I want to know is:
    Whether sociology is a good a-level to do at AS and then drop?
    To do 5 AS then 4 A2 is best idea?
    Or 5 AS and 5 A2 is even possible to then go and get A's in all subjects and A*'s?
    How hard the mechanics modules in FM are for someone who doesn't enjoy physics or that kind of maths but is good at and enjoys other modules?
    What usual applicants and students of Economics at top universities did for A-level and what they got around?
    How much workload there actually is in year 12 and 13?

    Thank you to all who reply.
    Having got offers for Econ and Stats at UCL and straight Economics at LSE, I can tell you the bit about 5 A2's is absolute rubbish.

    I did 4 AS in year 12 then added AS FM in year 13, but dropped Physics, so did 5 AS, 3 to A2. However, doing FM to A2 you need to do 4 A2's as 3 wouldn't give you enough range of knowledge (what all major uni's say).

    I have no knowledge of Sociology but if you like it do it, I did Product Design so they're not too picky provided you give a reason for choosing it.

    Not too sure why you would do mechanics for applied modules in Mathhs/FM when Statistics is used loads in a economics degree (if doing both Maths and FM I'd suggest S1,2,3,4 and D1,2 (decision is much easier but maybe M1 instead of D2))

    Lots of people at LSE economics offers day did Maths (everyone), Economics (most), FM (a lot, prob more than half), Physics or another science or possibly History, basically anything academic
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    (Original post by stripeyghost)
    You won't need 5 ASs, let alone A2s. It's not so bad though, I'm at the end of year 12 having done 4 ASs and 1 A2 this year and will continue with the remaining 4 next year.

    You can still get good grades doing 5, but be prepared to cut down on everything else you do (I didn't and felt like I was close to a breakdown :') )

    If you're not sure about the mechanics modules, just don't use them (if you have a choice). I've done M1, S1 and D1 and they are all easy. S1 involves a lot of shoving numbers into formulae and isn't very exciting but...
    D1 you may not know much about, but if you have the choice, I'd take it. It's ridiculously easy.

    Back to the doing 5 point- If you have 5, they will look at them all and could well make you an offer which involves 4 A levels (or very rarely 5). If you only have 3 or 4, they will almost certainly stick to the standard 3 A level offer.

    The workload very much depends on the subject. Chemistry has a lot of learning (memorising), maths is fine if you understand it easily. Coursework/essay subjects require a lot more effort (I did computing which has monster coursework and resulted in a few late nights and i heard similar from people taking english/history etc.)

    Hope this helps
    I don't think I have a choice for mechanics but I will email my maths teachers now to ask again. Thank you for your answer. I see your point about doing 5 and from what I hear doing 3 A2's is already hard enough so I can imagine doing 5! Obviously 5 is best but I don't think the person who said to do 5 in this other post was being very realistic. I just hate coursework so need to ask my history teacher about that too. Thanks again for your response. Helped me a lot.
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    (Original post by leinad2012)
    Having got offers for Econ and Stats at UCL and straight Economics at LSE, I can tell you the bit about 5 A2's is absolute rubbish.

    I did 4 AS in year 12 then added AS FM in year 13, but dropped Physics, so did 5 AS, 3 to A2. However, doing FM to A2 you need to do 4 A2's as 3 wouldn't give you enough range of knowledge (what all major uni's say).

    I have no knowledge of Sociology but if you like it do it, I did Product Design so they're not too picky provided you give a reason for choosing it.

    Not too sure why you would do mechanics for applied modules in Mathhs/FM when Statistics is used loads in a economics degree (if doing both Maths and FM I'd suggest S1,2,3,4 and D1,2 (decision is much easier but maybe M1 instead of D2))

    Lots of people at LSE economics offers day did Maths (everyone), Economics (most), FM (a lot, prob more than half), Physics or another science or possibly History, basically anything academic
    I've asked my maths teachers before and they've said that Id have to do m1 and m2 but they didn't seem very certain :l so I will email them now to get a final proper answer hopefully! I will do maths, f.maths,chemistry and economics but my final one is between history and sociology. I personally think I'd do better in AS socio than history and since its between these two which I will drop, then I should pick sociology but apparently it is a soft subject but like you said hopefully they are not very picky. Thanks again.
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    (Original post by sadaf2)
    Hi,
    This is my first post in TSR and I need some help with picking my options next month.

    I would like to go to LSE to study Economics as it is my dream school and perfect location (20 mins from home). But for the sake of this thread, lets just include any top university.

    So I know LSE Economics requires A-Level Maths so defiantely picking that.
    They also strongly prefer Further Maths so that too.
    For a science, the most interesting one for me is Chemistry.
    Now, LSE don't require Economics but I think I can get a very good grade in it as I am very interested in the subject and all the topics and things that you study.

    A person on another thread said that for Economics at a top university, 5 A2's is the best thing to do. Obviously it is the best thing but is it possible to even get relatively good grades while doing 5 A2's. Nevermind the exam stress but leading up to it, all the workload?

    Do people who actually go to Oxbridge, LSE and UCL etc. do 5 A2's?

    Because I really want to go to a top university but don't think I can handle the workload of 5 A2's

    I will be ok with 5 AS and 4 A2's I think, hopefully.

    My fifth AS could be either History or Sociology but I don't which one universities think is better. The History AS topics at my school are the most boring things to me but the A2 topics are the most interesting topics I know. So choosing history depends on my previous questions about whether 5 A2's are a lot.

    Another subject I would be very interested in is Sociology but is it any good according to the top universities? It also doesn't have any coursework requirements for my schools chosen exam board which is really great for me since they always bring down my grade. History has a 25% coursework requirement.

    Basically what I want to know is:
    Whether sociology is a good a-level to do at AS and then drop?
    To do 5 AS then 4 A2 is best idea?
    Or 5 AS and 5 A2 is even possible to then go and get A's in all subjects and A*'s?
    How hard the mechanics modules in FM are for someone who doesn't enjoy physics or that kind of maths but is good at and enjoys other modules?
    What usual applicants and students of Economics at top universities did for A-level and what they got around?
    How much workload there actually is in year 12 and 13?

    Thank you to all who reply.

    • Don't set your heart out on LSE. It's very competitive. UCL is right next to LSE and is almost as good. Also if you're good enough for LSE, you're good enough for Oxbridge.
    • Definitely take m, fm, econ + one other. Please note that if you take 4 AS, you cannot drop any subject for A2 other than FM. Counter intuitive I know, so basically you have to stick to 4 A2.
    • Don't take 5 AS/A2, especially if it compromises your grades. I would strongly suggest 4 AS/A2, since LSE economics ask for modular scores, so you have to maximise. Many who get into top econ schools will have done 5, but it doesn't make a difference. If you do take a fifth, history would be the best choice for uni preparation, but sociology might be a better choice since it seems easy to maximise in. The choice you make won't matter because you're already doing 3 solid subjects. If you can't handle 5 A2s then you'll never be able to handle uni! I'm sure you can if you put some heart into it.
    • I don't particularly like physics and I sat M1 and M2 and I think I've done pretty well in them and found them relatively interesting.
    • A level workload isn't that much if you space it out from the start of the year. Doing m+fm will significantly cut time if you're natural.


    If you need for advice then feel free to PM me.
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    (Original post by sadaf2)
    I've asked my maths teachers before and they've said that Id have to do m1 and m2 but they didn't seem very certain :l so I will email them now to get a final proper answer hopefully! I will do maths, f.maths,chemistry and economics but my final one is between history and sociology. I personally think I'd do better in AS socio than history and since its between these two which I will drop, then I should pick sociology but apparently it is a soft subject but like you said hopefully they are not very picky. Thanks again.
    In that case tell them statistics is much more relevant to your uni course, and if they won't teach it learn it on your own (I self taught S2 and S3 it isn't very hard!)

    TBH the only reasons to pick 5 AS is if you REALLY like the fifth subject or you think you might not like one of the other subject (like chemistry is said to be very hard so you might want to drop it after AS)
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    (Original post by Mike_123)
    • Don't set your heart out on LSE. It's very competitive. UCL is right next to LSE and is almost as good. Also if you're good enough for LSE, you're good enough for Oxbridge.
    • Definitely take m, fm, econ + one other. Please note that if you take 4 AS, you cannot drop any subject for A2 other than FM. Counter intuitive I know, so basically you have to stick to 4 A2.
    • Don't take 5 AS/A2, especially if it compromises your grades. I would strongly suggest 4 AS/A2, since LSE economics ask for modular scores, so you have to maximise. Many who get into top econ schools will have done 5, but it doesn't make a difference. If you do take a fifth, history would be the best choice for uni preparation, but sociology might be a better choice since it seems easy to maximise in. The choice you make won't matter because you're already doing 3 solid subjects. If you can't handle 5 A2s then you'll never be able to handle uni! I'm sure you can if you put some heart into it.
    • I don't particularly like physics and I sat M1 and M2 and I think I've done pretty well in them and found them relatively interesting.
    • A level workload isn't that much if you space it out from the start of the year. Doing m+fm will significantly cut time if you're natural.


    If you need for advice then feel free to PM me.
    Thank you, I didn't know they would ask for specific scores so now it only makes sense to do 5 as then 4a2 , this summer I'm planning to do some of the topics and teach myself for them to then help me during the year. The only reason I said LSE is just that I want a good university in London(where I live) so it is all easier and cheaper. So yeah , I also would like to go UCL too. Thanks again.
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    (Original post by leinad2012)
    In that case tell them statistics is much more relevant to your uni course, and if they won't teach it learn it on your own (I self taught S2 and S3 it isn't very hard!)

    TBH the only reasons to pick 5 AS is if you REALLY like the fifth subject or you think you might not like one of the other subject (like chemistry is said to be very hard so you might want to drop it after AS)

    Yeah I'm just waiting for a reply back from them and hopefully I wouldn't have to do mechanics but if I do then ill just deal with it.

    Hopefully chemistry wont be too hard! I do enjoy sociology a lot though so I might do that but yeah thanks a lot for your help.
 
 
 
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