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Am I being too ambitious? Advice on five A Levels Watch

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    I am predicted A*s or As in the GCSEs I have just taken and am now really struggling to narrow down my choices for A Level.
    I understand that there is an incredible leap in both difficulty and workload once you start Sixth Form and based on what I have heard from just about everyone I have spoken to, it essentially sounds like one huge nightmare.
    Although I am so determined to do well, especially as I am moving to a new school into a significantly smaller year group than previously and know I would put the hours in if not more, I am very apprehensive about taking 5 A Levels, but wouldn't know where to start if I were to think of dropping one.
    I am considering the following:

    Chemistry
    Biology
    Psychology
    English Literature
    German

    Ideally I would love to end up in the field of Psychiatry, but I am concerned about the competition in terms of applying to study medicine without Maths? I am fairly confident for an A in the GCSE but it is really not my thing or something I feel I could ever find enjoyable.
    Nonetheless I do have a great interest in science so definitely want to pursue Chemistry and Biology. Again, my passion really is about the mind and mental health so I feel Psychology links very well. (Could I potentially drop it at AS or would this just look like I just gave up?)
    I am certain for an A* in the English Literature GCSE and my teacher always said I was at AS/A2 standard in my essay writing. It seems something that has just always come naturally to me. It is more a subject for enjoyment and interest than for academic purposes as I just know it is something I would love and that it wouldn't even feel like work, but would it be facilitating even though I wouldn't combine it solely with other humanities? (Could also drop at AS?)
    Finally, my mother is half German so I have lots of German family and other connections so this is would be a very important subject to me on a personal level in order for me to maintain contact with relatives and friends in the future. I feel as though if I didn't choose this as an A Level I would be letting down expectations and know that I wouldn't find time to learn the language as a hobby. I understand that the grammatical side of things becomes very challenging but obviously I would have lots of help available at home.
    Help?!


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    I'm not sure where this myth that you need maths for a medicine application comes from, but your choices of A level are fine for medicine. No university specifies that you at all need maths at A level, and only Cambridge wants you to have 3 of bio, chem, physics and maths at A level. So be aware that you won't be able to apply to Cambridge with your choices, but all the other unis will not care.

    5 AS levels are certainly manageable if you organise your time well. It won't help you in terms of your application in all honesty, so only do it if you have a passion for all of the subjects. You could always start off with 5 and then drop one if you're finding it too difficult to manage.

    Oh and your offer will be for 3 subjects in most cases... unis usually expect you to take 4 AS and then drop one for A2. I'm sure no uni will hold it against you if you don't carry on with 5 A levels.
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    (Original post by Stephanie122)
    Help?!
    http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/cont...AS-results-day

    I hope this helps in some way - certainly, Cambridge don't discriminate over the amount of A-levels you do at A2, so I might be inclined to take 3.
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    You might be better off looking into doing the international baccalaureate. The IB means you could do all of these subjects, but with a focus on 3 at a Higher Level and less of a focus on 3 at Standard Level. It means you'd have to do one more subject (which would be maths) but the IB offers Maths studies SL which is a level between AS and GCSE

    you could do HL chemistry biology and psychology

    SL maths studies, German and English lit, and you'd be able to continue them all for two years
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    My friend has finished his AS exams in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Computing and Physics. The only university he has in mind is Cambridge. He has managed really well, although it can be stressful from what i've seen. As long as you're determined and have the motivation to put in the extra hours then nothing is really stopping you!
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    If you're interested in pursuing psychology at uni then, do psychology, biology and english literature as a minimum. Why? Because you need psychology a level to have a basic understanding, biology because at uni you will learn about things like the brain so it's helpful to understand the basic biochemistry of the body at a level, rather than trying to learn them at uni. English literature because like psychology, there's a lot of interpretation to be done, plus, both subjects requires a lot of written work.

    I personally didn't do 5 a levels, i did 4AS, and 3A2s, and although i'm not in medicine, i'm in dentistry, so..... no point lol.

    As for a fourth a level, chemistry or german? I would do german because in the future, you can have german patients or go to germany to work, and language is a real plus to have on your CV nowadays in this competitive job market.
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    5 AS level is definitely not uncommon. I intend on 5 AS too. 5 A level though might be a but different. Some unis interpret lots of A levels as being uncertain about decisions and so might think you aren't devoted to the 1 course at uni. If you're aiming for top grades and Oxbridge, consider the "highly desirable" subjects, bearing in mind lots of applicants will have those subjects. http://www.study.cam.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/pbs/
    If you're really interested about psychology, do some work experience (quite hard to find but worth it for uni applications) and consider replacing psychology (often seen as a soft subject) with maths, seeing as psychology a level isn't even mentioned on the Oxbridge websites. Just do plenty of reading around the subjects. With German, that is definitely a good option, and you can even take pyschology with German at some unis with a year abroad. I would stick to the facilitating subjects, mainly the sciences, especially if you're good at them and can get the A*AA you need
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    (Original post by Aillias)
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    (Original post by Mia1001)
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    The OP wants to do Psychiatry, not Psychology. This would require them to apply for medicine, not Psychology, and therefore they will need chemistry.

    As for Psychology A-Level, there's no problem with them taking it. Having a bunch of traditional 'facilitating' subjects and one 'new' subject is not a problem at all. You certainly don't need all traditional subjects.

    OP: I did very similar subjects to you (Physics and Maths instead of German and Biology, but I did the other 3) at AS, and I didn't find it a problem. I still got excellent grades in them all, just use your time well. If you want to do 5, I'd say go for it based on your grades. You can always drop one after a few weeks if you struggle. However, don't take 5 just because you think it will give you an edge in your application.
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    I was planning on taking A level French as I want to live in France or Switzerland when I'm older. However, I came to the conclusion that the only thing that would actually benefit me would be doing the course not having the qualification. So I decided that I wouldn't take it and just learn French at home. So, if I were you, I'd do the other four and learn German in your spare time. Unless, of course having a qualification in A-level German would help you in anyway?
    Hope I helped
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    The OP wants to do Psychiatry, not Psychology. This would require them to apply for medicine, not Psychology, and therefore they will need chemistry.

    As for Psychology A-Level, there's no problem with them taking it. Having a bunch of traditional 'facilitating' subjects and one 'new' subject is not a problem at all. You certainly don't need all traditional subjects.

    OP: I did very similar subjects to you (Physics and Maths instead of German and Biology, but I did the other 3) at AS, and I didn't find it a problem. I still got excellent grades in them all, just use your time well. If you want to do 5, I'd say go for it based on your grades. You can always drop one after a few weeks if you struggle. However, don't take 5 just because you think it will give you an edge in your application.
    My mistake, I do apologise.
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    (Original post by Aillias)
    If you're interested in pursuing psychology at uni then, do psychology, biology and english literature as a minimum. Why? Because you need psychology a level to have a basic understanding, biology because at uni you will learn about things like the brain so it's helpful to understand the basic biochemistry of the body at a level, rather than trying to learn them at uni. English literature because like psychology, there's a lot of interpretation to be done, plus, both subjects requires a lot of written work.

    I personally didn't do 5 a levels, i did 4AS, and 3A2s, and although i'm not in medicine, i'm in dentistry, so..... no point lol.

    As for a fourth a level, chemistry or german? I would do german because in the future, you can have german patients or go to germany to work, and language is a real plus to have on your CV nowadays in this competitive job market.
    Umm i want to be a psychologist and ive picked:
    Biology
    Psychology
    Economics
    English Literature(might change this to R.S)

    are they okay?
    and what are the best unis for psychology interms of job prospects?
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    (Original post by easyastau)
    I was planning on taking A level French as I want to live in France or Switzerland when I'm older. However, I came to the conclusion that the only thing that would actually benefit me would be doing the course not having the qualification. So I decided that I wouldn't take it and just learn French at home. So, if I were you, I'd do the other four and learn German in your spare time. Unless, of course having a qualification in A-level German would help you in anyway?
    Hope I helped
    Why turn down the opportunity to get free teaching from an expert, though? I think it makes sense to take the course, unless you think it will be too much work or take up too much time.
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    At the end of the day, it's down to you but my friend got 10 A*'s at IGCSE at a top Independent School in Hertfordshire and she was even told 5 is a waste of time and can jeopardise her other grades. I don't have personal experience in this matter but I'd advise that you don't take that risk. Another one of my friends had an interview at a sixth she was applying to and she's set to get 10 A*'s and 1 A at GCSE; they told her not to bother with five because she'll have absolutely no free periods and it'll be hectic. She's doing German, Biology (was Maths), Chemistry and Physics at AS-Level (set to drop German or continue all four to A2).

    Personal opinion: do what you think is best but I wouldn't be surprised if you did struggle with five, most do.
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    (Original post by JayJay-C19)
    Personal opinion: do what you think is best but I wouldn't be surprised if you did struggle with five, most do.
    I wouldn't say most do, I'd go for most would if they took 5. From my experience of people taking 5, most of them seemed to cope fine.
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    Why turn down the opportunity to get free teaching from an expert, though? I think it makes sense to take the course, unless you think it will be too much work or take up too much time.
    I guess but with languages most people (not everyone though) learn better out of the classroom
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    (Original post by PythianLegume)
    I wouldn't say most do, I'd go for most would if they took 5. From my experience of people taking 5, most of them seemed to cope fine.
    That's fine but I wouldn't say most would because that isn't MY experience. However, fine.
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    I can't judge the subject choice. However, with respect to the number of A Levels, I offer this. Doing 5 A Levels is definitely possible and it's the right choice for a number of people. However, you should only do it if you're certain you'll be able to deal with the work load and you're doing them all for pleasure. You have to enjoy them all, or you definitely will not cope.

    One important thing to bear in mind: doing 5 A Levels will not give you an advantage with respect to university admissions. They would much rather see 4 outstanding grades than 5 very good grades. If you are able to do 5 subjects at the same standard as you'd do 4 at then that's great, but that's a big if.
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    (Original post by scrawlx101)
    Umm i want to be a psychologist and ive picked:
    Biology
    Psychology
    Economics
    English Literature(might change this to R.S)

    are they okay?
    and what are the best unis for psychology interms of job prospects?
    Russell Groups are always going to be better than non russell groups in terms of job prospects, sorry if I offend anyone.
 
 
 
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