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    After completing my GCSEs in June, the long summer has left me a lot of time to think about the future. I am pretty certain of my A-level choices (Maths, Biology, Chemistry and French) and have a clear idea of what I want to do (Plant science). If I were considering Natural Sciences (as a route into plant science) at Cambridge, would French be a waste at A-level?
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    (Original post by Brybrycg)
    After completing my GCSEs in June, the long summer has left me a lot of time to think about the future. I am pretty certain of my A-level choices (Maths, Biology, Chemistry and French) and have a clear idea of what I want to do (Plant science). If I were considering Natural Sciences (as a route into plant science) at Cambridge, would French be a waste at A-level?
    No - I personally think that having a language would look great, and it shows some diversity in your abilities :yep:
    It would show that you are able to do things that aren't maths/science... besides, languages are very useful
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    (Original post by Neuth)
    No - I personally think that having a language would look great, and it shows some diversity in your abilities :yep:
    It would show that you are able to do things that aren't maths/science... besides, languages are very useful
    That's a load of rubbish. French isn't a waste as it's academic but it certainly doesn't look great. He's doing a science degree and so any skills learnt in french will not be at all useful. On Cambridge Natural sciences it says candidates would find it useful to have a strong knowledge base across a wide range of science/maths subjects.
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    That's a load of rubbish. French isn't a waste as it's academic but it certainly doesn't look great. He's doing a science degree and so any skills learnt in french will not be at all useful. On Cambridge Natural sciences it says candidates would find it useful to have a strong knowledge base across a wide range of science/maths subjects.
    It's just my opinion, no need to have a go at me :erm:

    3 science/maths subjects is what the average entry is, it's a perfectly fine combination.
    Anything else is extra, and you don't need more science/maths subjects - it's not like the OP has to take physics too.

    I've spoken to admissions tutors and various other people at Cambridge who told me it was very useful to have a contrasting fourth option, and that they'd recommend a language, english lit/lang, history and other arts/humanities subjects.
    Languages are much more useful than you think.
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    It's not going to be any more benefit to you application-wise or academically having physics as well as the three sciences you're already doing.

    (Just to add I've chosen the same AS levels as you & also considering natural sciences at Cambridge)

    Not only is having a contrasting A Level in French going to show you have a wide range of abilities, it will give you a break from hardcore science subjects...not to mention having a second language is very useful, especially if you decided to travel in the future.

    Stick with what you've got, that's my advice
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    (Original post by Neuth)
    It's just my opinion, no need to have a go at me :erm:

    3 science/maths subjects is what the average entry is, it's a perfectly fine combination.
    Anything else is extra, and you don't need more science/maths subjects - it's not like the OP has to take physics too.

    I've spoken to admissions tutors and various other people at Cambridge who told me it was very useful to have a contrasting fourth option, and that they'd recommend a language, english lit/lang, history and other arts/humanities subjects.
    Languages are much more useful than you think.
    Sorry if you were offended . I was having a go at your opinion not you personally, I just feel that french is of no real use to a science degree... guess we just have different opinions .
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    Sorry if you were offended . I was having a go at your opinion not you personally, I just feel that french is of no real use to a science degree... guess we just have different opinions .
    It's okay...
    I do Art as my 5th As, which is a very controversial subject for a hopeful Medicine/Bio NatSci applicant :lol:
    But my other 4 are Bio, Chem, Maths and F. Maths, so it doesn't really matter.

    At the end of the day, OP, it's only the Science/Maths subjects that matter, really, so as long as you do well in them, your 4th option won't make much difference
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    (Original post by Neuth)
    It's okay...
    I do Art as my 5th As, which is a very controversial subject for a hopeful Medicine/Bio NatSci applicant :lol:
    But my other 4 are Bio, Chem, Maths and F. Maths, so it doesn't really matter.

    At the end of the day, OP, it's only the Science/Maths subjects that matter, really, so as long as you do well in them, your 4th option won't make much difference
    WOW that must be an incredible work load ( I've heard art takes up so much time!). How are you finding further maths? I considered it but have chosen physics instead (along with maths,bio,chem).
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    Agree with Neuth - having Maths, Biology & Chemistry should be enough to get you in. I'm pretty sure things like History or English would be considered sort of the optimal subject to choose as 4th, but if you don't want to study them there's no point doing them. Languages are tough to study and could open up doors to you in the future, I'm pretty sure they're viewed positively by unis.
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    (Original post by DH26)
    Agree with Neuth - having Maths, Biology & Chemistry should be enough to get you in. I'm pretty sure things like History or English would be considered sort of the optimal subject to choose as 4th, but if you don't want to study them there's no point doing them. Languages are tough to study and could open up doors to you in the future, I'm pretty sure they're viewed positively by unis.
    Why is history/ english optimal for a science degree? Surely with the maths involved at Cambridge- Natural Sciences a grasp of physics may be more beneficial and would also show a commitment to the sciences?
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    Why is history/ english optimal for a science degree? Surely with the maths involved at Cambridge- Natural Sciences a grasp of physics may be more beneficial and would also show a commitment to the sciences?
    Well history and english help you form skills that can be applied to most other subject areas. Physics would probably also be really beneficial, yes, but a commitment to the sciences is already shown. If the physics being learnt isn't going to be needed for the actual degree isn't it better to study something that provides skills that can be used in the degree and in employment? At least that's what I gathered from the talks and advice I had when looking into degrees.
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    (Original post by DH26)
    Well history and english help you form skills that can be applied to most other subject areas. Physics would probably also be really beneficial, yes, but a commitment to the sciences is already shown. If the physics being learnt isn't going to be needed for the actual degree isn't it better to study something that provides skills that can be used in the degree and in employment? At least that's what I gathered from the talks and advice I had when looking into degrees.
    This is from Clare College's website:
    For Natural Sciences, it is desirable that you take four science A-levels (usually from Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry). However, if you are unable to take four science subjects (e.g. because your school does not offer it) then you will be at no disadvantage when you apply (but please make this clear on your form).
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    This is from Clare College's website:
    For Natural Sciences, it is desirable that you take four science A-levels (usually from Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry). However, if you are unable to take four science subjects (e.g. because your school does not offer it) then you will be at no disadvantage when you apply (but please make this clear on your form).
    Ok, all I was doing was giving my opinion, which is what the OP wanted. Maybe you should be directing your information and thoughts about this to them, not to me?
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    (Original post by DH26)
    Ok, all I was doing was giving my opinion, which is what the OP wanted. Maybe you should be directing your information and thoughts about this to them, not to me?
    Oh yeah sorry didn't realise . I'm only trying to be helpful and as this course is so competitive the least an applicant could do is maximise their chance of an offer by taking the most desirable subjects. I'm just showing the advice of the actual university.
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    This is from Clare College's website:
    For Natural Sciences, it is desirable that you take four science A-levels (usually from Maths, Further Maths, Biology, Physics and Chemistry). However, if you are unable to take four science subjects (e.g. because your school does not offer it) then you will be at no disadvantage when you apply (but please make this clear on your form).
    Most colleges will let you do NatSci with 2, but 3 is always the prefered number :yep:

    Of course, the colleges all have separate admissions policies, so you'd have to look into it, OP.
    I doubt wanting to go to a certain college would be enough to base A-Level choices on, but I may be wrong
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    (Original post by Neuth)
    Most colleges will let you do NatSci with 2, but 3 is always the prefered number :yep:

    Of course, the colleges all have separate admissions policies, so you'd have to look into it, OP.
    I doubt wanting to go to a certain college would be enough to base A-Level choices on, but I may be wrong
    I think A in physics/ further maths > A in any other subject but if the OP feels unlikely to do as well/ better in sciences than the others then definitely a contrasting subject is a better choice. It's just about playing to strengths at times really
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    I think A in physics/ further maths > A in any other subject but if the OP feels unlikely to do as well/ better in sciences than the others then definitely a contrasting subject is a better choice. It's just about playing to strengths at times really
    Oooh, controversial :laugh:

    Yeah - so if that means OP would enjoy and do better in French than Physics, so be it
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    (Original post by Neuth)
    Oooh, controversial :laugh:

    Yeah - so if that means OP would enjoy and do better in French than Physics, so be it
    It does sound controversial not fully in context but I think it's true for a natural sciences degree which is what the OP mentioned.

    ( Don't neg me history, english, languages, social sciences applicants). I realise out of context that may have annoyed a lot of people
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    (Original post by Spelly456)
    It does sound controversial not fully in context but I think it's true for a natural sciences degree which is what the OP mentioned.

    ( Don't neg me history, english, languages, social sciences applicants). I realise out of context that may have annoyed a lot of people
    I know what you mean, yeah, but still... watch out :laugh:
    Obviously when talking purely about NatSci at Cam it's true, but applying the concept to anything else is a big mistake.

    :rip: R.I.P Spelly456 :teehee:
 
 
 
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