A Level Dilema

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steve911
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#1
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#1
Yesterday my Daughter received her GCSE results and has got A*s and A's in every subject. She wants to go to university in 2 years time but doesn't know what to study or what career path to take yet. She hasn't really received much advice on what A levels would be best for her to take. The ones she chose originally were Maths, Physics, Biology & PE. She enjoys Maths & Biology & loves PE. She doesn't really enjoy Physics but thought it would be a good one to have. She has excelled in her Chemistry GCSE gaining 100 UMS points in all 3 individual exams, although she thought this was her weakest science and again not a subject she particularly likes. She is considering swapping Physics for Chemistry in her A level choices which we think would go better with Biology and open up more options. She doesn't want to take all 3 sciences. We realise PE isn't a good Russell Group UNI selection but as already mentioned she loves this subject and also excelled in it at GCSE and the advice is to take subjects you enjoy although this would probably be the obvious one to drop after As level. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Tom102
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#2
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#2
(Original post by steve911)
Yesterday my Daughter received her GCSE results and has got A*s and A's in every subject. She wants to go to university in 2 years time but doesn't know what to study or what career path to take yet. She hasn't really received much advice on what A levels would be best for her to take. The ones she chose originally were Maths, Physics, Biology & PE. She enjoys Maths & Biology & loves PE. She doesn't really enjoy Physics but thought it would be a good one to have. She has excelled in her Chemistry GCSE gaining 100 UMS points in all 3 individual exams, although she thought this was her weakest science and again not a subject she particularly likes. She is considering swapping Physics for Chemistry in her A level choices which we think would go better with Biology and open up more options. She doesn't want to take all 3 sciences. We realise PE isn't a good Russell Group UNI selection but as already mentioned she loves this subject and also excelled in it at GCSE and the advice is to take subjects you enjoy although this would probably be the obvious one to drop after As level. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Steve, as an A level student my self going into my final year before university I can't emphasize enough about continuing subjects she enjoys.

In my case I got an A* in GCSE Geography, did I consider about taking it to a level? No I did not because I hated it with a passion.

However in my opinion your daughter should not continue with PE, it gives off a negative impression to potential universities (even if she gets an A in it).

Maths is a must do a level for someone with your daughters academic potential. However with something like physics AS level you really have to enjoy it. Many people at my school continued it thinking "oh I got an A* at GCSE I can do this", these people received C's and D's and one even got a U. A levels are a massive step up but if she does subjects she enjoy's and keeps her workload under control she could come out with top grades ( I got an A in physics this year by the way).

Finally congratulations on her grades, don't let her do chemistry if she hates it!
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steve911
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#3
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(Original post by Tom102)
Hi Steve, as an A level student my self going into my final year before university I can't emphasize enough about continuing subjects she enjoys.

In my case I got an A* in GCSE Geography, did I consider about taking it to a level? No I did not because I hated it with a passion.

However in my opinion your daughter should not continue with PE, it gives off a negative impression to potential universities (even if she gets an A in it).

Maths is a must do a level for someone with your daughters academic potential. However with something like physics AS level you really have to enjoy it. Many people at my school continued it thinking "oh I got an A* at GCSE I can do this", these people received C's and D's and one even got a U. A levels are a massive step up but if she does subjects she enjoy's and keeps her workload under control she could come out with top grades ( I got an A in physics this year by the way).

Finally congratulations on her grades, don't let her do chemistry if she hates it!
Thanks for the advice Tom its much appreciated and I'll pass it on to her. Congratulations on the A in physics and all the best for the future.
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Tom102
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#4
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(Original post by steve911)
Thanks for the advice Tom its much appreciated and I'll pass it on to her. Congratulations on the A in physics and all the best for the future.
Thanks, my last suggestion is do subjects that allow her to keep her options open. Since she doesn't know what to do yet it's good to do subjects that allow you to go down a variety of degree maths. Maths and sciences and maybe economics are good examples. Also, history/english/rs/maths
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theresheglows
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Tom102)
Hi Steve, as an A level student my self going into my final year before university I can't emphasize enough about continuing subjects she enjoys.

In my case I got an A* in GCSE Geography, did I consider about taking it to a level? No I did not because I hated it with a passion.

However in my opinion your daughter should not continue with PE, it gives off a negative impression to potential universities (even if she gets an A in it).

Maths is a must do a level for someone with your daughters academic potential. However with something like physics AS level you really have to enjoy it. Many people at my school continued it thinking "oh I got an A* at GCSE I can do this", these people received C's and D's and one even got a U. A levels are a massive step up but if she does subjects she enjoy's and keeps her workload under control she could come out with top grades ( I got an A in physics this year by the way).

Finally congratulations on her grades, don't let her do chemistry if she hates it!

^^ totally agree with this.

Also, have a look at the advice booklet 'Informed Choices' by the Russell Group, it explains how certain subjects & combinations can keep uni options open, you can read it online here http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/informed-choices/

Maths and physics you have to be really good at to do well at A-level, and if you don't like them it can be a slog. tbh chemistry keeps more options open; physics and/or maths are only required for degrees in those subjects. PE is probably fine as a fourth if her other subjects are rigorous, 'traditional' subjects (Russell Groups calls them 'facilitating subjects', there's a list in Informed Choices); but as a 3rd at A2 it would limit her options if she doesn't know yet what she wants to do at uni.
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LeFailFish
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#6
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#6
(Original post by steve911)
Yesterday my Daughter received her GCSE results and has got A*s and A's in every subject. She wants to go to university in 2 years time but doesn't know what to study or what career path to take yet. She hasn't really received much advice on what A levels would be best for her to take. The ones she chose originally were Maths, Physics, Biology & PE. She enjoys Maths & Biology & loves PE. She doesn't really enjoy Physics but thought it would be a good one to have. She has excelled in her Chemistry GCSE gaining 100 UMS points in all 3 individual exams, although she thought this was her weakest science and again not a subject she particularly likes. She is considering swapping Physics for Chemistry in her A level choices which we think would go better with Biology and open up more options. She doesn't want to take all 3 sciences. We realise PE isn't a good Russell Group UNI selection but as already mentioned she loves this subject and also excelled in it at GCSE and the advice is to take subjects you enjoy although this would probably be the obvious one to drop after As level. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Beware that some universities do not consider PE alongside Biology as the academic side of PE is too similar to Biology. I would advise against taking PE unless she wants to go into a career with it (e.g. PE teacher).
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steve911
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#7
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(Original post by theresheglows)
^^ totally agree with this.

Also, have a look at the advice booklet 'Informed Choices' by the Russell Group, it explains how certain subjects & combinations can keep uni options open, you can read it online here http://www.russellgroup.ac.uk/informed-choices/

Maths and physics you have to be really good at to do well at A-level, and if you don't like them it can be a slog. tbh chemistry keeps more options open; physics and/or maths are only required for degrees in those subjects. PE is probably fine as a fourth if her other subjects are rigorous, 'traditional' subjects (Russell Groups calls them 'facilitating subjects', there's a list in Informed Choices); but as a 3rd at A2 it would limit her options if she doesn't know yet what she wants to do at uni.
Thanks for the advice and I'll certainly take a look at the 'informed choices' advice booklet online
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steve911
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#8
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#8
(Original post by LeFailFish)
Beware that some universities do not consider PE alongside Biology as the academic side of PE is too similar to Biology. I would advise against taking PE unless she wants to go into a career with it (e.g. PE teacher).
Thanks for the advice, I totally agree with you but she is adamant she wants to take it. I'll pass it on to her.
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