Need insight into my a level choices Watch

dfradkin
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Hello everyone, this is my first post.

I am an international student taking AS Government and Politics, Sociology, and Art (Photography module). As there was an insufficient number of students opting to study Spanish, my school did not offer the language at A Level. Nonetheless, I decided to enter as an external applicant and have tutoring once a week.

I shifted schools this summer, from an American school to a British one (obviously). Having little knowledge about what A Levels were like and not knowing about the extensive resources that I could have used, I am now skeptical as to whether my subject combination is strong enough to apply for higher-ranked universities, such as KCL or Bath in particular. Ideally, I want to study PPL at King's or IMML at Bath.

I am also struggling with essays in Politics because of tight time constraints during exam practice. Had I known that most A Levels are split into pure essay writing and mathematical problems, I would have chosen Physics and Maths over Politics and Sociology. I am having regretful thoughts day by day.

Given I achieve the grades required, will Art and Sociology significantly lower my chances of receiving an offer? Should I take all four subject to A2 to increase my chances? I want to be realistic about my possibilities, but I am completely clueless at the moment. :confused::confused::confused:Any other insight is greatly appreciated.
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dfradkin
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Naomi12
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I don't mean to sound rude, but excluding Spanish those subjects aren't considered very high quality A levels, which generally unis like kings or bath would be looking for. That's not to say you don't have a chance at an offer - assuming you got good grades in all of them you would have a chance, it just may reduce your chances a little. Doing something like picking up an AS in maths or physics whilst doing 3 A2s could help quite a bit


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dfradkin
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(Original post by Naomi12)
I don't mean to sound rude, but excluding Spanish those subjects aren't considered very high quality A levels, which generally unis like kings or bath would be looking for. That's not to say you don't have a chance at an offer - assuming you got good grades in all of them you would have a chance, it just may reduce your chances a little. Doing something like picking up an AS in maths or physics whilst doing 3 A2s could help quite a bit


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So even an AS level in maths could be beneficial?
I have also looked at the 'informed choices' guide posted by the Russell Group, which says that to study politics - sociology, politics, and a language are preferred. These subjects could also benefit the language component at IMML. Thoughts?
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dfradkin
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(Original post by Naomi12)
I don't mean to sound rude, but excluding Spanish those subjects aren't considered very high quality A levels, which generally unis like kings or bath would be looking for. That's not to say you don't have a chance at an offer - assuming you got good grades in all of them you would have a chance, it just may reduce your chances a little. Doing something like picking up an AS in maths or physics whilst doing 3 A2s could help quite a bit


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I am confused at how politics is not considered a strong subject. There is a lot of content and keeping up with current affairs consumes a lot of time. Sociology is generally easy, but again, a lot of content to memorise (ie case studies).
And why is there so much stigma against art? I mean most art students could do well in maths but not the other way around.
Spanish is by far my easiest subject as well.
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Naomi12
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Can't reply to the posts on my phone but this is in response to both:

I was going by the list that Cambridge released of level A B and C subjects, and I think sociology, politics and arts are all B, with Spanish as an A. But obviously different unis will have different opinions, and if the Russell groups say that the subjects you have are a good basis for your degree then they will definitely know more on the subject than me I do still believe however that picking up AS maths next year could benefit you as it is generally considered one of the best A levels (I regret not taking it myself!)


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dfradkin
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(Original post by Naomi12)
Can't reply to the posts on my phone but this is in response to both:

I was going by the list that Cambridge released of level A B and C subjects, and I think sociology, politics and arts are all B, with Spanish as an A. But obviously different unis will have different opinions, and if the Russell groups say that the subjects you have are a good basis for your degree then they will definitely know more on the subject than me I do still believe however that picking up AS maths next year could benefit you as it is generally considered one of the best A levels (I regret not taking it myself!)


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I was going by the list that Cambridge released of level A B and C subjects, and I think sociology, politics and arts are all B, with Spanish as an A. But obviously different unis will have different opinions, and if the Russell groups say that the subjects you have are a good basis for your degree then they will definitely know more on the subject than me I do still believe however that picking up AS maths next year could benefit you as it is generally considered one of the best A levels (I regret not taking it myself!)

Surprising. Everyone doing maths at my school has half an hour of work a week, if not less. Same goes for physics and chemistry. For some reason I did not take physics, maths, or history, yet they were among my best grades. As I did not know about this hierarchy, I very regretful.
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Naomi12
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(Original post by dfradkin)
I was going by the list that Cambridge released of level A B and C subjects, and I think sociology, politics and arts are all B, with Spanish as an A. But obviously different unis will have different opinions, and if the Russell groups say that the subjects you have are a good basis for your degree then they will definitely know more on the subject than me I do still believe however that picking up AS maths next year could benefit you as it is generally considered one of the best A levels (I regret not taking it myself!)

Surprising. Everyone doing maths at my school has half an hour of work a week, if not less. Same goes for physics and chemistry. For some reason I did not take physics, maths, or history, yet they were among my best grades. As I did not know about this hierarchy, I very regretful.
If you're interested in the link, here it is:
https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/acceptabl...t-combinations
But the important thing is grades so as long as you work hard I'm sure you'll be fine.
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loperdoper
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PPL at KCL formally has no required or preferred subjects, so provided you can write a good personal statement proving that you have displayed an interest in PPL and can get the grades required you should be okay. They may require the A* grade to be in Government and Politics as it is your most relevant subject.

IMML at Bath say that provided you can get AAA with Spanish in your final three, then "the combination of other subjects is fairly flexible" [actual quote from their website].

Based on workload alone, then dropping Art Photography after AS and aiming for an A* in Politics as well as an A in Spanish, then I believe you should be okay.
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Drop Art Photography after AS, keep Politics (which is becoming more popular with universities; I study it at A2, so if you need any help with the British module!), Spanish and Sociology to A2, and maybe pick up Maths or Physics for an AS, especially if you want to do PPL.
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dfradkin
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(Original post by loperdoper)
PPL at KCL formally has no required or preferred subjects, so provided you can write a good personal statement proving that you have displayed an interest in PPL and can get the grades required you should be okay. They may require the A* grade to be in Government and Politics as it is your most relevant subject.

IMML at Bath say that provided you can get AAA with Spanish in your final three, then "the combination of other subjects is fairly flexible" [actual quote from their website].

Based on workload alone, then dropping Art Photography after AS and aiming for an A* in Politics as well as an A in Spanish, then I believe you should be okay.
Thanks for your input. Wouldn't having all 4 at A2 be better for my application though? If I do badly at one of the subjects I could have a 'back up' grade from another one.
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dfradkin
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(Original post by CescaD96)
Drop Art Photography after AS, keep Politics (which is becoming more popular with universities; I study it at A2, so if you need any help with the British module!), Spanish and Sociology to A2, and maybe pick up Maths or Physics for an AS, especially if you want to do PPL.
How would maths benefit PPL? Seems like a pretty analytical course not a technical one.

About politics, although the content is completely new to me, it seems manageable. I just cannot fathom how fast I have to write during the exam. Its very difficult for me to write a solid essay under such time constraints. What grade did you get at AS? And how did you develop a good exam technique?
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(Original post by dfradkin)
How would maths benefit PPL? Seems like a pretty analytical course not a technical one.

About politics, although the content is completely new to me, it seems manageable. I just cannot fathom how fast I have to write during the exam. Its very difficult for me to write a solid essay under such time constraints. What grade did you get at AS? And how did you develop a good exam technique?
A few people in my year have applied for PPL and kept Maths as a 4th. I don't know why though.
I got an A, 174/200. Trust me, by the time your exam comes, you will know your stuff well. It's all about practicing writing timed essays, narrowing down the time you take until the time you'll take in the exam to write said essay.
Clear, concise essay plans work wonders for revision.
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loperdoper
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(Original post by dfradkin)
Thanks for your input. Wouldn't having all 4 at A2 be better for my application though? If I do badly at one of the subjects I could have a 'back up' grade from another one.
It's possible that if you take 4, the university could give you an offer based on all four A-levels. Alternatively, they may ask the grades to be achieved in certain A-levels.

Very few people take 4, and there's really no benefit. You're better off dropping one and focusing on getting the best grades possible for your other three.
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