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    (Original post by Thomb)
    There is a good point to doing 5 a levels it shows you have a broad academic interest in subjects other than your degree. I admire you and wish you the best of luck.
    If you can handle it. If it all goes pear shapped it'll be one of the greatest regrets in your young life.

    I'd rather settle for 3 and get 3 A2s than go for 5 and end up with Ds.
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    (Original post by Thomb)
    There is a good point to doing 5 a levels it shows you have a broad academic interest in subjects other than your degree.
    Which is only relevant if applying to the US.

    Broad academic interests can be pursued outside of the classroom, now more than ever with MOOCs. Overloading on unnecessary qualifications just seems ego-smoothing and silly. That said, 5 isn't really exceptional-- plenty do it. One must ask whether 'proving' something beyond what is necessary is worth the cost, especially when it's failure could come at the expense of becoming inadequate for the people you're trying to impress.

    One must remember other important things:
    - 'Super-curriculars', as Cambridge likes to call them, in the subject you're applying for. This will take up time. Time that you might have to use on otherwise less useful subjects if you take 5 or 6 A Levels. These have a higher importance than a myriad of A Levels in our system.
    - A social life. Misery during 16-19 because you're stressed with work, even if it's manageable, seems like a shame. Having the chance to see friends and have fun and explore is important.
    - Whether one really wants to make what is now a fun subject in your spare time to be ruined by putting academic constraints on it. Philosophy, especially, seems susceptible to this.
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    (Original post by Dodgypirate)
    If you can handle it. If it all goes pear shapped it'll be one of the greatest regrets in your young life.

    I'd rather settle for 3 and get 3 A2s than go for 5 and end up with Ds.
    (Original post by Mathstatician)
    Which is only relevant if applying to the US.

    Broad academic interests can be pursued outside of the classroom, now more than ever with MOOCs. Overloading on unnecessary qualifications just seems ego-smoothing and silly. That said, 5 really exceptional-- plenty do it. One must ask whether 'proving' something beyond what is necessary is worth the cost, especially when it's failure could come at the expense of becoming inadequate for the people you're trying to impress.

    You're both right if you mess it up then DOOMSDAY! approaches. But if you succeed it does look good on your application. That guy the one with the 22 a levels when he applied to cambridge at the interview the first thing they said is what subject do you want to do? He was in right from the start he chose computing and I bet he's good at it, you know why its because he succeeded at getting loads of A*s at A level.
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    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    Again absolutely no point in 5 AS's, no benefits whatsoever apart from having more choice on what you drop for A2.
    Yep, seriously starting to reconsider now

    (Original post by Dodgypirate)
    Do you have a tutor/teacher you can speak to about this... ask for their advice/suggestions as soon as you can, because if you go ahead and take the 5 A2s, you'll most likely regret it.
    Spoken to a few trusted teachers about this including my school's careers advisor and they've all suggested different things. It's either "don't do it, too much workload" or "if you think you can cope do it, you never know till you try" kind of thing. Of course i prefer the second suggestion but I'm starting to think that whatever the outcome, a fifth AS level is unecessary, especially considering the fact that Philosophy is fairly irrelevant to engineering
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    (Original post by Thomb)
    You're both right if you mess it up then DOOMSDAY! approaches. But if you succeed it does look good on your application. That guy the one with the 22 a levels when he applied to cambridge at the interview the first thing they said is what subject do you want to do? He was in right from the start he chose computing and I bet he's good at it, you know why its because he succeeded at getting loads of A*s at A level.
    Who cares? The second half of my post is most appropriate here:

    One must remember other important things:-
    'Super-curriculars', as Cambridge likes to call them, in the subject you're applying for: This will take up time. Time that you might have to use on otherwise less useful subjects if you take 5 or 6 A Levels. These have a higher importance than a myriad of A Levels in our system.
    - A social life: Misery during 16-19 because you're stressed with work, even if it's manageable, seems like a shame. Having the chance to see friends and have fun and explore is important.
    - Whether one really wants what is now a fun subject in your spare time to be ruined by putting academic constraints on it. Philosophy, especially, seems susceptible to this.

    It's extremely short sighted to set your life around becoming the perfect university applicant.
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    (Original post by Oilfreak1)
    Typical offers for Camb/ICL ChemE are A*A*AA, so there's absolutely no benefit in doing 5, a 5th a level would just detract from getting those important A*s an EPQ would be a better use of time.
    This is wrong. ALL OXBRIDGE DEGREE OFFERS ARE BASED ON 3 A LEVELS AS NOT EVERY SCHOOL CAN AFFORD TO TEACH MORE THAN THAT. THERE IS NO POINT IN DOING MORE THAN 3/4 A LEVELS.

    Despite you enjoying the subjects, you have to love them to do well at A Level. It isn't just about doing the class work and home work, you have to do extra reading and consolidation as well: so make sure you enjoy them.

    For anyone that is going to call me out on the 3 A Level stance, claiming that you need more than that; I go to the 16th best state school in the country. This year, 21 boys got offers to Oxford and Cambridge, only 3 are doing 4 A levels. They don't tell us to do 3, they strongly discourage doing 4 as well.

    Additionally, with the current restructuring of A Levels, there will be no possibility to drop the subject and still have a qualification as they are phasing out AS, so think carefully about your decision.
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    (Original post by QuibblerWaffle)
    Spoken to a few trusted teachers about this including my school's careers advisor and they've all suggested different things. It's either "don't do it, too much workload" or "if you think you can cope do it, you never know till you try" kind of thing. Of course i prefer the second suggestion but I'm starting to think that whatever the outcome, a fifth AS level is unecessary, especially considering the fact that Philosophy is fairly irrelevant to engineering

    4 A2s is doable, but then again do you need to Maths and Further Maths?
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    (Original post by jakepds)
    ALL OXBRIDGE DEGREE OFFERS ARE BASED ON 3 A LEVELS AS NOT EVERY SCHOOL CAN AFFORD TO TEACH MORE
    My brother's offer was A*A*AA

    (Original post by Dodgypirate)
    4 A2s is doable, but then again do you need to Maths and Further Maths?
    For engineering at Oxbridge and Imperial? Almost certainly!
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    (Original post by Dodgypirate)
    4 A2s is doable, but then again do you need to Maths and Further Maths?
    Not 4A2's, 4AS's lol
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    (Original post by Mathstatician)
    Who cares? The second half of my post is most appropriate here:

    One must remember other important things:-
    'Super-curriculars', as Cambridge likes to call them, in the subject you're applying for: This will take up time. Time that you might have to use on otherwise less useful subjects if you take 5 or 6 A Levels. These have a higher importance than a myriad of A Levels in our system.
    - A social life: Misery during 16-19 because you're stressed with work, even if it's manageable, seems like a shame. Having the chance to see friends and have fun and explore is important.
    - Whether one really wants what is now a fun subject in your spare time to be ruined by putting academic constraints on it. Philosophy, especially, seems susceptible to this.

    It's extremely short sighted to set your life around becoming the perfect university applicant.
    You're right but some people just really enjoy learning and thats it. These people who achieve 5A*s are happy to blow out everything else and just study.
    Spoiler:
    Show
    TBH if anyone here thinks that's who they are (a 24/7 study freak) then WTF are you doing on TSR you should be studying. Hence the 24 in the 7 study round the clock Don't Stop!
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    (Original post by Mathstatician)
    Who cares? The second half of my post is most appropriate here:

    One must remember other important things:-
    'Super-curriculars', as Cambridge likes to call them, in the subject you're applying for: This will take up time. Time that you might have to use on otherwise less useful subjects if you take 5 or 6 A Levels. These have a higher importance than a myriad of A Levels in our system.
    - A social life: Misery during 16-19 because you're stressed with work, even if it's manageable, seems like a shame. Having the chance to see friends and have fun and explore is important.
    - Whether one really wants what is now a fun subject in your spare time to be ruined by putting academic constraints on it. Philosophy, especially, seems susceptible to this.

    It's extremely short sighted to set your life around becoming the perfect university applicant.
    If anything I'm setting my life around becoming the perfect daughter:lol:
    But I 100% see where you're coming from
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    (Original post by QuibblerWaffle)
    Not 4A2's, 4AS's lol
    Right, I'm confused now.
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    (Original post by Dodgypirate)
    Right, I'm confused now.
    Oxbridge only require 4ASs and 3A2s but if you offer 4+ A2s, there's no saying they won't add them to your offer, so complete with caution.
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    (Original post by QuibblerWaffle)
    Hey

    I've chosen my A level subjects and was thinking of taking the following:
    Maths
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Further maths
    Philosophy
    I might end up doing an EPQ in Computer Science

    I am an aspiring Chemical Engineer and have high hopes for myself to study at either Cambridge or Imperial:awesome:
    I will be dropping further maths and philosophy at A2.

    Is the workload of 5 AS subjects too much to cope with?
    Will I have a lot of free periods, if any at all?
    Will I have time for a social life?

    I understand there's this whole concept of "it's better to achieve 4A's than 2A's and 3B's" but I know I can do well. I plan on going over briefly all of my subjects during the summer holidays and doing revision regularly (not just because I'll have to but genuinely because I really like learning). When I first made the decision I was thrilled and excited to get GCSE's over and done with but now I feel like I've made the wrong choice and possibly underestimated a-levels? It'd be great to hear some stories of how well people have coped/coping with 5 a-levels or with any of the subjects I've chosen above.

    Thanks in advance :cute:
    Im doing 4 and am finding it quite flat out but at the same time i do manage to have a*social life etc.
    Most of my friends are doing 5 and i think that some of them are a bit worried about how they are gonna cope when it coes to exams.
    It depends on what your time management skills are like really and how you cope with work/deadlines etc
    Btw, there is no way i can emphasise how much difference there is between gcse and a level... Just*warning you...
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    I did five, but it was via doing all of two in one year each.

    Philosophy is doubtless interesting, and gives you something different to talk about at interview ('Why??' 'Well...') but I'd ditch it if there was the slightest chance of hurting your other results.

    Chemistry is the most difficult one you've got there, but you want to do a chemistry-related degree...
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    (Original post by QuibblerWaffle)
    Hey

    I've chosen my A level subjects and was thinking of taking the following:
    Maths
    Chemistry
    Physics
    Further maths
    Philosophy
    I might end up doing an EPQ in Computer Science

    I am an aspiring Chemical Engineer and have high hopes for myself to study at either Cambridge or Imperial:awesome:
    I will be dropping further maths and philosophy at A2.

    Is the workload of 5 AS subjects too much to cope with?
    Will I have a lot of free periods, if any at all?
    Will I have time for a social life?

    I understand there's this whole concept of "it's better to achieve 4A's than 2A's and 3B's" but I know I can do well. I plan on going over briefly all of my subjects during the summer holidays and doing revision regularly (not just because I'll have to but genuinely because I really like learning). When I first made the decision I was thrilled and excited to get GCSE's over and done with but now I feel like I've made the wrong choice and possibly underestimated a-levels? It'd be great to hear some stories of how well people have coped/coping with 5 a-levels or with any of the subjects I've chosen above.

    Thanks in advance :cute:
    Hi. I definitely know how you feel. I really wanted to take 5 as well, but ended up only being allowed to take three. Those subjects are very strong, and you must remember A levels are not easy. As one of my study advisers said "they are the hardest exams you will take, with how little time you have to learn them". I am seeing A* students who only do 3/4 subjects getting E's in their subjects. It's a difficult choice. But, then again, you may do amazingly well in them, it is all down to individual differences. Just remember 3 A's/A*'s is better than 5 C's.

    Considering the degree path you want to go onto, it would be worthwhile taking the science subjects. It is good to have an essay subject, like philosophy to give make you more 'rounded' academically. I am taking philosophy, and I love the subject. I really recommend you taking it if possible. It has given me a whole new outlook on life. Furthermore, the specification is not too big, and the workload is a minimum which is always a bonus! Another thing is that you may find the subject you take totally different to the GCSE. I did with economics. I wanted to take biology, chemistry, English literature, and philosophy, and drop English Lit at A2. I am not taking English Lit to A2, and find it one of the most easy and enjoyable subjects that I take. Unfortunately, my grades did not go to plan, and I took a different combo.

    Also, as disheartening as this is, always have a back-up plan, just in case. You may find that after taking those subjects, that you are inspired into a completely different career route. Just keep an open mind. I hope this makes sense - I am really tired. Apologies if it does not.

    Good luck!
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    (Original post by Mathstatician)
    My brother's offer was A*A*AA



    For engineering at Oxbridge and Imperial? Almost certainly!
    How long ago was this.

    On Monday, I went to an Oxbridge application talk run by an admissions tutor from both. They said "All our offers are based off three A Levels, and you are not at a disadvantage only doing 3."
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    4 is ample tbh

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    (Original post by jakepds)
    How long ago was this.

    On Monday, I went to an Oxbridge application talk run by an admissions tutor from both. They said "All our offers are based off three A Levels, and you are not at a disadvantage only doing 3."
    This academic cycle. You're certainly not disadvantaged by studying 3. Studying 4 might result in a 4 subject offer though.

    I think it depends on the college.
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    (Original post by clucky_chick)
    Hi. I definitely know how you feel. I really wanted to take 5 as well, but ended up only being allowed to take three. Those subjects are very strong, and you must remember A levels are not easy. As one of my study advisers said "they are the hardest exams you will take, with how little time you have to learn them". I am seeing A* students who only do 3/4 subjects getting E's in their subjects. It's a difficult choice. But, then again, you may do amazingly well in them, it is all down to individual differences. Just remember 3 A's/A*'s is better than 5 C's.

    Considering the degree path you want to go onto, it would be worthwhile taking the science subjects. It is good to have an essay subject, like philosophy to give make you more 'rounded' academically. I am taking philosophy, and I love the subject. I really recommend you taking it if possible. It has given me a whole new outlook on life. Furthermore, the specification is not too big, and the workload is a minimum which is always a bonus! Another thing is that you may find the subject you take totally different to the GCSE. I did with economics. I wanted to take biology, chemistry, English literature, and philosophy, and drop English Lit at A2. I am not taking English Lit to A2, and find it one of the most easy and enjoyable subjects that I take. Unfortunately, my grades did not go to plan, and I took a different combo.

    Also, as disheartening as this is, always have a back-up plan, just in case. You may find that after taking those subjects, that you are inspired into a completely different career route. Just keep an open mind. I hope this makes sense - I am really tired. Apologies if it does not.

    Good luck!
    No need to apologize, I'm happy to receive any feedback I can get. I think taking 5 A-levels is a big risk and challenge and maybe taking it on wouldn't be the ideal choice. I'll keep in mind a back-up plan, I've known people that have changed their ambitions of becoming doctors to becoming politicians
    Thank you:jumphug:
 
 
 
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