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    sorry, this post could drivvel on for quite some time...

    Bascially, I have accepted an offer to study Mathematics at York this October. It's not that I don't like Maths, I just don't have that passion for it, and as I'm alright at maths, I thought I would apply for it. I went to a cambridge open day before applying and loved it, although I didn't bother applying there because I know I didn't have that passion for maths, and the interviewers would notice it.

    However, I do love english! Although I haven't done an A-level in it (not even AS), without sounding arrogant I'm sure I could do really well in a degree of English. The only thing is, to reapply to Cambridge to do an English degree would mean me rejecting my offer to study maths and york, and then spending another two years doing one A-level in English. How's it going to look on my application form if I've spent 4 years doing A-levels? Do you think it would be better to do the degree in Maths at york as a sort of back up plan, and whilst there do a part time a-level in English, then when I've finished the degree apply to do English? How will that look on my application?
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    eeek, you've got yourself into a bit of a pickle by the sound of things.

    Doing one a-level over the next two years i STRONGLY ADVISE AGAINST!, it would look crap on your application. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....it's a tricky one. Maybe do the maths course, doing the a level in the mean time (plus read lots etc etc), and then apply to cam as a senior student...maybe?
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    You can always change your degree to English (as far as i know).

    Its really up to you. I'm sure universitys will respect the fact that you want to do a subject you're passionate about. If you're only doing 1 Alevel, i'm sure you could finish it in a year without too much pressure. Personally I wouldn't as i couldn't stand another year of A-levels but thats my personal opinion.

    Do whatever you'd be happy with in the future; there's nothing worse than being stuck in a job that you don't enjoy for the rest of your life.
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    Could you not do A Level English in a year? you could combine it with a Gap year. You could do a home study course and get a tutor to help you once a week.
    Just an idea...
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    Our local college does fast track A Level English language and literature.
    3 hours , one night a week. It'd be harder than doing it one year, but its possible. You could do that alongside getting a job, doing some voluntary week, etc. Something gap-year-ish.
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    (Original post by steerpike1985)
    sorry, this post could drivvel on for quite some time...

    Bascially, I have accepted an offer to study Mathematics at York this October. It's not that I don't like Maths, I just don't have that passion for it, and as I'm alright at maths, I thought I would apply for it. I went to a cambridge open day before applying and loved it, although I didn't bother applying there because I know I didn't have that passion for maths, and the interviewers would notice it.

    However, I do love english! Although I haven't done an A-level in it (not even AS), without sounding arrogant I'm sure I could do really well in a degree of English. The only thing is, to reapply to Cambridge to do an English degree would mean me rejecting my offer to study maths and york, and then spending another two years doing one A-level in English. How's it going to look on my application form if I've spent 4 years doing A-levels? Do you think it would be better to do the degree in Maths at york as a sort of back up plan, and whilst there do a part time a-level in English, then when I've finished the degree apply to do English? How will that look on my application?

    if you're good enough to do english at cambridge, then you could easily do a-level english in a year.

    are you sure you have to have english a-level to get a place? even if they say you do, they may make an exception. contact the english faculty and ask them. also contact the admissions tutor of a college you like the look of, because the policies of different colleges vary. for example, some colleges like people to have done gap years before reading english.

    i know someone who is doing english at oxford who has a-levels in maths, physics and politics. there is hope. have you done any essay based a-levels, such as history?

    if you do have to take a year out to do the english a-level, this won't necessarily work against your application. you could easily dress it up in your personal statement as showing your blazing passion and commitment for the set-up.

    i should be going to cambridge to do english in october. smashing course, wicked town. if i were you i would do everything you can do do english there- but i am biased, natch
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    If you love English, I'd say find somewhere you can do the a level in a year and apply for 2005 entry. If you already have some good grades behind you from your current A Levels, you should be at an advantage. You ought to do the subject that you love the most, because you'll get more out of your degree and possibly do better on it.
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    just a thought: make sure you are making this decision because you want to study english, not because you want to go to cambridge.
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    I worked full time and did Physics A-level. My own experience (for all it's worth).

    Positives: I loved Physics, I'm much more likely to consider ChemEng option at uni with confidence, I can read New Scientist physics articles with a bit more ease. Much more satisfying teaching yourself. And it's so nice being with people who really really want to study Physics, and who have really diverse ages, backgrounds and reasons for studying.

    Negatives: It's much more draining than A-levels at college cos you will be knackered from work, and it may impinge on your social life more than college A-levels. You will need to be much more self-motivated than at college. Your employer will have to be supportive of exam and study leave.

    Hope that helps!
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    (Original post by grey faerie)
    just a thought: make sure you are making this decision because you want to study english, not because you want to go to cambridge.
    that's a bit patronising
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    (Original post by leda swanson)
    that's a bit patronising
    It's a very, very good point though. When people have a drastic chance of heart (and Maths to English is a pretty drastic move), people do wonder if there are other influences, other than academic reasons, affecting their choice.
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    (Original post by BazTheMoney)
    It's a very, very good point though. When people have a drastic chance of heart (and Maths to English is a pretty drastic move), people do wonder if there are other influences, other than academic reasons, affecting their choice.
    Yeah, the most dramatic changes of heart tend to be for the shallowest reasons.
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    (Original post by d750)
    Yeah, the most dramatic changes of heart tend to be for the shallowest reasons.
    I can't speak as an Admissions Tutor, but if I was in there position and faced with a student who had been dead set on doing Maths for the last 12 months, but had suddenly decided they liked English more and happened to be applying to Cambridge, I'd certain have to question their dedication to the subject.
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    Thanks for your reply's. I'm not changing my mind just because I want to go to Cambridge. I've had this passion to do English since year 12 but It was a bit late by then! I did Biology, Physics and Maths A-levels with Chemistry and Furter Maths AS, so I haven't really done any essay-based subjects since GCSE. I think whoever said to do a part-time English A-level whilst doing my degree in maths had a very good idea!

    I've emailed various admissions office, and Kings College in Cambridge are the only ones that have replied so far. They said it wouldn't affect my application at all if I took three years to do my A-levels, so long as I explain why in my personal statement.
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    Hmmm my advice is to maybe apply for a course that isn't english per se but would be just as enjoyable to an english-lover. Maybe you would enjoy something like philosophy/history or a similar arts subject that would involve a similar style of work to english itself but that wouldn't require the A-level.

    Otherwise, if you are hell-bent on studying english, in my opinion you could do the A-level in 1 year because it mainly involves reading and critical analysis, which means you don't really need to learn that much; imo it's more of a skill. i also have the impression that english at cambridge is a very excentric department; they wouldn't really care that you have had an extra year (my sister got into oxford after having spent a gap year doing absolutely nothing (and i mean NOTHING))
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    Well I asked my English teacher about this yesterday, and she said its never been done before, but if I'm motivated enough she might let me do the A-level in the year.

    ...although I think I might go insane if I do another year of A-levels. And I've successfully managed to find somewhere which can teach a part-time English A-level whilst I'm at York studying maths, so think thats what I'll do!

    Thanks for all your help :-)
 
 
 
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