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    Hi everyone, so basically I am a year 11 student and I'm getting to the end of my GCSE exams however I am not quite sure on how difficult my A-level option combination is and whether or not they would look good together. In terms of future plans, I hope to get into Oxford or Cambridge however I am not very sure what I want to study although I have managed to narrow it down to either medicine, engineering, maths or computer science.

    So anyways the options I chose were Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Maths and Further Maths. I do understand many of you may be thinking that 5 A -levels is far too much but I am planning on dropping at least one of them after my first year (probably Computer Science). Does anyone feel this combination is any good or would you say it is a hard combination? I am willing to put in the time but obviously wouldn't have any idea how difficult they would be for A-levels. If it helps, I currently achieve A*s in GCSE Maths, Bs in Further Maths iGCSE, A*s in Chemistry and Computer Science and around an A/A* in Physics although I have been occasionally dropping to a B.

    I appologise for the very long question, any advice/help would really be appreciated though.
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    (Original post by studen.t)
    Hi everyone, so basically I am a year 11 student and I'm getting to the end of my GCSE exams however I am not quite sure on how difficult my A-level option combination is and whether or not they would look good together. In terms of future plans, I hope to get into Oxford or Cambridge however I am not very sure what I want to study although I have managed to narrow it down to either medicine, engineering, maths or computer science.

    So anyways the options I chose were Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Maths and Further Maths. I do understand many of you may be thinking that 5 A -levels is far too much but I am planning on dropping at least one of them after my first year (probably Computer Science). Does anyone feel this combination is any good or would you say it is a hard combination? I am willing to put in the time but obviously wouldn't have any idea how difficult they would be for A-levels. If it helps, I currently achieve A*s in GCSE Maths, Bs in Further Maths iGCSE, A*s in Chemistry and Computer Science and around an A/A* in Physics although I have been occasionally dropping to a B.

    I appologise for the very long question, any advice/help would really be appreciated though.

    You could do its up to you. The subjects you've chosen would have reasonable overlap and if you're good at maths it may be manageable.

    But personally I wouldn't recommend it. I did 5 and it was fine, but there are examples of those for whom it was not. Even 3As looks much better than 5Bs.

    If you want to drop one I'd suggest computer science. Its less traditional than the others, and not even considered "helpful" for computer science at Oxford.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    You could do its up to you. The subjects you've chosen would have reasonable overlap and if you're good at maths it may be manageable.

    But personally I wouldn't recommend it. I did 5 and it was fine, but there are examples of those for whom it was not. Even 3As looks much better than 5Bs.

    If you want to drop one I'd suggest computer science. Its less traditional than the others, and not even considered "helpful" for computer science at Oxford.
    I agree with what you say in the first two paragraphs, but not the third. Computer Science is certainly recommended (but not compulsory) for a Computer Science degree at Oxford: I would rank it as the third most useful subject behind Mathematics and Further Mathematics. Indeed, our standard offer is for an A* in one of those three subjects.

    Also, knowledge of Computing is very useful in most fields. I would consider it more useful than Chemistry if OP goes on to do a degree in Maths or Engineering (but Chemistry is probably more useful for Medicine). I had a lunch-time discussion earlier this week where my Maths colleague was saying that he wished his students had more coding experience, and my Physics colleague was saying that most of what he does is coding. And I had a discussion yesterday with a Engineering graduate student who said that most of what he does is coding.

    Gavin
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    If youre doing medicine for most universities (although not all) u need biology

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    (Original post by studen.t)
    Hi everyone, so basically I am a year 11 student and I'm getting to the end of my GCSE exams however I am not quite sure on how difficult my A-level option combination is and whether or not they would look good together. In terms of future plans, I hope to get into Oxford or Cambridge however I am not very sure what I want to study although I have managed to narrow it down to either medicine, engineering, maths or computer science.

    So anyways the options I chose were Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Maths and Further Maths. I do understand many of you may be thinking that 5 A -levels is far too much but I am planning on dropping at least one of them after my first year (probably Computer Science). Does anyone feel this combination is any good or would you say it is a hard combination? I am willing to put in the time but obviously wouldn't have any idea how difficult they would be for A-levels. If it helps, I currently achieve A*s in GCSE Maths, Bs in Further Maths iGCSE, A*s in Chemistry and Computer Science and around an A/A* in Physics although I have been occasionally dropping to a B.

    I appologise for the very long question, any advice/help would really be appreciated though.
    You can get into Oxford/Cambridge with 3 A Levels if they're good. I'd say your grades will suffer doing that many. At most I think 4 is more than sufficient. Perhaps leave Further Maths.
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    (Original post by studen.t)
    Hi everyone, so basically I am a year 11 student and I'm getting to the end of my GCSE exams however I am not quite sure on how difficult my A-level option combination is and whether or not they would look good together. In terms of future plans, I hope to get into Oxford or Cambridge however I am not very sure what I want to study although I have managed to narrow it down to either medicine, engineering, maths or computer science.

    So anyways the options I chose were Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Maths and Further Maths. I do understand many of you may be thinking that 5 A -levels is far too much but I am planning on dropping at least one of them after my first year (probably Computer Science). Does anyone feel this combination is any good or would you say it is a hard combination? I am willing to put in the time but obviously wouldn't have any idea how difficult they would be for A-levels. If it helps, I currently achieve A*s in GCSE Maths, Bs in Further Maths iGCSE, A*s in Chemistry and Computer Science and around an A/A* in Physics although I have been occasionally dropping to a B.

    I appologise for the very long question, any advice/help would really be appreciated though.
    I would attempt this combination but at any point if you find you are slacking you need to drop 1. Further Maths and Physics are both very respected subjects but also quite difficult.
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    (Original post by gavinlowe)
    I agree with what you say in the first two paragraphs, but not the third. Computer Science is certainly recommended (but not compulsory) for a Computer Science degree at Oxford: I would rank it as the third most useful subject behind Mathematics and Further Mathematics. Indeed, our standard offer is for an A* in one of those three subjects.
    Then may I suggest you initiate an update to the Oxford University webpage I linked! As it stands, the advice on that table would have chemistry or even biology above computer science.

    Also, knowledge of Computing is very useful in most fields. I would consider it more useful than Chemistry if OP goes on to do a degree in Maths or Engineering (but Chemistry is probably more useful for Medicine). I had a lunch-time discussion earlier this week where my Maths colleague was saying that he wished his students had more coding experience, and my Physics colleague was saying that most of what he does is coding. And I had a discussion yesterday with a Engineering graduate student who said that most of what he does is coding.

    Gavin
    I have no experience of a computer science A-level. How much of it is coding?
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Then may I suggest you initiate an update to the Oxford University webpage I linked! As it stands, the advice on that table would have chemistry or even biology above computer science.
    I don't know why you think that. The page says "Further Mathematics or a science" is recommended. Computer Science is a science: there's a clue in the name.

    I have no experience of a computer science A-level. How much of it is coding?
    A fair bit.

    Gavin
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    It's very easy to say "these are my options" prior to A levels but you want to relax, you want to have free time and having 10 weeks off now makes it seems so simple to say im doing 5 A levels but trust me it's not going to be that simple in practice. I'd advise you to drop one atleast.
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    I do know people who did 4/5 A levels and did incredibly well. However, if at ANY point you feel it is too much, don't leave it for too long to drop one. As people have mentioned above, A*AA/AAA can be more highly regarded than BBBBB. Don't be pressured to do so many because it looks impressive, but, if you know your own abilities and think you're capable, at least give it a go.

    In regards to Computer Science, as people above have said, if you choose a Maths/Engineering/Computer Science degree, it is often regarded as a 'useful' subject. I believe one possible reason that it is not more highly requested is because many places (at least when I was searching for a sixth form) either don't offer it, or have an ICT teacher doing lessons who has no clue what they're doing. I was lucky and had an actual Computing teacher!

    I myself applied to York to do Computer Science and, because I do Computing at A level and so had programming experience, I was given their reduced offer (their standard offer for the BSC is AAB-ABB). Again, it depends on what you want to do. They were also equally impressed with people who had Further Maths.

    Conversely, Computer Science would be a safe subject to drop. I love the A level and would love more people to do it, but, in terms of a degree, learning to code in your spare time would be equally impressive and, because Computer Science is not a required subject, if any of the A level is relevant, you often just end up being taught it again at university.

    Hope some of this helped, good luck with results day.
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    (Original post by gavinlowe)
    I don't know why you think that. The page says "Further Mathematics or a science" is recommended. Computer Science is a science: there's a clue in the name.
    Interesting, I honestly have never considered computer science a science. It does not use experimentation to investigate the natural world. But putting philosophy aside:

    a) I cannot see any definition or list of sciences on the Oxford website
    b) I guarantee I am not the only person to think the above
    c) The notorious Trinity Blacklist does not list computer science as an "generally suitable science". Yes, we know that is not Oxford but it does have influence and if you want to avoid ambiguity you are failing.
    d) Would you be happy with someone who had done Sport Science? There's a clue in the name.
    e) The website clearly still implies that computer science is no better than biology or chemistry (which the OP is doing). If you wish to imply otherwise, the website needs changing.

    I still think its probably the best thing for the OP to drop given their interests.
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    (Original post by studen.t)
    Hi everyone, so basically I am a year 11 student and I'm getting to the end of my GCSE exams however I am not quite sure on how difficult my A-level option combination is and whether or not they would look good together. In terms of future plans, I hope to get into Oxford or Cambridge however I am not very sure what I want to study although I have managed to narrow it down to either medicine, engineering, maths or computer science.

    So anyways the options I chose were Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Maths and Further Maths. I do understand many of you may be thinking that 5 A -levels is far too much but I am planning on dropping at least one of them after my first year (probably Computer Science). Does anyone feel this combination is any good or would you say it is a hard combination? I am willing to put in the time but obviously wouldn't have any idea how difficult they would be for A-levels. If it helps, I currently achieve A*s in GCSE Maths, Bs in Further Maths iGCSE, A*s in Chemistry and Computer Science and around an A/A* in Physics although I have been occasionally dropping to a B.

    I appologise for the very long question, any advice/help would really be appreciated though.
    okay okay okay. 5 AS levels dropping down to four is WAAAAAY too much. it's much better to take 4, drop down to have to three and be able to really perform and dedicate your time to those. Not even oxbridge ask for four A-Levels so not only is it crazy stressful its also kinda unnecessary. Colleges often push high achieving students to take five simply because it looks better for their statistics. I was doing 5 AS for the first half of my AS year before taking my mocks and i wasn't satisfied with my results (AABBC) so dropped one. I can't even tell you the difference it made to my workload and I came out with AAAB in the end. I dropped the B grade subject and am now set to get A*A*A on results day and really don't think I would be if I'd have carried on doing so much. Give it a go if you're sure you want to do five but don't beat yourself up if you struggle with the workload and have to drop one.
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    Seriously alevels are getting harder. Do 4 in first year and drop one.
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    Thanks for the help guys, so are we saying that computer science should be the one I don't do? Or was it Further maths? I'm finding it difficult to choose what subject to remove out of my 5.
 
 
 
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