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    I have just finished yr12.
    Having done A Level maths in yr 10 and 11 I naturally considered a maths degree and chose yr 12 subjects accordingly:

    AS French
    AS Physics
    AS & A2 Further Maths

    with the intention of studying the following in yr13:

    A2 French
    A2 Physics
    AS & A2 Additional Further Maths

    However, I have come to realise that I don't want to study maths at Uni anymore (for many reasons). I have decided that I want to study PPE. It perfectly suits my interests and of course the Oxford course looks amazing. I am however at a cross roads. Naturally, my subjects choices are not very suited for PPE and of course, I wish to maximise my chances. How would you advise I proceed next year? I am thinking of continuing with French and Physics to A2 but swapping Additional Further Maths AS/A2 for one of; History, Politics, Economics AS/A2. Should it be of any use, I achieved 10A*s, 1A at GCSE, A* in A Level Maths, and am predicted A*aa this year.


    I appreciate I'm not in a very strong position given my subject choices and wish I could go back to the start of the year and change them, but any advice as to how to proceed next year is greatly appreciated.
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    I wouldn't underestimate the strength of your position - PPE admissions tutors are very keen on maths, so assuming you can convey sufficient subject interest in your personal statement, and do well in the TSA, I would say with your grades you have a decent chance of getting an interview. The most important thing from this point is to prove that you can write essays, since a PPE degree will involve a lot of them, and while I'm sure French involves a fair amount of writing it isn't quite the same. On this basis, if you were to take a new AS/A level, I would strongly recommend History, because it is the most rigorous of the 'essay' subjects and is the subject apart from Maths that it seems PPE admissions tutors are most keen on (and will probably prepare you best!). Neither Politics or Economics at A level is quite the same, since although they both involve 'essays' of a sort, they are primarily content-focused, whereas History is far more analytical. That being said, it is most important that you choose a subject that you like and are good at, and if that is not History, I don't think Politics or Economics will put you in a bad position. Doing AS and A2 in one year in any of those subjects will be a lot of work though, probably more so than additional further maths would be - but it's not something I'm familiar with so you should get some advice from your school/college and the teachers of those subjects about whether or not it would be possible.

    The most important thing is to be proving your subject interest through wider reading and relevant extra-curricular activities, so that you can include this in your personal statement. Providing you can show that you really are interested in and dedicated to PPE, and are capable of studying it, your subject choices should matter only insofar as you are able to get good grades in them.

    The best thing to do might be to email a PPE admissions tutor about your situation - they will be able to give you the best advice about what to do.

    Hope that helps, and feel free to ask any more questions
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    (Original post by catfanatic)
    I wouldn't underestimate the strength of your position - PPE admissions tutors are very keen on maths, so assuming you can convey sufficient subject interest in your personal statement, and do well in the TSA, I would say with your grades you have a decent chance of getting an interview. The most important thing from this point is to prove that you can write essays, since a PPE degree will involve a lot of them, and while I'm sure French involves a fair amount of writing it isn't quite the same. On this basis, if you were to take a new AS/A level, I would strongly recommend History, because it is the most rigorous of the 'essay' subjects and is the subject apart from Maths that it seems PPE admissions tutors are most keen on (and will probably prepare you best!). Neither Politics or Economics at A level is quite the same, since although they both involve 'essays' of a sort, they are primarily content-focused, whereas History is far more analytical. That being said, it is most important that you choose a subject that you like and are good at, and if that is not History, I don't think Politics or Economics will put you in a bad position. Doing AS and A2 in one year in any of those subjects will be a lot of work though, probably more so than additional further maths would be - but it's not something I'm familiar with so you should get some advice from your school/college and the teachers of those subjects about whether or not it would be possible.

    The most important thing is to be proving your subject interest through wider reading and relevant extra-curricular activities, so that you can include this in your personal statement. Providing you can show that you really are interested in and dedicated to PPE, and are capable of studying it, your subject choices should matter only insofar as you are able to get good grades in them.

    The best thing to do might be to email a PPE admissions tutor about your situation - they will be able to give you the best advice about what to do.

    Hope that helps, and feel free to ask any more questions
    Thank you so much for the advice. Others have echoed what you're saying with regards to the benefits of History. I understand that my challenge is proving my ability (and interest) in this side of the course.

    My school tutor has proposed the following and I would appreciate your thoughts on it:

    Over summer, catch up on AS Economics and AS History (i.e. self teach over summer) and then do A2 French, Physics, Economics and History in Yr13 (i.e. ditching AS&A2 Add FM entirely given that, according to him, double A* in Maths and Further Maths pre application shows more than enough mathematical competency for the course).

    Of course self teaching Econ and History over summer is no easy feat but I do think I will be able to manage. Is this too ambitious?

    My initial thought was to just do History over summer but then I'd only have 3 A2s.
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    (Original post by MUTDOX)
    Thank you so much for the advice. Others have echoed what you're saying with regards to the benefits of History. I understand that my challenge is proving my ability (and interest) in this side of the course.

    My school tutor has proposed the following and I would appreciate your thoughts on it:

    Over summer, catch up on AS Economics and AS History (i.e. self teach over summer) and then do A2 French, Physics, Economics and History in Yr13 (i.e. ditching AS&A2 Add FM entirely given that, according to him, double A* in Maths and Further Maths pre application shows more than enough mathematical competency for the course).

    Of course self teaching Econ and History over summer is no easy feat but I do think I will be able to manage. Is this too ambitious?

    My initial thought was to just do History over summer but then I'd only have 3 A2s.
    Why would you need more than 3 A2s? I think you might be being a bit too ambitious in hoping to teach yourself 2 ASs over the summer. It certainly wouldn't be my thing...

    Have you considered doing History AS/A2 and doing an EPQ on something economics related? The grade for your EPQ won't count towards anything but mentioning it in your personal statement will show subject interest and demonstrate essay-writing, research, time-management skills etc.. I did mine on politics, and since my politics interview was based partly on personal statements, I spent a lot of time in that interview discussing it, and the tutor interviewing me seemed pleased (and I got an offer so it obviously wasn't awful). I'm just thinking that an EPQ might be a good way of doing something academic related to PPE without going to the trouble of another full A level which you don't actually need. That way you could maybe even fit AS history into your y13 timetable, and do the EPQ over summer instead...?

    Definitely ditch the additional further maths. You've got far more maths ability already than the average candidate, so as long as you do a bit of practice this year (and possibly mention it in your PS just to confirm that you won't get out of practice maths-wise; maybe do the maths challenge or something?), you'll be totally fine on the maths front. Remember that they do accept candidates with no maths beyond GCSE!
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    (Original post by catfanatic)
    Why would you need more than 3 A2s? I think you might be being a bit too ambitious in hoping to teach yourself 2 ASs over the summer. It certainly wouldn't be my thing...

    Have you considered doing History AS/A2 and doing an EPQ on something economics related? The grade for your EPQ won't count towards anything but mentioning it in your personal statement will show subject interest and demonstrate essay-writing, research, time-management skills etc.. I did mine on politics, and since my politics interview was based partly on personal statements, I spent a lot of time in that interview discussing it, and the tutor interviewing me seemed pleased (and I got an offer so it obviously wasn't awful). I'm just thinking that an EPQ might be a good way of doing something academic related to PPE without going to the trouble of another full A level which you don't actually need. That way you could maybe even fit AS history into your y13 timetable, and do the EPQ over summer instead...?

    Definitely ditch the additional further maths. You've got far more maths ability already than the average candidate, so as long as you do a bit of practice this year (and possibly mention it in your PS just to confirm that you won't get out of practice maths-wise; maybe do the maths challenge or something?), you'll be totally fine on the maths front. Remember that they do accept candidates with no maths beyond GCSE!
    I do fear that doing Econ and History would give little time for extra reading/TSA prep etc etc. I was always under the impression that 3 A2s would be seen as a bit of a weak workload compared to 4 A2s

    History + EPQ sounds like a perfect solution. I would of course be able to prove my essay skills in doing History but also demonstrate some economics/politics knowledge depending on the topic of my EPQ (I would love to do something on the subject of the American establishment and it's subsequent affect on the outcome of the Democrat primary, a topic I am very interested and passionate about!!). I do think doing History over summer would be best though, I don't like to sounds of having to crunch through a course in the midst of the TSA/interviews etc etc.

    Noted about the add. further maths - seems like a wasted A Level in my case.

    Again thank you for all this advice, you don't know how helpful this is
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    Sounds like a plan. There's absolutely nothing wrong with 3A2s (and you've got 2 already - I know it doesn't count for Oxford purposes but still impressive!). Good luck, let me know how it all goes, and feel free to get in touch for anything else I might be able to help with. Like I said before, if you're still a bit uncertain, send Oxford an email just to check that my advice isn't all wrong...
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    (Original post by catfanatic)
    Sounds like a plan. There's absolutely nothing wrong with 3A2s (and you've got 2 already - I know it doesn't count for Oxford purposes but still impressive!). Good luck, let me know how it all goes, and feel free to get in touch for anything else I might be able to help with. Like I said before, if you're still a bit uncertain, send Oxford an email just to check that my advice isn't all wrong...
    Thank you so much for the help and advice, you've massively reassured me and given me more optimism for applying next year

    I think I'll drop a college or two an email just to see what they say regarding my plan as it were.
 
 
 
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