Choosing A levels Watch

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I am still on the GCSE course, but I need to start choosing what A levels I will do. Does anybody know an outline of most subjects, how hard or easy the courses are............................. .......... For instance I am good at english, but is it really going to be usfull in A level and getting me in college, Is maths really that hard?! Can you give me a brief view on any of the A level courses? Also Is it useful studying theatre studies?!
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Nylex
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Maths is meant to be quite hard I think, but I found it alright (and I got a B for GCSE). How hard or easy a subject is depends on you; even if someone else says they find it easy you may not. I'll say this: pick the subjects that you really enjoy most at GCSE. It also helps if you have an idea about what you want to do at uni, if you want to go (it's a long way away, I know). As for giving an outline on subjects, I don't think I'll be much help cos you seem to be more of an Arts person (seeing as you mentioned English and Theatre, don't worry there's nothing wrong with that ) and I did Science subjects (Maths, Physics).. the only Arts subject I did was French.
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(Original post by Nylex)
Maths is meant to be quite hard I think, but I found it alright (and I got a B for GCSE). How hard or easy a subject is depends on you; even if someone else says they find it easy you may not. I'll say this: pick the subjects that you really enjoy most at GCSE. It also helps if you have an idea about what you want to do at uni, if you want to go (it's a long way away, I know). As for giving an outline on subjects, I don't think I'll be much help cos you seem to be more of an Arts person (seeing as you mentioned English and Theatre, don't worry there's nothing wrong with that ) and I did Science subjects (Maths, Physics).. the only Arts subject I did was French.

It's true right that Maths is more likely to get you into uni than english yeah?! Is there any career with english appart from being a teacher?!
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It'sPhil...
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(Original post by Hat100)
It's true right that Maths is more likely to get you into uni than english yeah?! Is there any career with english appart from being a teacher?!
Yes plenty, ie media, journalism. Not all degrees are directly vocational, and an english degree is a versatile qualification. Maths will more likely get you in uni if your doing maths or science but other than that there is no preference.
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PHIL
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I found maths hard, but am gonna continue to A2 anyway, so beware that if you choose maths, to do well it'll probs take a lot of time and effort. Also, I'd agree with Nylex, choose subjects you enjoy, as then you'll probably do better.

Phil
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elisabeth_rb
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(Original post by Unregistered)
I am still on the GCSE course, but I need to start choosing what A levels I will do. Does anybody know an outline of most subjects, how hard or easy the courses are............................. .......... For instance I am good at english, but is it really going to be usfull in A level and getting me in college, Is maths really that hard?! Can you give me a brief view on any of the A level courses? Also Is it useful studying theatre studies?!
The best way forward is to look first and foremost at what you enjoy most. Those are the subjects that are the most worthwhile for you as they are the ones you will put most into and will do best in. Also worth considering is, if you are thinking of uni, what kind of subjects are you interested in taking there? Might be worth thinking about subjects that are required for any degree programme that you like the look of.

English is always a good subject, as is maths. They're ones you just can't lose on. If you enjoy theatre and, esp if you fancied doing something like literature and/or drama later on, then theatre studies is well worth continuing with. Chances are, what you enjoy now is whwat you will enjoy later. An "arty-farty" subject on your CV won't harm your job prospects in the real world. Employers like 3 dimensional people with a range of skills and interests.

For an overview of the courses, talk to your teachers, look through some textbooks in your local bookshop or look through syllabuses on exam board websites such as OCR, AQA and Edexcel.

Again, take what you enjoy and enjoy what you take!

Elisabeth=)
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Nylex
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(Original post by Hat100)
It's true right that Maths is more likely to get you into uni than english yeah?! Is there any career with english appart from being a teacher?!
No, it definetly isn't true (unless you're applying for a scientific course). Not doing Maths won't put you at a disadvantage, cos there'll still be lots of courses you can apply for. Not sure about careers with English, sorry .
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PHIL
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(Original post by Nylex)
No, it definetly isn't true (unless you're applying for a scientific course). Not doing Maths won't put you at a disadvantage, cos there'll still be lots of courses you can apply for. Not sure about careers with English, sorry .
Maths is seen as a hard course, and so unis like it cause it shows you can think well.

Phil
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Nylex
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Sigh, I suppose. Even so, I still don't think it'll make it any easier for people to get in.
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It'sPhil...
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(Original post by PHIL)
Maths is seen as a hard course, and so unis like it cause it shows you can think well.

Phil
Strangely though, maths has something like a 35-40% A grade rate, which is waay higher than any other subject
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Leekey
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(Original post by It'sPhil...)
Strangely though, maths has something like a 35-40% A grade rate, which is waay higher than any other subject

This is probably because everyone seems to attribute more of their time to studying it because they know it can be VERY difficult if you don't get the material learned properly. I bet there a few people here who spent more time studying for maths when they should really have been doing work for other subjects (including myself).
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PHIL
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(Original post by It'sPhil...)
Strangely though, maths has something like a 35-40% A grade rate, which is waay higher than any other subject
Could be that due to maths's reputatiuon, most people are put off, so the people doing maths are on average more mathematically and academically able than those doing other subjects.

Phil
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(Original post by It'sPhil...)
Yes plenty, ie media, journalism. Not all degrees are directly vocational, and an english degree is a versatile qualification. Maths will more likely get you in uni if your doing maths or science but other than that there is no preference.
You say that there are plenty of careers with english, but I dont think thats strictly true. There are plenty of careers where you just need a degree in any subject, and of course english would be fine, but i cant think of anything but teaching where you specifically need a degree in english. Even journalism and media are careers where a specialist subject like economics, sports studies, fashion together with practical journalistic experience might be more useful than a dgree in english.
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(Original post by It'sPhil...)
Strangely though, maths has something like a 35-40% A grade rate, which is waay higher than any other subject
Thats not so strange. To put it crudely, thick people dont take maths...
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(Original post by Unregistered)
Thats not so strange. To put it crudely, thick people dont take maths...
You managed to get what I was trying to say politely, and get it down to 5 words.

Phil
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Hat100
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(Original post by PHIL)
You managed to get what I was trying to say politely, and get it down to 5 words.

Phil

So basically what being said is if you can do maths and if you find time to study it and take out the time then you will do well, and it does give you an advantage to uni as its supposed to be hard? and that english doesn't have that many careers for it, but it's easy. I have to ask does it matter if you have such a spread out use of subjects, for example my strengths are Maths, ICT, English and Spanish. And these are quite different (appart from spanish and english both being languages.). So if my skills are so spread out what career could I do? Or would this just give me more options of careers?!
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(Original post by Hat100)
So basically what being said is if you can do maths and if you find time to study it and take out the time then you will do well, and it does give you an advantage to uni as its supposed to be hard? and that english doesn't have that many careers for it, but it's easy. I have to ask does it matter if you have such a spread out use of subjects, for example my strengths are Maths, ICT, English and Spanish. And these are quite different (appart from spanish and english both being languages.). So if my skills are so spread out what career could I do? Or would this just give me more options of careers?!
hiya i did english, spanish, history and chemistry so it's not a problem having qualifications that are spread out, although looking back i would have probably been better doing french instead of chem. hate to dissapoint you but english isn't easy,i know people that got a's at gcse and really struggled in the first year.

I absolutely loved spanish and got an A in it so if you want any specific info about it pm me. Also i never thought i would be spanish after a-level but i couldn't bear to give it up now so i'm doing it at bristol next year with portuguese. I still don't know what i want to do afterwards but i know i can do anything except specialised vocational stuff. I'll warn you though i put in so much extra work to get the grade and people that think languages are a total doss suddenly get a very sharp shock. about 20 people started the course, 9 lasted the first week, only 5 did the as and 4 did the A2

good luck with your choices but don't get too bogged down in worrying what is accademic or not, just take what you enjoy so you'll get the maximum forfilment out of the 2 years.
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elisabeth_rb
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(Original post by Hat100)
So basically what being said is if you can do maths and if you find time to study it and take out the time then you will do well, and it does give you an advantage to uni as its supposed to be hard? and that english doesn't have that many careers for it, but it's easy. I have to ask does it matter if you have such a spread out use of subjects, for example my strengths are Maths, ICT, English and Spanish. And these are quite different (appart from spanish and english both being languages.). So if my skills are so spread out what career could I do? Or would this just give me more options of careers?!
Please see the new thread I started!!!

Elisabeth=)
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(Original post by Hat100)
So basically what being said is if you can do maths and if you find time to study it and take out the time then you will do well, and it does give you an advantage to uni as its supposed to be hard? and that english doesn't have that many careers for it, but it's easy. I have to ask does it matter if you have such a spread out use of subjects, for example my strengths are Maths, ICT, English and Spanish. And these are quite different (appart from spanish and english both being languages.). So if my skills are so spread out what career could I do? Or would this just give me more options of careers?!
Try again:

OK, let's look at all this again and I'm also going to tell you a bit about how Uni works, which most people here don't have experience of yet as they haven't yet been.

Right, first you like and are good at: English, Maths, Spanish and ICT. Well, if you were to take those all at AS level plus general studs and then 3 onto A2, you would have a great CV so far which would give you entry onto an enormous variety of degree courses. If I were you, I'd go for those 4 - they're all excellent subjects with real potential. Oh adn English is not considered a 'language' subject unless you are planning on taking A level English language. Also, Spanish at A level will include an intro to the literature available in Spanish and a lot more about Hispanic life and culture. Should be fsacinating!

Second - there's no such thing as an easy A level or an easy degree. Some people have strengths in one area and some in another. It's a rare person who can get As in everything, right? Maths is reputed to be harder than English, but that's not necessarily true. Someone who can get As at A2 maths and get a first class honours degree in it may be totally unable to get more than a passable grade at GCSE English. Good grades at A level and good degrees are highly valued no matter what subject they are in and the important people in your life, (Uni admissions tutors, employers etc), will know that.

Third - you're too hung up, at the tender age of 15, on getting your whole future mapped out and your career cast in stone! Ease off on yourself and concentrate on what you enjoy and are good at. If you don't have a definite idea of what you want to do in life right now, then get a good general education which will leave you with lots of options open when it comes to more serious decision time. Also, remember that the only things in your life that you can't change is who your family are and your own genetic code! If you make the wrong choices at 16, you can change them later on.

Fourth point - many people here seem to be focusing on the one academic subject taken from A level, through degree and leading into a specific career. In reality, this rarely happens. The only degrees where that's likely to really take place are things like medical professions, law and other highly specialised, specific vocational areas. If you were to do a degree in English say, there are MANY career options open, same as with degrees in any of the single options in your best subjects. What you're not taking into consideration are the other options at Uni such as joint and combined honours subjects, subjects that have no specific A level subjects needed for entry etc. With the 4 you mentioned, you could go into any of the business, economic, accounting, social science, maths, humanities, many language programmes (not just Spanish but also Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Russian etc which start from beginners and just want to see evidence of prior language learning ability to A level), and dozens and dozens more. Get hold of a prospectus and look at the 'table of offers' section which will tell you what grades and subjects are typically required for what programmes. Many do not need more than one, if any at all, specific A level subject!

Something people here possibly don't know is that, at Uni, there are often things called 'elective modules' available where you can follow up a number of other interests alongside your main programme. So, in this case you could keep up your Spanish or learn another language, do a business or management course or two, take a maths module alongside a joint honours in English and Spanish, learn a new computer related thing..... The list of combinations is endless. Many elective courses even offer the chance to transfer into that programme if your grades are good enough! Told you nothing was cast in stone!!!=)

Careers: You're too young to be convinced that you must know what you're going to do already! Many finalists at Uni, (those about to graduate), don't know that, so should you????=) Seriously though, have a browse around your local careers centre and see what seems interesting to you. There are some computer programme things that find out your interests and strengths then give you suggestions based on them - you could have a session on one of those. Talk to your careers teacher at school too.

So, DON'T PANIC! As you have no definite career idea now, (ie are not going for medicine, law, veterinary science, teaching etc), just take what you enjoy and enjoy what you take. I said that before and I'm repeating it for one good reason: It's bloomin' good advice!!! And it's what your teachers etc will tell you too.

All the best!

Elisabeth=)
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Mol
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Do wat your good at or subjects u feel u can put a lot of effort( I got a B for maths at O/L but worked hard and got a good A). I had a paticular bad experience in doing B.s(i did not do this in my O/L year as my earlierschool did not allow my combination i found it totally hard and did not intrest me much(it had more theory). Do wat u are good and you will do well. Just check some uni prospectus for mandatory subjects.
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