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English Literature at Oxford - Do my AS level choices greatly inhibit my chances? Watch

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    I've just received my GCSE results - 7A* including English Lang/Lit, History, Bio/Phys etc; 4As, 1C.
    I have chosen to do English Literature and the three Sciences for AS level to keep my options open. However, I do have an underlying ambition to get into Oxford to study English Literature.
    My question is, would it be worth changing Physics for History at AS level?
    Would I stand a good chance at getting into Oxford without History, with the 3 Sciences and English at AS level?

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    (Original post by MatthewNY)
    I've just received my GCSE results - 7A* including English Lang/Lit, History, Bio/Phys etc; 4As, 1C.
    I have chosen to do English Literature and the three Sciences for AS level to keep my options open. However, I do have an underlying ambition to get into Oxford to study English Literature.
    My question is, would it be worth changing Physics for History at AS level?
    Would I stand a good chance at getting into Oxford without History, with the 3 Sciences and English at AS level?

    Thanks
    It depends on the individual, but generally it is a good idea to group Biology with Chemistry, and Maths with Physics. However, AS Physics keeps Maths to a minimum level, so the main challenge lies in understanding the content.

    From experience, sciences are quite theoretical and don't test a lot of essay skills. If you really want to keep your options 'open', taking Maths (to AS at least) is a fantastic door-opener. Universities like to see Maths, as it boasts a 'problem-solving' ability, which become crucial for all courses later on.

    English Literature pairs nicely with History. Both test different essay writing skills, and you will find that as you practice writing more in the respective, your confidence will improve tremendously; this will play a big part in quickly constructing sophisticated and fluid arguments in highly pressurised exam situations.

    Another deciding factor is identifying where your genuine interests lie, and crucially, what you actually enjoy! As you probably know, AS is a big jump, so you need to choose subjects that you don't mind spending a large volume of time studying.

    In terms of your Oxford ambition to study Literature, I think it would help to take at least another essay based subject. This would demonstrate a developed cultural perspective, and a strong writing profile. You would stand a better chance by doing this in my opinion, and also taking Science/Maths would present you as a more diverse and more involved character in terms of academia.
 
 
 
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