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# Number of A-Levels Dilemma watch

1. I'll try to put this as simply as possible, thanks for taking the time to read this. So I am starting A-levels in a few days and I am taking four subjects; Maths, Biology, Economics and Politics. Now because of the new courses, Economics and Politics do not have an exam at AS level, this means studying one of them would be pointless for a year as i would just drop it for the following year. Therefore I am going to try out the subjects for a few weeks to see which one I like best.

The problem is however is that with taking 3 A Levels means if i struggled with one (Maths springs to mind) i could potentially only get 2 good grades and a bad grade, I achieved an A in maths at GCSEs, and I hear AS Maths isn't that hard, but A2 is. So if i did flop Maths at AS i have no backup subjects as i only have 3. I hope that explains my problem a little, I'm unsure of what to do. Is it worth risking taking 3 A Levels so i can focus more on those subjects? Thank you
2. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
I'll try to put this as simply as possible, thanks for taking the time to read this. So I am starting A-levels in a few days and I am taking four subjects; Maths, Biology, Economics and Politics. Now because of the new courses, Economics and Politics do not have an exam at AS level, this means studying one of them would be pointless for a year as i would just drop it for the following year. Therefore I am going to try out the subjects for a few weeks to see which one I like best.

The problem is however is that with taking 3 A Levels means if i struggled with one (Maths springs to mind) i could potentially only get 2 good grades and a bad grade, I achieved an A in maths at GCSEs, and I hear AS Maths isn't that hard, but A2 is. So if i did flop Maths at AS i have no backup subjects as i only have 3. I hope that explains my problem a little, I'm unsure of what to do. Is it worth risking taking 3 A Levels so i can focus more on those subjects? Thank you
There's many more factors to consider than you think, let's start with the linear subjects: you're gonna be assessed either way, with or without exams to get your predicted grades, so at the end of the year you'll have an idea of how well you're doing. Now, if you're a 100% sure that these 3 subjects are what you want to do, go for it. But if you're hesitating, there's no harm in trying other subjects, if your college/school allows you to

If you do take 3 and not even try out the rest you're interested in, then you'll be able to adapt a focused attitude from the very beginning, which I think is a great thing.

If you struggle with ANY of the subjects, you won't be alone - there will be classmates, tutors and TSR that can help you so please have faith in yourself! You can do this if you work hard enough, as I'm sure you're determined

Hope this helps!
3. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
I'll try to put this as simply as possible, thanks for taking the time to read this. So I am starting A-levels in a few days and I am taking four subjects; Maths, Biology, Economics and Politics. Now because of the new courses, Economics and Politics do not have an exam at AS level, this means studying one of them would be pointless for a year as i would just drop it for the following year. Therefore I am going to try out the subjects for a few weeks to see which one I like best.

The problem is however is that with taking 3 A Levels means if i struggled with one (Maths springs to mind) i could potentially only get 2 good grades and a bad grade, I achieved an A in maths at GCSEs, and I hear AS Maths isn't that hard, but A2 is. So if i did flop Maths at AS i have no backup subjects as i only have 3. I hope that explains my problem a little, I'm unsure of what to do. Is it worth risking taking 3 A Levels so i can focus more on those subjects? Thank you
Take 4, see which ones you struggle/ enjoy, then alter accordingly. There's no need to make rash decisions based on theory rather than evidence.
4. I'm in the same boat at the moment. Deciding whether to just take
Biology chemistry and geography or to add psychology too as I'm worried about chemistry. I've been advised to start with 3 as 1) I do A LOT of extra curricular (international athlete) so the workload would be quite a lot especially as I wouldn't even get a grade for one of them 2) it gives you time to concentrate on other subjects you may be struggling with instead of having to spread time over 4 subjects. Idk that's what I've been told but it's completely up to you, the new a level reform makes it hard to choose!

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5. (Original post by amyjf)
I'm in the same boat at the moment. Deciding whether to just take
Biology chemistry and geography or to add psychology too as I'm worried about chemistry. I've been advised to start with 3 as 1) I do A LOT of extra curricular (international athlete) so the workload would be quite a lot especially as I wouldn't even get a grade for one of them 2) it gives you time to concentrate on other subjects you may be struggling with instead of having to spread time over 4 subjects. Idk that's what I've been told but it's completely up to you, the new a level reform makes it hard to choose!
Considering the fact that most universities require 3 A levels, it's really unnecessary to take 4 unless you're very much interested in the 4th; as well as that, you kind of already have a fourth subject, your extracurricular activity! Since you mentioned it being a lot, then it probably already takes up as much time as a 4th subject would, so I say think about it before choosing 4 chances are, you'll get way too stressed otherwise. Good luck!
6. (Original post by amyjf)
I'm in the same boat at the moment.

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If only they still had AS for some subjects, to me it just seems pointless studying a subject for a year only to drop it with no qualification at the end of it. I'm probably going to do all four subjects for a month and also ask my maths teacher (whom i've had for all 5 years) if she thinks I would be capable at A2 to achieve a decent grade. The stress has begun before they've even started!
7. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
If only they still had AS for some subjects, to me it just seems pointless studying a subject for a year only to drop it with no qualification at the end of it. I'm probably going to do all four subjects for a month and also ask my maths teacher (whom i've had for all 5 years) if she thinks I would be capable at A2 to achieve a decent grade. The stress has begun before they've even started!
It's not pointless, AS is a separate qualification on its own right now. At the end of AS you get a certificate for it with your grade. I don't know about other colleges but mine still had AS exams so we were formally assessed for the certificate.
BOTH years are assessed in formal exams at the end of A2 so I can guarantee you it's not a waste and certainly not to be taken lightly!
8. (Original post by AnnaRainbows)
It's not pointless, AS is a separate qualification on its own right now.
Sorry about the confusion, I probably didn't explain it well in the first post, the subjects that I am deciding about what to drop are Economics and Politics, with the new syllabus it scraps AS altogether and they are examined at the end after the two years. That's as far as I am aware.

That's where my problem lies, I'm studying a subject for a whole year incase i flop at maths, it seems i can't win however as if i succeed in maths i have wasted a year on a subject, and if i don't do so well i've lost out on a maths a level!
9. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
Sorry about the confusion, I probably didn't explain it well in the first post, the subjects that I am deciding about what to drop are Economics and Politics, with the new syllabus it scraps AS altogether and they are examined at the end after the two years. That's as far as I am aware
It's still not pointless, even if you drop one or the other, you will still have achieved a qualification for it. It doesn't matter if you carry on to A2 or not with it
10. (Original post by AnnaRainbows)
It's still not pointless, even if you drop one or the other, you will still have achieved a qualification for it. It doesn't matter if you carry on to A2 or not with it
Now I'm truly confused, do you mind me asking what sort of qualification i would get as i would't have achieved an AS?
11. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
Now I'm truly confused, do you mind me asking what sort of qualification i would get as i would't have achieved an AS?
Oh, you mean like, if you dropped it after a few weeks? Haha then nothing, my friend sorry for the confusion!
12. (Original post by AnnaRainbows)
Oh, you mean like, if you dropped it after a few weeks? Haha then nothing, my friend sorry for the confusion!
No, sorry I mean if i dropped it after the year as there are no AS exams! Confusing each other now
13. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
No, sorry I mean if i dropped it after the year as there are no AS exams! Confusing each other now
I guess you'd have to clear that with your college, as like I said some colleges still do AS exams some don't, so evidently your college will decide what kind of grade you get you will achieve a qualification whatsoever but what matters is how you'll be assessed for the grade, it's eithe a mock or coursework or... just a teacher's decision? I'm only speculating here
14. (Original post by AnnaRainbows)
I guess you'd have to clear that with your college, as like I said some colleges still do AS exams some don't, so evidently your college will decide what kind of grade you get you will achieve a qualification whatsoever but what matters is how you'll be assessed for the grade, it's eithe a mock or coursework or... just a teacher's decision? I'm only speculating here
Thanks for the help! I'm probably going to go down the four subject route for the first year as it does account for different possibilities, the thought of a wasted subject did put me off a little but by the sounds of it, it won't be wasted! I'll have to find out more information when I get to sixth form but your words have been reassuring, thank you
15. (Original post by matt_barrett101)
Thanks for the help! I'm probably going to go down the four subject route for the first year as it does account for different possibilities, the thought of a wasted subject did put me off a little but by the sounds of it, it won't be wasted! I'll have to find out more information when I get to sixth form but your words have been reassuring, thank you
Happy to help Hope you find your way and enjoy the school year! Good luck!
16. (Original post by AnnaRainbows)
Considering the fact that most universities require 3 A levels, it's really unnecessary to take 4 unless you're very much interested in the 4th; as well as that, you kind of already have a fourth subject, your extracurricular activity! Since you mentioned it being a lot, then it probably already takes up as much time as a 4th subject would, so I say think about it before choosing 4 chances are, you'll get way too stressed otherwise. Good luck!
Thank you for this! Yes I'm 99% sure I'm going to take biology, chemistry and geography now so only 3! I'm determined to work hard especially at chemistry so hopefully I will enjoy it. I think 3 is the best option for me as it means I can still keep up my sport, a levels and everything else without getting too stressed or have to sacrifice anything.

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17. (Original post by amyjf)
Thank you for this! Yes I'm 99% sure I'm going to take biology, chemistry and geography now so only 3! I'm determined to work hard especially at chemistry so hopefully I will enjoy it. I think 3 is the best option for me as it means I can still keep up my sport, a levels and everything else without getting too stressed or have to sacrifice anything.
Wise choice best of luck! I hope you achieve your goals!
18. Hey, I only did 3 A-Levels in Biology, Maths and Economics. That's similar to you! I suppose doing a fourth AS might be a good back up incase you flop but you also have to think of it as putting more pressure in your studies this year because you have to revise for another fourth subject. Therefore if you find a subject hard, you mind end up spending more time on that particular subject and then end up allocating less time on your other subjects. It is important that you spend an equal amount of time studying for each subject. Although I do think you should definitely test out all 4 subjects in the first week or two before you decide to drop an AS level or not.

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