Is it worth doing 5 A levels for LSE/Cambridge?

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    Does doing 5 A levels offer any advantages? Surely if a candidate has 4 A*s and I had 5 A*s in the same subjects plus one I would have an distinct advantage
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    Nonsense.
    4 A levels are more than enough
    Which subjects are you planning to take?
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    No. They look at your application in a holistic context. Why would they think "hmmm, this kid has an extra A in textile design - oh man, that's so good!!! let's give him an offer for maths!!!"?

    The only reason there is to take 5 A-Levels is because you're genuinely interested in all five (and even then, it's pushing it) and not for silly reasons like trying to be more competitive.
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    Pretty sure you only need 3, 4 if you're doing further maths.
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    (Original post by BioOx)
    Nonsense.
    4 A levels are more than enough
    Which subjects are you planning to take?
    Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths. I want to take economics aswell because I want to do economics at LSE or Cambridge aswell as make up for my GCSES. My GCSEs were really bad for someone aiming for a top uni: 2A*s 3As and a B
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    (Original post by Faheemcg9)
    Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Further Maths. I want to take economics aswell because I want to do economics at LSE or Cambridge aswell as make up for my GCSES. My GCSEs were really bad for someone aiming for a top uni: 2A*s 3As and a B
    You won't make it to Cambridge because Oxbridge look at GCSE results because the competition is unreal with foreign students as well and they all get 4 A*s at A level lol .
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    (Original post by Vl7d)
    You won't make it to Cambridge because Oxbridge look at GCSE results because the competition is unreal with foreign students as well and they all get 4 A*s at A level lol .
    Rude. I may be at a disadvantage but just because you didn't make it doesn't mean I dont have a chance
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    (Original post by Faheemcg9)
    Rude. I may be at a disadvantage but just because you didn't make it doesn't mean I dont have a chance
    No hate really I'm just telling you the reality lol stop being so scared of the true situation. Don't be in denial. Btw I'm not even at the stage to make uni applications so yh it's not that I didn't make it :P . I didn't say you don't have a chance it's just very unlikely.
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    (Original post by Faheemcg9)
    Rude. I may be at a disadvantage but just because you didn't make it doesn't mean I dont have a chance
    Your GCSEs aren't great which will hurt your application. The average offer-holder has at least 6 A* grades at GCSE. That does not mean you have no chance especially if your AS grades are excellent but you have to consider this.

    I also advise against 5.
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    Unless the 5th one is General Studies/Critical Thinking, that would be a very bad idea. I could understand 4 but not 5. And no, you wouldn't necessarily have a distinct advantage. Do you research and find out what people think about having 4 A-levels - it's virtually the same thing you're asking. One possible benefit of doing 4 A-levels, that is, not dropping one at the end of the first year, is that for an offer with 3 grades, you might be able to use only your good ones.

    For example, say you got ABC with 3 and ABBC with 4 and you need ABB at least, you now have it. This is very unrealistic though, given that you're grades should be much better with 3. It would be a case of A*A*A vs A*ABB which is worse. Unless you're VERY competent, a HARD (AND SMART) worker, AND ENJOY all of those subjects thoroughly, it may be best to not go with 4 and just do 3. In the end, most universities only look at your 3 A-levels. With that said though, some universities like Cambridge want like 600 UCAS tariff points or whatever THOUGH THE SYSTEM AND TARIFFS HAVE NOW CHANGED so if you get the chance to do an EPQ, do it, as that will give you extra points.

    You will know if you're a hard worker if you're getting above 80% in all your tests. If you're not getting that, it's unlikely that you're gonna get that in the real exams. If your school doesn't see that you've got like AAAA in all four Advanced Subsidiary Subjects, they're not likely to even consider you carrying all of them, and even then you'll need some good reasons.

    By all means though, since I've already tried to take 4 and they didn't let me, if you can handle it, go for it. If the going gets too tough, drop one.

    There is a trick though.

    The trick is to get consistently good marks and study well all the way through. In fact there's a good guide in this website - search for "How to smash your a levels by an A* student". Trust me, based on my own research, this guide links with a lot of that stuff and even has extra stuff I didn't consider thoroughly.

    One last word of warning. It doesn't matter if you got 6A*s when you're up against candidates who have done work experience and many other stuff. Even just listing them in your personal statement is not enough. You gotta elaborate and stuff. Don't just think you can handle it, you have to prove you handled the pressure in the past, for example with straight As whilst volunteering and working at the same time.
    :angelwings:
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    you probably just started year 12 (if not dont bother reading), dont have high expectations (i dont mean give up right now) because 5 f'in a levels will hit you like a truck.
    i did 4 a levels last year (+1 language) and i failed, i am resitting doing 3 a levels and i am scared af (with 3). last year i was confident just like you (thiking i would get full A*'s) but i failed miserably. if you want to get 5 A*'s you literally have to work your arse off (you might get hemorrhoids from sitting too much ).

    also for the cambridge part,
    i dont want to discourage you but looking at your gcse's you will most likely lose your competition against people who got like 1000000000 A*'s from gcse's. especially when gcse's do extremely matter with the new spec a levels.

    good luck though.
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    Don't do it, you'll regret it immensely in A2. They all make offers on 3 A-levels so taking 5 is just unnecessary and all that stress you would be under is crazy.

    I'd even go so far as to say only do 3. I'm feeling the pressure atm with 3 plus an EPQ (2 of which happen to be Bio and Math) AND doing my early application for Oxford.

    About the Cambridge thing too, was your school an underperforming one? Otherwise you'll be at a significant disadvantage with your GCSE's. I'm not saying it's impossible, nothing ever is, but you're really going to have to make up for them with great AS grades, high A2 predictions AND lots of work experience/wider reading.

    Do 4 A-Levels, not 5 to keep your sanity and lots of work experience (offers are made based on 3 anyway so really there's no point in doing 4 either!)
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    (Original post by AfcFob)
    Don't do it, you'll regret it immensely in A2. They all make offers on 3 A-levels so taking 5 is just unnecessary and all that stress you would be under is crazy.

    I'd even go so far as to say only do 3. I'm feeling the pressure atm with 3 plus an EPQ (2 of which happen to be Bio and Math) AND doing my early application for Oxford.

    About the Cambridge thing too, was your school an underperforming one? Otherwise you'll be at a significant disadvantage with your GCSE's. I'm not saying it's impossible, nothing ever is, but you're really going to have to make up for them with great AS grades, high A2 predictions AND lots of work experience/wider reading.

    Do 4 A-Levels, not 5 to keep your sanity and lots of work experience (offers are made based on 3 anyway so really there's no point in doing 4 either!)
    I've worked at a takeaway if that counts for anything
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    I got 3As 5Bs and 2Cs at GCSE and I'm currently studying 3 A Levels which are Maths, Economics and German. Suppose I am able to get 3A*-A grades, would I be able to study at a Russell Group University and do an Economics/ Accounting and Finance degree? (Specifically LSE, UCL, King's College London, Bristol and Newcastle) Realistically, with my weak GCSE grades and the fact that I am only doing 3 A Levels, what is the likelihood?
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    (Original post by Faheemcg9)
    I've worked at a takeaway if that counts for anything
    Haha I mean subject related experience, like volunteering in a bank etc.

    I've been doing my UCAS at the moment and you actually can write down the takeaway as your employment experience (I work at Sports Direct) but you'll need to do work experience related to economics
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    (Original post by AfcFob)
    Haha I mean subject related experience, like volunteering in a bank etc.

    I've been doing my UCAS at the moment and you actually can write down the takeaway as your employment experience (I work at Sports Direct) but you'll need to do work experience related to economics
    I tried asking a bank at town today but they said they're not accepting at the moment

    Seems like the only way to get work experience at a bank is if your parents know anyone who works there
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    (Original post by Vl7d)
    You won't make it to Cambridge because Oxbridge look at GCSE results because the competition is unreal with foreign students as well and they all get 4 A*s at A level lol .
    Yes GCSEs are important when applying to Oxbridge, but you don't need a million A*s to get in.


    - Taken from the Cambridge University website

    If you land a good interview you can still have a good chance getting into Oxbridge, not to mention that pre-interview exams are going to be introduced for all subjects also.
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    (Original post by Proximo)
    Pretty sure you only need 3, 4 if you're doing further maths.
    False. You only need 3 if you're doing Further Maths as well, for most subjects. Definitely for Economics as well, which is what OP is applying for.

    (Original post by Vl7d)
    You won't make it to Cambridge because Oxbridge look at GCSE results because the competition is unreal with foreign students as well and they all get 4 A*s at A level lol .
    No offence, but this is utter horse sh*t.

    (Original post by Vl7d)
    No hate really I'm just telling you the reality lol stop being so scared of the true situation. Don't be in denial. Btw I'm not even at the stage to make uni applications so yh it's not that I didn't make it :P . I didn't say you don't have a chance it's just very unlikely.
    Look mate, you've got no clue what you're on about, so why don't you stop discouraging people from applying with your scare mongering based on myths and misinformed crap?


    (Original post by Kiritsugu)
    Unless the 5th one is General Studies/Critical Thinking, that would be a very bad idea. I could understand 4 but not 5. And no, you wouldn't necessarily have a distinct advantage. Do you research and find out what people think about having 4 A-levels - it's virtually the same thing you're asking. One possible benefit of doing 4 A-levels, that is, not dropping one at the end of the first year, is that for an offer with 3 grades, you might be able to use only your good ones.

    For example, say you got ABC with 3 and ABBC with 4 and you need ABB at least, you now have it. This is very unrealistic though, given that you're grades should be much better with 3. It would be a case of A*A*A vs A*ABB which is worse. Unless you're VERY competent, a HARD (AND SMART) worker, AND ENJOY all of those subjects thoroughly, it may be best to not go with 4 and just do 3. In the end, most universities only look at your 3 A-levels.
    Agree with all of this.

    With that said though, some universities like Cambridge want like 600 UCAS tariff points or whatever THOUGH THE SYSTEM AND TARIFFS HAVE NOW CHANGED so if you get the chance to do an EPQ, do it, as that will give you extra points.
    Source for this?


    One last word of warning. It doesn't matter if you got 6A*s when you're up against candidates who have done work experience and many other stuff. Even just listing them in your personal statement is not enough. You gotta elaborate and stuff. Don't just think you can handle it, you have to prove you handled the pressure in the past, for example with straight As whilst volunteering and working at the same time.
    :angelwings:
    This is also untrue. irrelevant work experience or volunteering counts for jack in a Cambridge application unless it's either directly relevant to your course or you're applying for medicine.

    (Original post by Bukalemun123)
    also for the cambridge part,
    i dont want to discourage you but looking at your gcse's you will most likely lose your competition against people who got like 1000000000 A*'s from gcse's. especially when gcse's do extremely matter with the new spec a levels.

    good luck though.
    This is patently untrue. See above.

    (Original post by Faheemcg9)
    I tried asking a bank at town today but they said they're not accepting at the moment

    Seems like the only way to get work experience at a bank is if your parents know anyone who works there
    Don't worry about it - I'd advise against work experience. Just work your ass off at relevant A-Levels and perform well on the pre-interview test. You'll make a competitive applicant if you work at it.
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    (Original post by Aklaol)
    Yes GCSEs are important when applying to Oxbridge, but you don't need a million A*s to get in.

    - Taken from the Cambridge University website

    If you land a good interview you can still have a good chance getting into Oxbridge, not to mention that pre-interview exams are going to be introduced for all subjects also.
    Precisely! Thank you for this. This thread was going insane... I genuinely don't understand what TSR has with its GCSE obsession. Just a couple of additions:

    (i) like you said, a good interview gives you a really good chance at an offer. And also, getting an interview is very easy. Cambridge interviews circa 80% of their applicants.

    (ii) There aren't pre-interview tests for all subjects.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    (ii) There aren't pre-interview tests for all subjects.
    Actually there is. Check each subject's Entry Requirements section. Each subject states that you will need to complete some sort of exam before or during your interview.
 
 
 
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