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Choosing a 4th A Level subject Watch

    • Thread Starter

    My sixth form choice need me to submit my application by early November, with three subjects I want to take to A Level and one that I'm going to take to at least AS.

    I know for my three A Level subjects, I'd like to do History, Geman, and English Literature. These are my three favourite subjects at school, and I don't really like anything else I study apart from Latin, which isn't offered as an A Level at my sixth form. I'm thinking of doing something at university to do with languages or history.

    My problem is choosing my fourth subject. Even if I choose to drop it at AS, that's still going to be a whole year of subject. I have high GCSE target grades, so that shouldn't be an issue. My options are: Maths, Music, Geography (though I haven't taken it at GCSE) or French.

    Maths is one of the subjects I find most difficult, and I'm worried it might stress me out completely at A Level. School aren't helpful because they're all like 'of course you could do it, you've got high targets!!11!1' So, what I want to know is: what's the course like? Big step up from GCSE? Is it possible to cope with if you dislike the subject?

    I like Music more, but I don't think it's too highly regarded by universities?? And also I'm terrible at aural and pitching things, and I'm not sure if that's a big part of the course?

    French, I haven't taken at GCSE. What my school has suggested is that I take the French GCSE in a year, with my other GCSEs, and then I'm free to go on to do the A Level. While I love languages - and, ideally, French would be my chosen AS level - I'm already doing 2-3 extra GCSEs anyway. (so, 12-13 total GCSEs) Would it be too much work/stress to also do French in a year?

    Aaaaand (this is so long, sorry haha) Geography, I also didn't to at GCSE. You don't have to have the GCSE to do it at A Level, so that's not a problem. But what's the course like? Hard? Lots of essays? Interesting?

    I'm so sorry this is such a long post, but any help would be much appreciated!! Thank you so much

    Maths is a massive step up from A Level and you'll also have the 'benefit' of being the first year studying the new linear specification which is a lot more fixed than the current one, so if you find it hard at GCSE I wouldn't bother with it at A Level unless it is necessary for your chosen degree. (Yes I realise lots on TSR will disagree with this advice.
    I don't know much about the other options that you are considering other than Music is apparently really hard, but very very few unis care what a persons 4th As Level is in so don't worry too much about how it is viewed.

    Maths is a subject you should only do if you enjoy it.. i wouldnt say its though, but if you dislike maths you wont be able to study and this will cause your grade to be lower. Of course you could find techniques and motivate yourself to do the work. It isnt a massive step up from gcse compared to bio though.. this is the only subject i can comment on

    My advice comes in two parts:
    1. Is it possible for you to only do three subjects or are you determined to do four? You don't seem particularly interested in Maths, French, Geography and Music so why not stick with 3 you enjoy and can fully invest your time in? It wouldn't put you at a disadvantage as long as you get top grades in the three subjects.
    2. If you do have to choose a fourth, from experience, I would not advise Maths AS. I got an A at Maths GCSE and also did Level 3 Further Maths in Year 11 and got a B.. and still struggled with Maths AS. If you don't enjoy maths at all, it does become a chore and can lead to demotivation. I ended up prioritising the three subjects I loved anyway and got top grades (so there was no point in taking Maths, really). People on TSR might say Maths is easy to self teach but if you don't like it, the concepts can be tricky. And lots of formulas/methods to learn is tedious and can be annoying.

    Just from what you've written, I would suggest just doing 3 or French as you already seem to have an interest for languages.

    Hope it works out!

    Hii I'm in a similar situation to you in the sense I have 3 options that I know I 100% want to take but am also stuck on the 4th. I'm going to take History, Government & Politics and English Lit with a 4th option. Then do history at university.

    Does your school give you the option of doing 3 for both AS & A2 and does your school work in a consortium where you could possibly do Latin at another 6th Form? What I'm going to do is talk a bit to my subject teachers to see what they advise and maybe you could find on your school website a 6th form course booklet to find something you enjoy?

    Hope you find another option soon.
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