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    I'm in Year 11 now and we are approaching the weeks of choosing our post-16 options.

    I'm set on staying at my school to get my A Levels- it's a good school with a particularly good sixth form. I don't have much of an idea of what career I want or what area I want to go into, but I would probably like to go to university before finishing my education.

    Just so you know, I am targetted all A's and A*'s at GCSE level, but realistically I'm not the most hard working or organised so I think my results will be a mixture of B's A's and A*'s. I got an A* and A for English Lit and Core Science respectively in Year 10.

    My ideal subjects to take at A Level are as follows-

    English Lit: Always enjoyed English in school, got A* at GCSE and read books and write from time to time outside of school. I have an interest in creative writing, newspapers, scripts, stories etc.

    Physics: Top of class in science class for physics, have an interest in space and energy in particular. I love the way the lessons are set out by our teacher, the way it feels like we are discovering how the world works and developing formulas and writing rules. Also not bad at maths.

    Computing: Currently do GCSE ICT but much like everyone else in my year I hate the subject format- constantly making little changes and screenshotting your work- over and over again. Interested in web development and programming and taught myself to a decent level, hoping that taking Computing will allow me to progress properly in creative areas of technology and learn a lot about computer theory too.

    History: Been interested in history since primary school, my favourite topics to study being the Romans and 20th century global affairs. I enjoy learning about the social, political and geographical side of history- such as communism, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the colonisation and development of the US and World War 2.

    I also have a big interest in languages, and so French may become a possibility instead of History. I have no intention of working abroad and I'm not sure if I want to fill the space of one of my options with a language, nevertheless my teacher and I have no doubt that I could do well at A Level.

    I have a few questions which I would like to hear your answers to but please feel free to add any input you have from own experience or knowledge.

    • Is English Lit pretty much the same content at A Level as it is for GCSE?

    • I've heard a few people saying you NEED Mathematics to go alongside Physics, to what extent is that true?

    • What does Computing or Computer Science cover? What level does it get you to and is it highly recommended? Is it really different to ICT?

    • Would you recommend taking History at A Level for someone who isn't very organised? Is it too much work?

    • Is there much point in picking French if I don't want to continue my education in it or work abroad? Will a language really look good on my future CV?

    And finally, is there anything you think current Year 11's should know about the step up to A Level? What are the main differences or challenges about life in sixth form?

    Thank you for reading this far and I really appreciate ANY feedback you have
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    If you have an interest in creative writing, stories, newspapers etc then I would go down more of the English Language and Literature route? Literature is heavily based upon reading novels, essay writing etc. whereas English Language and Literature has aspects of both novels, poetry, rewriting extracts from characters perspectives, with more of a creative edge on it that involves a variety of things, more similar to English GCSE where you studied both Language and Literature. I study both English Language and Literature and ICT at A2 and I have really enjoyed them both. I'm not the most organised person either but I got A's in both at GCSE and I am predicted A's at a level so it isn't too bad in regards to the work load and how achievable it is!

    I only did history at GCSE but got an A in this also and almost took it as an A level. If you honestly really enjoy History then I would say go for it, if you can't juggle all 4 at the end of AS you can always drop one and have 3 a levels and an AS at the end of it. Quite a few of my friends do history and say it's difficult which a fair amount to remember and do but if you enjoy the lesson and it's something you're naturally good at then I would do it, the worst mistake you can make when picking your A level choices is not choosing them based on what you're good at and what you really enjoy studying. It's two years of your life and will teach you skills valuable for University so I would go with your gut feeling and pick the ones you could see yourself studying, enjoying and doing well in.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
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    Great, thank you for your advice! I will definitely make English Language and Lit my preferred choice for English now. And taking History seems to be a good choice then- like you said I can just drop it after the first year and still have a higher qualification in it.

    What sort of things does your ICT course involve??
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    (Original post by sp77)
    I'm in Year 11 now and we are approaching the weeks of choosing our post-16 options.

    I'm set on staying at my school to get my A Levels- it's a good school with a particularly good sixth form. I don't have much of an idea of what career I want or what area I want to go into, but I would probably like to go to university before finishing my education.

    Just so you know, I am targetted all A's and A*'s at GCSE level, but realistically I'm not the most hard working or organised so I think my results will be a mixture of B's A's and A*'s. I got an A* and A for English Lit and Core Science respectively in Year 10.

    My ideal subjects to take at A Level are as follows-

    English Lit: Always enjoyed English in school, got A* at GCSE and read books and write from time to time outside of school. I have an interest in creative writing, newspapers, scripts, stories etc.

    Physics: Top of class in science class for physics, have an interest in space and energy in particular. I love the way the lessons are set out by our teacher, the way it feels like we are discovering how the world works and developing formulas and writing rules. Also not bad at maths.

    Computing: Currently do GCSE ICT but much like everyone else in my year I hate the subject format- constantly making little changes and screenshotting your work- over and over again. Interested in web development and programming and taught myself to a decent level, hoping that taking Computing will allow me to progress properly in creative areas of technology and learn a lot about computer theory too.

    History: Been interested in history since primary school, my favourite topics to study being the Romans and 20th century global affairs. I enjoy learning about the social, political and geographical side of history- such as communism, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the colonisation and development of the US and World War 2.

    I also have a big interest in languages, and so French may become a possibility instead of History. I have no intention of working abroad and I'm not sure if I want to fill the space of one of my options with a language, nevertheless my teacher and I have no doubt that I could do well at A Level.

    I have a few questions which I would like to hear your answers to but please feel free to add any input you have from own experience or knowledge.

    • Is English Lit pretty much the same content at A Level as it is for GCSE?

    • I've heard a few people saying you NEED Mathematics to go alongside Physics, to what extent is that true?

    • What does Computing or Computer Science cover? What level does it get you to and is it highly recommended? Is it really different to ICT?

    • Would you recommend taking History at A Level for someone who isn't very organised? Is it too much work?

    • Is there much point in picking French if I don't want to continue my education in it or work abroad? Will a language really look good on my future CV?

    And finally, is there anything you think current Year 11's should know about the step up to A Level? What are the main differences or challenges about life in sixth form?

    Thank you for reading this far and I really appreciate ANY feedback you have
    I guess you're probably planning on studying a humanities subject at university then? In which case, English Lit and History are very well respected and useful for applications to related degrees - definitely stick with them if you enjoy them and feel you will do well

    I've not studied computer science but have heard that it's sometimes considered (rightly or wrongly) a bit of a soft subject. If you're interested in programming then online tutorials would be more helpful, I've heard that computer science is more about background theories than practical applications... That being said, I've not actually studied it myself - perhaps spend some more time researching what the course involves, the exam board should publish on their website a list of all the things students are expected to learn and do for the course

    Physics I personally found very enjoyable at A level, but mainly because I also did Maths so it was pretty easy... I would say through that purely from a getting-into-uni point of view it's pretty useless without maths since in order to do most physics/ engineering/ physical sciences/ computer science courses you'll need A level maths...

    I did French at AS level and again really enjoyed it, it's pretty challenging to get a good grade though because of all the native speakers also taking the exams (which pushes the grade boundaries up super high, particularly at AS where the problem is made even worse by all the A2 students resitting the AS exams once they have all that extra practice/ vocab/ grammar). I would say though that a language is very well respected and super useful - even if you aren't currently thinking of working abroad in the future, it could help if you work in a company which does lots of trade abroad, if you want to do a year abroad during your degree, if you just want good holidays, etc.

    If I were you, I'd pick:
    - Eng Lit
    - History
    - French
    - Possibly English Language, Politics, Geography, etc., or if you're still keen on CompSci or Physics purely from the interest point of view, bearing in mind they won't be so helpful for getting into uni...
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    I wouldn't take physics if you're not planning on taking mathematics, as A2 will prove quite difficult.
    If I were you, I would take English Lit and History for sure. Perhaps it would be good to either do ICT or maybe Philosophy? Something that will open your options up a little bit.
    English Lit is more mature analysis. You definitely need to be a strong writer and reader. Broadly speaking, it is quite close to how you do GCSE. However, not as easy. The texts you will study are much harder and you need to read widely around them.
    History is a big workload, I do it and if you do I wouldn't recommend doing 4 a levels if you do History. But it's so worth it. It's enjoyable and while it is hard and a lot of content, I'm sure you'll be able to do it. Being organised is very very important for a levels in general.
    Languages at a level are very hard - I don't know if I'd recommend doing one if you're not willing to take it further. You only become fluent in University really so I'm sure that GCSE language will suffice as far as looking good to employers.
    The main difference is basically that no one spoon feeds you anymore. You have a responsibility over your own studies. If you don't work for your grades, you probably won't do well. This is because the work is harder and you need to put effort in to get anything higher than a C. Everyone's a lot friendlier too I think.
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    Maybe a humanity at university is best for me... thank you for giving me direction I always liked the 'wordy' subjects but never really thought I would go into a specific humanity, I assumed I would just do English.

    I have heard that Computer Science is relatively soft too, and I'll definitely look at what qualifications you can get online too, that is a great idea. It depends on what my exam board say the course contains whether I do Computer Science or not.

    There is no way I am doing maths haha- would you consider Physics A Level to be pointless- or in other words is it better to completely avoid going down that route? I do really like the idea of doing Physicsssss

    French sounds like a good option, and I would like to have a language in my locker, whatever career I may have.

    Thanks for your advice
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    Physics and computing lead to much more employable degrees at university and for careers. If you are an A/A* student it would be a shame to rule out STEM subjects. In that case, maths would be a good A level.

    How about physics, computing, maths, and English?
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    So what I'm gathering is that maths is almost essential if you want to do any degree or career which is science or technology related? I like STEM subjects but I am adamant on dropping maths after GCSE... is that just not going to work??

    My ideal four would be Physics, Computing, English Lit & Lang and History- how does that sound?
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    (Original post by sp77)
    So what I'm gathering is that maths is almost essential if you want to do any degree or career which is science or technology related? I like STEM subjects but I am adamant on dropping maths after GCSE... is that just not going to work??

    My ideal four would be Physics, Computing, English Lit & Lang and History- how does that sound?
    It's kind of an unwritten rule not to do Physics without maths. Physics at A2 has a lot of applied maths which will be so hard if you don't take maths at a level. Computing opens your options up but is a bit random without physics. English Lit and Language is a good choice but perhaps doing English Literature is better? its facilitating and it's a lot better than combined. And history is perfect. Since you said you wanted to go down the humanities route, have you ever considered subjects like Philosophy, Economics and Politics? All would go beautifully with English Literature and History.
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    Thanks for your advice, I might have to rethink how to fit in Physics to my choices.

    I want to avoid choosing something like Politics or Economics because at this stage, where I am still unsure as to where I want to go, I want to keep my options open. Choosing History alongside another similar subject would just take up the space of another option and narrow my future, does that make sense?

    I will talk my teacher about whether English Lit or the combined English is better. Thanks
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    (Original post by sp77)
    I will talk my teacher about whether English Lit or the combined English is better. Thanks
    English Lit is the more respected and "facilitating" subject. Check out what the top universities say here: http://russellgroup.ac.uk/for-studen...l-and-college/
 
 
 
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