Join TSR now and get all your revision questions answeredSign up now

How do I know if I can manage 4 A Levels? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    And which one to drop? I am thinking of English Literature, History, Law and possibly maths.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    It's unlikely you'll be able to drop one, so if you take 4, you stick with 4 (that's what my school said to me, anyway).

    As for if you can handle 4, there isn't much indication, but if you can manage high grades with more than 10 GCSE's, then you have a pretty good shot at 4 - though English Lit and Maths seem like an interesting combination...
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fractite)
    It's unlikely you'll be able to drop one, so if you take 4, you stick with 4 (that's what my school said to me, anyway)
    Different institutions have different rules.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Goldfish4343)
    And which one to drop? I am thinking of English Literature, History, Law and possibly maths.
    I am doing 4 AS levels and its fine, most people drop their lowest grade
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I wouldn't recommend a combination of 4 where two of those aren't Maths + FM as there just isn't any value in it - universities set offers based on 3 A-levels as standard and do not require or prefer more except in the case of Maths + FM. Taking 4 of any other combination just makes it so you're more likely to miss offers due to stretching yourself too much.
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Goldfish4343)
    And which one to drop? I am thinking of English Literature, History, Law and possibly maths.
    I took 4 and this exact combo except Latin not Law. I didn't drop one because I preferred maths to history but wanted to do English at uni. 4 is fine, honestly. English and history will require a lot of work around exam time and nailing exam technique. But around exam season once I got Into the rhythm of banging out essays for English and history and papers for maths, it was fine and manageable. Maths is quite easy and just requires doing papers imo. If you want 4, you will feel stress esp in yr13 but it is doable and fun at times.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Goldfish4343)
    And which one to drop? I am thinking of English Literature, History, Law and possibly maths.
    Forget Law, it's a pointless A Level - it's blacklisted despite not being particularly easy. Take another subject instead - as a fourth A level you can take some more interesting, less "core" ones such as Economics, Philosophy, Computing, etc (these are respected even though they're not essential subjects).

    I took four A levels at AS. It's far from easy, and this depends on the person in question, but it's manageable for most people. You have to manage your time well though - I treated History, my fourth A level, as an afterthought all year, and ended up failing it. You have to be committed to all four subjects, which is a lot easier said than done.

    Ultimately, it depends on you. Are you willing to put the work in? If you are, it's awesome to have four A levels: you can drop one if you are finding it difficult or don't enjoy it anymore, and if you fail one you have three A levels to fall back on. Be aware that universities will only consider your top three A levels though, and 3 As are better than 4 Bs.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by unknowntsr)
    I took 4 and this exact combo except Latin not Law. I didn't drop one because I preferred maths to history but wanted to do English at uni. 4 is fine, honestly. English and history will require a lot of work around exam time and nailing exam technique. But around exam season once I got Into the rhythm of banging out essays for English and history and papers for maths, it was fine and manageable. Maths is quite easy and just requires doing papers imo. If you want 4, you will feel stress esp in yr13 but it is doable and fun at times.
    It's misleading to call Maths "easy" - they'll be doing a brand new specification (the new Maths A level is introduced from September 2017 onwards). This means not only will it be harder, but they won't be able to do a lot of past papers. They'll only have specimen exam material to prepare.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Zach3)
    Forget Law, it's a pointless A Level - it's blacklisted despite not being particularly easy. Take another subject instead - as a fourth A level you can take some more interesting, less "core" ones such as Economics, Philosophy, Computing, etc (these are respected even though they're not essential subjects).

    I took four A levels at AS. It's far from easy, and this depends on the person in question, but it's manageable for most people. You have to manage your time well though - I treated History, my fourth A level, as an afterthought all year, and ended up failing it. You have to be committed to all four subjects, which is a lot easier said than done.

    Ultimately, it depends on you. Are you willing to put the work in? If you are, it's awesome to have four A levels: you can drop one if you are finding it difficult or don't enjoy it anymore, and if you fail one you have three A levels to fall back on. Be aware that universities will only consider your top three A levels though, and 3 As are better than 4 Bs.
    Law isn't pointless. It's a myth. There are a lot of people who have taken law a level and gave gotten into top universities.
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    everyone is capable of doing 4 A Levels.
    People work 40 hours a week so you can be in college for 20 hours and study for 20 hours can't you? (5 hours per subject a week?! - bit overkill actually).
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BTAnonymous)
    everyone is capable of doing 4 A Levels.
    People work 40 hours a week so you can be in college for 20 hours and study for 20 hours can't you? (5 hours per subject a week?! - bit overkill actually).
    Even though everyone is capable of doing 4, a lot of that time is actually wasted. Studying in free periods is just not the same as studying in lessons - very few can get the same amount of work done, especially with friends and distractions around.
    Online

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Zach3)
    Even though everyone is capable of doing 4, a lot of that time is actually wasted. Studying in free periods is just not the same as studying in lessons - very few can get the same amount of work done, especially with friends and distractions around.
    Yeah it is a waste of time and you're missing out on social life at college.

    Doing 4 A Levels is useless anyway, even for Oxbridge and other Russel group Unis; unless you absolutely love the subject,
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by BTAnonymous)
    Yeah it is a waste of time and you're missing out on social life at college.

    Doing 4 A Levels is useless anyway, even for Oxbridge and other Russel group Unis; unless you absolutely love the subject,
    It's not useless in your first year, as it gives you the opportunity to drop a subject for whatever reason. However, taking 4 A levels to A2 is futile, unless you're doing General Studies or something.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    4 A-Levels are absolutely doable. I am doing 4 (Bio, Chem, Maths, and FM) and just finished AS, and I know many people doing 4. Start off with 4 and if you feel like there is too much pressure on you, drop the one you aren't enjoying out of the 4. Or you could do 4 for all of AS and drop the one you got the lowest grade in. To be honest, doing 4 doesn't make you look better when applying to uni since your offers would be for 3 anyway (even at Oxbridge and Russell Group). Just drop Law. From what I've heard Law A-Level isn't worth it; Law courses at Uni prefer you didn't do it.
    Online

    1
    ReputationRep:
    take History-Eng Lit-Maths-Economics
    History-Eng Lit-2 languages
    Maths-Economics-2 Languages
    Maths-History-Economics 1 languages
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by drapplepilot)
    4 A-Levels are absolutely doable. I am doing 4 (Bio, Chem, Maths, and FM) and just finished AS, and I know many people doing 4. Start off with 4 and if you feel like there is too much pressure on you, drop the one you aren't enjoying out of the 4. Or you could do 4 for all of AS and drop the one you got the lowest grade in. To be honest, doing 4 doesn't make you look better when applying to uni since your offers would be for 3 anyway (even at Oxbridge and Russell Group). Just drop Law. From what I've heard Law A-Level isn't worth it; Law courses at Uni prefer you didn't do it.
    Just to be clear, it's not uncommon to do 4 if they include Maths & FM. It *is* uncommon to do 4 if they don't.

    And yes, 3 is more than enough.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Just to be clear, it's not uncommon to do 4 if they include Maths & FM. It *is* uncommon to do 4 if they don't.

    And yes, 3 is more than enough.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Oh, my mistake! I just thought that because many people I know (many of which don't do the Maths and FM combo) do 4 subjects, so I assumed. Thanks for the correction!
    • TSR Support Team
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by drapplepilot)
    Oh, my mistake! I just thought that because many people I know (many of which don't do the Maths and FM combo) do 4 subjects, so I assumed. Thanks for the correction!
    Private or grammar school?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Private or grammar school?
    State, recently turned academy.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Many people have said what I wanted to say but you should choose the subjects for a level based on three main factors:
    -Strongest subjects at GCSE
    -University course or what you wish to pursue
    -What you enjoyed the most
 
 
 
Poll
How are you feeling about Results Day?
Help with your A-levels

All the essentials

The adventure begins mug

Student life: what to expect

What it's really like going to uni

Rosette

Essay expert

Learn to write like a pro with our ultimate essay guide.

Uni match

Uni match

Our tool will help you find the perfect course for you

Study planner

Create a study plan

Get your head around what you need to do and when with the study planner tool.

Study planner

Resources by subject

Everything from mind maps to class notes.

Hands typing

Degrees without fees

Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

A student doing homework

Study tips from A* students

Students who got top grades in their A-levels share their secrets

Study help links and info

Can you help? Study help unanswered threadsRules and posting guidelines

Sponsored content:

HEAR

HEAR

Find out how a Higher Education Achievement Report can help you prove your achievements.

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.