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Advice for choosing a levels? (maths, Irish, English, religious studies, music) Watch

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    Does anyone have any advice on how to choose what to keep on for a level?

    I'm definitely taking Irish and maths, but I can't decide on another two subjects between English, religion and music.

    English has always been my strongest subject however the past year of GCSE has almost sickened me with it as I feel as though I've done too much English and I’ve lost my enthusiasm. I had considered doing English at uni prior to this year. Also, in all my English lit and language modules/controlled assessments so far, I've got full marks(A*).

    Religion was the most interesting subject I did at GCSE and I honestly loved it so much. In the module I did last year I got an A*.

    Music was the hardest subject at GCSE in my opinion and even though I know I’ll not get as good a grade in it, I just really enjoy the atmosphere of the music class and the teacher is fab. I got an A* in my composition controlled assessment but definitely haven’t done as well in the exam.

    Also, what well-paying jobs can you do by taking these subjects at uni?
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    Personally I would say choose English and Religion as they are more likely to help you achieve a well payed job and you are more likely to do well in them according to your grades. Jobs could include:
    Law
    Civil Service
    Social Work
    Journalism
    Teaching
    Banking
    Legal Professions
    Management
    If you really enjoyed music you could take up an instrument ( or if you already play one, grade exams from out of school show just as much value as A levels to music conservatoires).
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    (Original post by chillvibes)
    Does anyone have any advice on how to choose what to keep on for a level?

    I'm definitely taking Irish and maths, but I can't decide on another two subjects between English, religion and music.

    English has always been my strongest subject however the past year of GCSE has almost sickened me with it as I feel as though I've done too much English and I’ve lost my enthusiasm. I had considered doing English at uni prior to this year. Also, in all my English lit and language modules/controlled assessments so far, I've got full marks(A*).

    Religion was the most interesting subject I did at GCSE and I honestly loved it so much. In the module I did last year I got an A*.

    Music was the hardest subject at GCSE in my opinion and even though I know I’ll not get as good a grade in it, I just really enjoy the atmosphere of the music class and the teacher is fab. I got an A* in my composition controlled assessment but definitely haven’t done as well in the exam.

    Also, what well-paying jobs can you do by taking these subjects at uni?
    I was in your position for English - put simply, you will probably be very good at the A Level, but also extremely bored. Depending on your exam board, you will likely learn nothing new. Motivation is a massive part of the A Level, especially at A2 Level. I wouldn't recommend English.

    Religion will become Philosophy in most cases. I took it to AS Level and quit (not because I didn't enjoy it). It's very thought-provoking and allows freedom of expression, though if you like it just for learning about other religions and such it may not be for you. It's more about the "big questions" at post-GCSE level. From the choice of Irish I assume you're in Northern Ireland though - I did Philosophy with CCEA and, although that was 6 years ago, have to say it was pretty damn tough. Might've just been my teacher but it did seem very...sensitive to the Protestant side of things, if you get my drift.

    Music is extremely fun post-GCSE, with a lot more freedom in many ways and I felt a good sense of community with my class. The teachers often see you more as one of their own, and you get to feel real mastery of your instrument. I don't know what you play but there's a good chance you'll get quite attached to it by the end - I know I did. Most importantly you know you enjoy it - it may be tough but you enjoy it, meaning you will be more likely to work to meet that passion.

    If you're picking just one, I would say Music. If two, Music and Philosophy.

    Your four options do lead you closer to the humanities side of things. Law would be a fairly good option, utilising the concepts of logic from Maths and Philosophy. History would be another decent option, although from you not taking at for A Level I would imagine you're not that interested. Irish you will sadly get very little use out of (my uni didn't even acknowledge my Irish A Level!). Music, depending on your grade currently, could be something worth considering at uni if you really like it - combined with Irish you could consider some Irish-inspired pieces/courses.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Do you actually need to do four A levels?
    It's useful to do four so that you can drop one after AS whereas if you only do three, you might realise you hate one of them but have no choice but to keep all three on for A2.
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    (Original post by MedicaAutomata)
    I was in your position for English - put simply, you will probably be very good at the A Level, but also extremely bored. Depending on your exam board, you will likely learn nothing new. Motivation is a massive part of the A Level, especially at A2 Level. I wouldn't recommend English.

    Religion will become Philosophy in most cases. I took it to AS Level and quit (not because I didn't enjoy it). It's very thought-provoking and allows freedom of expression, though if you like it just for learning about other religions and such it may not be for you. It's more about the "big questions" at post-GCSE level. From the choice of Irish I assume you're in Northern Ireland though - I did Philosophy with CCEA and, although that was 6 years ago, have to say it was pretty damn tough. Might've just been my teacher but it did seem very...sensitive to the Protestant side of things, if you get my drift.

    Music is extremely fun post-GCSE, with a lot more freedom in many ways and I felt a good sense of community with my class. The teachers often see you more as one of their own, and you get to feel real mastery of your instrument. I don't know what you play but there's a good chance you'll get quite attached to it by the end - I know I did. Most importantly you know you enjoy it - it may be tough but you enjoy it, meaning you will be more likely to work to meet that passion.

    If you're picking just one, I would say Music. If two, Music and Philosophy.

    Your four options do lead you closer to the humanities side of things. Law would be a fairly good option, utilising the concepts of logic from Maths and Philosophy. History would be another decent option, although from you not taking at for A Level I would imagine you're not that interested. Irish you will sadly get very little use out of (my uni didn't even acknowledge my Irish A Level!). Music, depending on your grade currently, could be something worth considering at uni if you really like it - combined with Irish you could consider some Irish-inspired pieces/courses.

    All of my subjects would be with CCEA. For religion we study St Paul's letters and the celtic church which i personally find a lot more interesting than learning about other religions, but maybe that's just me.

    I'm currently at grade 6 piano and it's honestly my greatest passion which is really persuading me down the route of music. i suppose ill have to wait until 24th August to see what grades i get for everything though.

    The only thing that concerns me with dropping English is that i haven't considered any other career path other than English because i was so set on pursuing it but now i honestly don't know if i even like it anymore.

    I'm doing irish because its truly where my heart lies whether it's useful or not in the future. i just think its a beautiful language to be able to speak and i look at it as a release among my other subjects, at least i can really enjoy it.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    Or you could choose three after more careful consideration... Up to you, of course, but with the new linear specifications I'd personally want to firmly decide on three and stick with them, rather than do four with the intention of dropping one.
    I personally have no intention of dropping any, I've always wanted to do four complete a levels, but just in case i changed my mind on a subject, i think it's better to have the option of dropping it.
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    (Original post by chillvibes)
    All of my subjects would be with CCEA. For religion we study St Paul's letters and the celtic church which i personally find a lot more interesting than learning about other religions, but maybe that's just me.

    I'm currently at grade 6 piano and it's honestly my greatest passion which is really persuading me down the route of music. i suppose ill have to wait until 24th August to see what grades i get for everything though.

    The only thing that concerns me with dropping English is that i haven't considered any other career path other than English because i was so set on pursuing it but now i honestly don't know if i even like it anymore.

    I'm doing irish because its truly where my heart lies whether it's useful or not in the future. i just think its a beautiful language to be able to speak and i look at it as a release among my other subjects, at least i can really enjoy it.
    Is that the kind of thing you'd be learning about at A Level? Because if so fair play, that sounds like the kind of thing you could get behind.

    Music is definitely a good path to follow, I'd be lost without my cello so I feel you there. If it's your greatest passion I can't stress enough to continue it, A Levels are going to be difficult but having at least one subject to enjoy and relax yourself in a bit more will become a great asset. For most music schools you need Grade 7 minimum, usually Grade 8 with Distinction for the higher ones/conservatories. If that's something you feel you could accomplish, it's well within your power.

    A lot of things an English degree accomplishes are actually done by many other degrees, really. My English teacher had a Sociology degree, for example. A librarian I knew did Physics of all things! If it's that you love reading I recommend it as a hobby, I do just think if you're burnt out with English now, you're going to absolutely dread it at A Level. The amount of passion you need for your subjects at A Level can't be overstressed.

    I did Irish too (being Southern Irish, we basically had to - but that's another matter) - hats off to you for making efforts to keep it alive. It's a beautiful language and I dread to see it dying out, along with Welsh and Scots Gaelic.
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    (Original post by MedicaAutomata)
    Is that the kind of thing you'd be learning about at A Level? Because if so fair play, that sounds like the kind of thing you could get behind.

    Music is definitely a good path to follow, I'd be lost without my cello so I feel you there. If it's your greatest passion I can't stress enough to continue it, A Levels are going to be difficult but having at least one subject to enjoy and relax yourself in a bit more will become a great asset. For most music schools you need Grade 7 minimum, usually Grade 8 with Distinction for the higher ones/conservatories. If that's something you feel you could accomplish, it's well within your power.

    A lot of things an English degree accomplishes are actually done by many other degrees, really. My English teacher had a Sociology degree, for example. A librarian I knew did Physics of all things! If it's that you love reading I recommend it as a hobby, I do just think if you're burnt out with English now, you're going to absolutely dread it at A Level. The amount of passion you need for your subjects at A Level can't be overstressed.

    I did Irish too (being Southern Irish, we basically had to - but that's another matter) - hats off to you for making efforts to keep it alive. It's a beautiful language and I dread to see it dying out, along with Welsh and Scots Gaelic.

    Yeah i also forgot to say the religion spec also covers medical ethics which i think is very intriguing.

    That's funny, my english teacher also has a sociology degree!
    It's not so much the reading but the writing aspect of english that i like but i see little point in keeping it on if i don't want to pursue it.

    The only thing with music is the composing, i absolutely dread having to sit through another two years of it! but i have to say, my teacher is amazing with regards help.

    Let's get this Irish language act on the going and we'll be flying lol!
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    (Original post by chillvibes)
    Yeah i also forgot to say the religion spec also covers medical ethics which i think is very intriguing.

    That's funny, my english teacher also has a sociology degree!
    It's not so much the reading but the writing aspect of english that i like but i see little point in keeping it on if i don't want to pursue it.

    The only thing with music is the composing, i absolutely dread having to sit through another two years of it! but i have to say, my teacher is amazing with regards help.

    Let's get this Irish language act on the going and we'll be flying lol!
    I think I did that as well...it probably won't apply to you but it is fairly interesting, especially if you have a passing interest in what's going on with the NHS and such these days.

    Haha, small world! You won't be doing much writing in English honestly, not anymore. They changed the spec to remove the Creative Writing module if I remember correctly, so for the most part you'll be reading and then just analysing or coming up with more bizarre ideas to sound like you're making an original interpretation.

    Composing is sadly a reality of music; if you're going for a music school just note that some courses specialise specifically in either performance or composition; I get the feeling performance is more your style, but that tends to be more competitive as well so definitely try to practise a little more often. I got my grade 8 in cello and then just never bothered aha

    I'd love for the Irish Language Act to happen! For what it's worth the Republic seems to be a lot more in favour of it...but then we do have Gaeltacht regions, so who's to say really? Strange times ahead
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    If you're good at English and have thought of your career going in that direction, then it wouldn't be the worst thing to pursue religious studies/theology at university. If you study theology you use a lot of literature skills (especially in Biblical papers) so you learn the same kind of skills as with an English degree, just with a focus on different texts. And careers can be similar - from journalism, to teaching, to academia, civil service, writing etc. Continuing with English for the full A level would still be good if you went down this route, but not completely necessary.

    I speak as somebody who became tired of English with set texts and exams, even though I still loved reading and even studying literature - just on a more informal basis. I now have an offer for theology and couldn't be happier/more settled re. my future. I did continue with the A level in English literature but didn't really have another essay subject at A level so it was necessary for me. Irish sounds wonderful and language skills are great for both English and theology applications.
 
 
 
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