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    I'm taking 11 GCSEs and GCSE equivalents in Latin and Further Maths, 3 of those in my spare time. I should get 10+ A*s. Ideally, I would like to take Computer Science at Oxford. I am definitely taking Maths and Further Maths, however, if I do 4 A levels my remaining options will be two out of Physics, Computer Science and French. I really enjoy French, however, it is less relevant to my subject than Physics or Computer Science, although I am additionally interested in Linguistics and Computational Linguistics. On the other hand, Computer Science seems to be considered a 'softer'subject, and some programs ask for a science or specifically Physics. How hard do you think it would be to take 5 A levels, and if I take 4 which should I choose?
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    I think it would be ridiculous hard to take 5 a levels. Most people only take 3, so 5 would be extreme. Any university should accept you with 3 a levels so long as you get appropriate grades in them. If you really wish, take 4 a levels but I can't stress how much I presume you would regret to take 5. I have a friend who took 4 A levels, she regretted it later as it is better to have 4 great A levels than 3 average ones. Though at the end of the day, it is your decision to make. I also recommend taking the subjects that relate to what you want to do in the future, or perhaps look at the universities you want to apply for and see what A levels they require you to have to be on the specific course that you want.
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    (Original post by Molybdenum42)
    I'm taking 11 GCSEs and GCSE equivalents in Latin and Further Maths, 3 of those in my spare time. I should get 10+ A*s. Ideally, I would like to take Computer Science at Oxford.
    I'm very glad to hear that!

    I am definitely taking Maths and Further Maths,
    Maths is essential, and Further Maths is highly recommended, so that's a good start.

    however, if I do 4 A levels my remaining options will be two out of Physics, Computer Science and French. I really enjoy French, however, it is less relevant to my subject than Physics or Computer Science, although I am additionally interested in Linguistics and Computational Linguistics. On the other hand, Computer Science seems to be considered a 'softer'subject, and some programs ask for a science or specifically Physics.
    Computer Science isn't a softer subject. Those who consider it so, probably haven't kept up with the revisions to the A Level in the last few years. Certainly, at Oxford we recommend it. I consider it the third most useful A Level for a CS degree (after Maths and Further Maths).

    Physics is vaguely useful, in the sense that it's a mathematical subject, like Computer Science; taking it gets you used to applying mathematics, and in particular performing abstractions -- translating from a physical or computational situation into a mathematical model. I consider it the fourth most useful A Level.

    However, the knowledge gained from a Physics A Level certainly isn't necessary to study Computer Science. In particular, hardware courses normally start from the level of gates, and abstract away from how those gates operate (which does require Physics): the gates are treated as black boxes, and then we build up from there to understand how to build complete computers.

    If you think you would prefer French, then do that. It won't make any difference to your chances of getting in to Oxford.

    How hard do you think it would be to take 5 A levels, and if I take 4 which should I choose?
    I can't answer the former question without knowing you better, and knowing how you'd cope. I would caution you against spreading yourself too thinly, though: doing well in three or four A Levels is far better than being mediocre in five.

    Gavin
 
 
 
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