Harrietcrossin
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kay so my school have given us a deadline to drop our 4th subject by this Friday and I need advice. I’m taking Maths with gcse result 8 and A in further maths. Psychology with a 9 in science. German with a 7 at GCSE and history with a 9 at GCSE.
I’m definitely keeping history as that is the subject I want to read at uni. However I have no idea between the other 3. To do this I need AAA at A-level
Maths- I like maths however am worried that I’m not good enough at it to get an A which I really need but I know it is a highly regarded subject which keeps my options open and I do enjoy it tho not my fave
German- I love learning german and did really well in my listening reading and writing exams but my speaking always lets me down. I want to do something for the civil service so extremely useful subject BUT I’ve heard it’s really hard and unsure if I can get an A with only a 7(1 mark off an 8) at gcse.
Finally psychology- I find this really interesting and think that an A* could be in reach for this subject. However, I know it is seen as a soft subject and the teachers at my school are not particularly good for this subject. Also I know that if I did want to read it at uni I still could with maths a level.
WHAT are your guys opinions? Any advice on which subject to drop? Any experiences?
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Gent2324
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advice from other people cant do much, we dont know really know how much you enjoy a particular subject and how your attitude to learning a particular subject will change over the next 2 years.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Harrietcrossin)
psychology....I know it is seen as a soft subject
Only by school students who have no idea what university admissions tutors are looking for. If you enjoy it and are doing well in it there is zero reason to even consider dropping this, especially if you think you can get the A* in it as well.

(Original post by Harrietcrossin)
I like maths however am worried that I’m not good enough at it
Is this based on any actual evidence suggesting you might do poorly or just parroting TSRs obsession with painting A-level Maths as maximally difficult (and/or is this false modesty)? If there is no evidence you'll do badly, I see little reason for this to be a factor. Your background gives no reason to suggest you couldn't get at least an A.

(Original post by Harrietcrossin)
maths....I know it is a highly regarded subject which keeps my options open
Irrelevant, and you've already stated you want to do History so Maths gives no particular benefit or hindrance, and any options it opens (which is realistically Economics, and maybe some Maths/CS courses outside the top ~6 in those areas) don't matter as a result.

(Original post by Harrietcrossin)
german...did really well in my listening reading and writing exams but my speaking always lets me down....unsure if I can get an A with only a 7(1 mark off an 8) at gcse.
This is probably the answer. CIvil Service don't care if you studied a language at A-level and then did nothign with it for 3 years at uni. They probably don't even care if you did do something with it in that time, unless you are specifically going into a translation or Germany based role (which is unlikely given in 5 years we'll be out of the EU). Additionally, language A-levels are generally considered very difficult and a very large amount of work to boot, which on top of History and Psychology (well known to be high content subjects) it's a lot to take on especially if it's a weakness compared to other areas.

My impression is it would be a lot easier to get an A in Maths than in German, both in general and for you specifically based on what you've said. With Maths it's very straightforward to know what to prepare and then it's just a case of doing every practice problem and past paper you can get your hands on. Even an A* in Maths isn't a huge stretch since that's often largely a case of just perfecting your exam technique to minimise mistakes and errors (provided you have the practice and knowledge to get the A in the first place).

Even if you are still interested in learning the German language and potentially working/studying there at some point in some capacity, there are many other ways you can achieve and demonstrate language proficiency which do not entail taking the A-level subject (which may be better even, than this alternative).
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Harrietcrossin
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Only by school students who have no idea what university admissions tutors are looking for. If you enjoy it and are doing well in it there is zero reason to even consider dropping this, especially if you think you can get the A* in it as well.



Is this based on any actual evidence suggesting you might do poorly or just parroting TSRs obsession with painting A-level Maths as maximally difficult (and/or is this false modesty)? If there is no evidence you'll do badly, I see little reason for this to be a factor. Your background gives no reason to suggest you couldn't get at least an A.



Irrelevant, and you've already stated you want to do History so Maths gives no particular benefit or hindrance, and any options it opens (which is realistically Economics, and maybe some Maths/CS courses outside the top ~6 in those areas) don't matter as a result.



This is probably the answer. CIvil Service don't care if you studied a language at A-level and then did nothign with it for 3 years at uni. They probably don't even care if you did do something with it in that time, unless you are specifically going into a translation or Germany based role (which is unlikely given in 5 years we'll be out of the EU). Additionally, language A-levels are generally considered very difficult and a very large amount of work to boot, which on top of History and Psychology (well known to be high content subjects) it's a lot to take on especially if it's a weakness compared to other areas.

My impression is it would be a lot easier to get an A in Maths than in German, both in general and for you specifically based on what you've said. With Maths it's very straightforward to know what to prepare and then it's just a case of doing every practice problem and past paper you can get your hands on. Even an A* in Maths isn't a huge stretch since that's often largely a case of just perfecting your exam technique to minimise mistakes and errors (provided you have the practice and knowledge to get the A in the first place).

Even if you are still interested in learning the German language and potentially working/studying there at some point in some capacity, there are many other ways you can achieve and demonstrate language proficiency which do not entail taking the A-level subject (which may be better even, than this alternative).
Thank you this was really helpful- my problem is I really love german lessons and want to become fluent but I suppose I could still do this outside of school. With maths I have no evidence against getting an A it’s just that many people in my class got a 9 at gcse as opposed to my 8 so I’m not at the top of my class and that has knocked how I feel I can get an A
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by Harrietcrossin)
Thank you this was really helpful- my problem is I really love german lessons and want to become fluent but I suppose I could still do this outside of school. With maths I have no evidence against getting an A it’s just that many people in my class got a 9 at gcse as opposed to my 8 so I’m not at the top of my class and that has knocked how I feel I can get an A
You need to stop using other people as a metric for your ability - that's the job of the exam board, if anyone. Your job is to focus on improving your ability and knowledge in the area as much as you can. The only way other people in your class factor into that is a) if they are denying you learning opportunities in class - in which case you should highlight this to your teacher and they should take steps to deal with this or b) you decide to study with them and you can mutually benefit from each others knowledge (and even lack thereof, where applicable - the best way to learn is by teaching, as they say, because often it reveals where the gaps in your knowledge are while you try and explain it to someone else).

In terms of no longer being at the top of your class, it's actually probably a good thing to experience this now rather than later - because once you get to university, you will probably find this happens a lot. It doesn't matter if you're not at the top of your class, as long as you are able to continue focusing on improving your own performance; as indicated, once you get to university you'll find you're just one among hundreds of students who were all "top of their class" and naturally, they can't all remain the top of this new set they're part of.

As far as German goes, the salient point is you don't need to do A-level German to become fluent. For your purposes, A-levels are to get into university. Anything else is just a benefit, and there's no reason to jeopardize your university application for one of these side benefits - especially when it's a benefit which is easily replicated once you're at uni, and even without great difficulty outside of that realm. Most universities have language learning opportunities for students, often by offering evening classes or vacation classes in various languages they also teach in degrees, as well as through optional modules in your degree (and German is often available "ab initio" - the only language that is rarely offered at less than post A-level standard is French).
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