Should I drop a subject and when? (URGENT)

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br2611
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Hi guys, I'm an a level student in year 12, just finished my first term of A levels.

I'm studying Maths, Chemistry, Geography and Economics currently, and I want to go on to study economics at uni (preferably at LSE or UCL) At GCSE, I got a 9 in Chem and Geog and an 8 in Maths.
So I initially took chemistry because I found it interesting, and also because it is extremely respected for being a difficult subject, and is probably more respected than economics or geography, even though I am applying to study economics.

I've found chemistry fairly difficult, especially compared to Economics and Geography, and overall I think not having many study periods, and doing 4 subjects has taken a toll on the quality of work I can produce.

Thing is since I'm not doing a traditionally "difficult" subject (such as further maths, favoured by LSE) I thought doing chemistry could give me a competitive edge. Now I am however considering dropping it.

Even if I got very strong grades in Econ, Maths and Geog, would it look significantly weaker without chemistry?
and should I maybe continue to sit an AS in chemistry ( my school doesn't do them anymore but I can do it externally) or should I drop it altogether?

Sorry for the long message, I appreciate any feedback.

Also this is in terms of how it would look for top uni's ( LSE, UCL, oxbridge)
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JustOneMoreThing
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Holding onto Chemistry when you know it brings your quality of work across your entire education down will only result in a bad outcome, drop it.
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br2611
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(Original post by TheNamesBond.)
Holding onto Chemistry when you know it brings your quality of work across your entire education down will only result in a bad outcome, drop it.
even though it would make me less competitive, as Chemistry is so well regarded?
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by br2611)
Hi guys, I'm an a level student in year 12, just finished my first term of A levels.

I'm studying Maths, Chemistry, Geography and Economics currently, and I want to go on to study economics at uni (preferably at LSE or UCL) At GCSE, I got a 9 in Chem and Geog and an 8 in Maths.
So I initially took chemistry because I found it interesting, and also because it is extremely respected for being a difficult subject, and is probably more respected than economics or geography, even though I am applying to study economics.

I've found chemistry fairly difficult, especially compared to Economics and Geography, and overall I think not having many study periods, and doing 4 subjects has taken a toll on the quality of work I can produce.

Thing is since I'm not doing a traditionally "difficult" subject (such as further maths, favoured by LSE) I thought doing chemistry could give me a competitive edge. Now I am however considering dropping it.

Even if I got very strong grades in Econ, Maths and Geog, would it look significantly weaker without chemistry?
and should I maybe continue to sit an AS in chemistry ( my school doesn't do them anymore but I can do it externally) or should I drop it altogether?

Sorry for the long message, I appreciate any feedback.

Also this is in terms of how it would look for top uni's ( LSE, UCL, oxbridge)
Does your school offer Further Maths?
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br2611
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
Does your school offer Further Maths?
Yes, but I am definitely not going to take it, because I don't think I'm capable of achieving a high grade in it.
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by br2611)
Yes, but I am definitely not going to take it, because I don't think I'm capable of achieving a high grade in it.
In that case LSE will probably be out of reach.
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br2611
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(Original post by ageshallnot)
In that case LSE will probably be out of reach.
does LSE require further maths for straight economics?
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ageshallnot
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(Original post by br2611)
does LSE require further maths for straight economics?
Look it up. You will be fighting an uphill battle. You might also consider WHY they want FM.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by br2611)
does LSE require further maths for straight economics?
No, it's just preferred.

From what you have told us, it seems that you should drop Chemistry because you will gain very little benefit from doing 4 A levels rather than 3 (if any) as even LSE will only make you an offer based on 3 A levels (and Maths, Economics and Geography are all well regarded subjects). Also, your struggles with Chemistry may have a negative impact on your other grades. To achieve the sort of grades you need to for the Unis you have mentioned, you need to focus on your top 3 subjects and achieve the highest marks possible.

I also think that if you posted this question in the Applications and UCAS forum, you would get more responses from people who have a lot of experience in the UCAS system (such as University Admissions staff) who may be able to advise you further.
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ageshallnot
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LeapingLucy might have some useful input...
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LeapingLucy
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For the Economics course, it's extremely difficult to get into LSE without Further Maths A-level or AS-level.

From the 2017 data for BSc Economics:
- there were 605 applicants with FM A-level, of which 262, or 43%, got an offer
- there were 165 applicants with FM AS-level, of which 65, or 38%, got an offer
- there were 477 applicants who didn't have FM A-level or AS-level, of which just 24, or 5%, got an offer

LSE ask you to state in your reference/PS whether or not your school offered FM; if they don't then LSE won't count it against you. I would hazard a guess that the 5% of applicants without FM who get offers fall into this category.

Overall in 2017, people who didn't have FM A-level or AS-level made up 38% of applicants, but only 7% of offers.

I got this info from a freedom of information request on ‘What do they know’.
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque..._further_maths


Basically, If you don’t have further maths A-level or AS-level but it’s an option at your school, then your chances for Econ at LSE are virtually nil. It’s an unwritten required subject - they only don’t state it as such so as not to discriminate against students whose schools don’t offer FM.
Last edited by LeapingLucy; 2 years ago
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by br2611)
does LSE require further maths for straight economics?
(Original post by br2611)
Yes, but I am definitely not going to take it, because I don't think I'm capable of achieving a high grade in it.
Also, for what it's worth, the LSE Economics course is heavily mathematical. I have friends doing it who did Further Maths A-level (and got A* - in addition to straight A*s in Maths, Physics and Economics) and still really struggle with the mathematical content.

In the first year you actually do more maths than Econ - two maths modules (one pure maths, one stats) vs. Just one Econ module.

In the unlikely event you got an offer without doing any FM, I think it's highly likely you would seriously struggle with the course.


If you don’t think you could get a good grade in FM A-level then LSE Econ almost certainly isn’t right for you.
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ageshallnot
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Well, br2611 it looks like LeapingLucy has given you chapter and verse on LSE.
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LeapingLucy
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If LSE is a big priority for you, then I would recommend considering different courses.

The joint honours Econ courses don’t require Further Maths. You could apply for Geography with Economics - given your A-levels - which is 75% Geog and 25% Econ. Or you could apply for Politics and Economics which is 50:50 politics and Econ.
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br2611
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
If LSE is a big priority for you, then I would recommend considering different courses.

The joint honours Econ courses don’t require Further Maths. You could apply for Geography with Economics - given your A-levels - which is 75% Geog and 25% Econ. Or you could apply for Politics and Economics which is 50:50 politics and Econ.
ok that's great, thanks for all your help, so I've had a meeting with the careers advisor and she also said geography with economics is what should take- so will dropping chemistry make me less competitive for that?

Thanks
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LeapingLucy
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(Original post by br2611)
ok that's great, thanks for all your help, so I've had a meeting with the careers advisor and she also said geography with economics is what should take- so will dropping chemistry make me less competitive for that?

Thanks
Three A-levels in Maths, Geography and Economics would be absolutely perfect for Geography with Economics at LSE.

You don’t need a fourth A-level; you’d be far better off getting top grades in 3.
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LeapingLucy
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Plus, the Geog with Econ course has a 54% offer rate, far higher than straight Econ at LSE (about 20%).

Nevertheless, you should only apply for this course if you actively want to study geography at university level. If Economics is what you really want to study, then apply for that at more realistic universities.
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harrysbar
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No, they will be happy with 3 A levels and it sounds like you would be a strong candidate for Geography and Economics. Think about it carefully though, as the course is only 25% Economics so it is quite a departure from your original goal of a full time Economics degree. It seems like you are prioritising LSE over everything else which is fine, if you're sure that the Uni you attend is more important to you than the subject.
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br2611
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(Original post by LeapingLucy)
Plus, the Geog with Econ course has a 54% offer rate, far higher than straight Econ at LSE (about 20%).

Nevertheless, you should only apply for this course if you actively want to study geography at university level. If Economics is what you really want to study, then apply for that at more realistic universities.
Thing is, I have always loved geography also, especially the economic side, so even when I was talking about doing economics, in my mind, I was always thinking about doing a degree that combined them both.

I really appreciate your help
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br2611
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(Original post by harrysbar)
No, they will be happy with 3 A levels and it sounds like you would be a strong candidate for Geography and Economics. Think about it carefully though, as the course is only 25% Economics so it is quite a departure from your original goal of a full time Economics degree. It seems like you are prioritising LSE over everything else which is fine, if you're sure that the Uni you attend is more important to you than the subject.
Yeah, I will keep that in mind, in fact I actually do like both equally, I was just concerned a geography degree might not end up as useful, which is why I was leaning towards economics. I think the joint degrees are great, offering the sides of both subjects that I like, so I think I will be aiming for the one at LSE

I have decided to drop chemistry, thank you so much for your help.
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