(Original post by Vladimir Poutine)
It’s that difficult time of year again where we need to choose subjects for next year. I’ve spent seemingly an eternity pondering over my options and prospects; happy to say I’ve eventually come up with two main routes for further progression through school, shown below.
Higher Modern Studies
———> S6: Advanced Higher English, Advanced Higher Modern Studies, Advanced Higher History maybe with Higher RMPS as well if allowed
Higher Physics ?
Higher Modern Studies
———> S6: Advanced Higher English, Advanced Higher Modern Studies, Higher RMPS, Higher History
All S5 subjects will be ones I have studied at Nat5 level, where I’m predicted for all A’s in the final exams (which I achieved in the prelims). My ambitions after school are to study Law at University and from there see where that takes me. So I guess my main questions are as follows:
1. Have you studied any of these at various levels, and if so how did you find them in terms of enjoyment and difficulty?
2. If you took a language at Higher do you think this was a good decision that helps Uni/general prospects? How much exactly might it boost application chances if so?
3. You may notice the question mark next to the Physics Higher, that is because - typically - while writing this I’ve become uncertain again. I’d say I’m decent in it and just scraped an A2 in my prelim, although my reason for continuing it was mainly to have a more diverse subject base and assumed a science Higher could reflect well on me in applying. Is this reasoning fair, or if I were to go ahead with all written-based ones excepting Maths would that be ok?
4. Which of the two pathway options looks like the best to you?
If you can answer even just one of these questions or can give input about anything I may have missed I’d be grateful.
Either of those options would be more than fine for Law (unless you want to go to an English uni, which may require 3 AHs, in which case option 1 for S6).
To answer your questions...
1. I've done English, maths and physics at higher...English mirrors Nat 5 in terms of the structure of the course, but you need to do more in depth analysis etc. to get the marks. Maths and physics are ones that people who struggled with Nat 5 dropped, and people who did okay at Nat 5 struggled a bit with higher. They are both a step up as you would expect, but if you put the work in and are doing well with Nat 5, I don't think you'll have too much of a problem with them.
2. I didn't take a language at higher, but unless universities specify that it is advantageous (which for most courses it isn't) then it doesn't particularly matter whether you have one or not. If you enjoy and do well in French, pick it, if you would only try and pick it to give you the edge in uni applications, it probably won't.
3. Similar to French, unless you think you might want to pursue something that needs physics, it won't matter whether you have it or not. While some people will advocate for a broad subject range, if the unis haven't specified it, it own't advantage you and you shouldn't feel obliged to pick it.
4. Either one of the two looks more than fine. Choose the set of subjects that are likely to result in the best grade outcomes (which will hopefully match up with what you enjoy most), as ultimately when it comes to applying to law, so long as you have the required subjects, it's the grades that matter more than what you picked for the remainder of your choices.
Hope this helps!