themartinipolice
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I’m a y11 student going into y12 in September. I’m now fairly certain I want to study medicine at university. I was originally planning to do Biology, Chemistry, Spanish and Classics. I really enjoy all of these subjects and would love to continue them, however I’m worried about time. I work a part time job for 8/10 hours a week, some weeks I’m required to work up to 16, however to make my application competitive I will need healthcare experience/volunteering which will likely take up at least 2 or 3 hours a week minimum. Also from what I’ve gathered on this site and from teachers at least 1 extra curricular is necessary to stand a chance to show you’re a well rounded person.

With all of this I just don’t see it being realistic that I could keep this up without burning out a bit. And if i can, is it worth it when I would likely drop a subject after y12?

What do you think, is it feasible to achieve A/A* in 4 subjects, while working a part time job, volunteering and doing extra curriculars?

Any advice is much appreciated, thanks. 🙏
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liamlarner
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if i was you maybe start with 4 and drop down to 3 in the first few week or take one of the subjects as a AS Level and do 3 in the second year i would not do 4 full a levels if you have a part time job
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avacados1
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Do u have a set of unis in mind
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themartinipolice
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(Original post by avacados1)
Do u have a set of unis in mind
Well I’m predicted 8s and 9s at GCSE, so those results pending I’d like to apply to top medical schools, not necessarily oxbridge. I think I’d like to apply to Sheffield (bc I live here), UCL, Edinburgh and Bristol maybe?
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petitcroissant
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just do 3
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m2b
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Why aren’t you doing maths ?
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Rae5
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Lancaster is meant to be good for medicine have you looked at that university
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themartinipolice
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(Original post by m2b)
Why aren’t you doing maths ?
Its really not required by most unis. What’s more important is getting 3 A/A*, in bio and chem. I do enjoy maths, but not as much as say Classics or Spanish. For that reason I think it’s better not to do it, I’ll be more willing to work hard and get the grade in these subjects.
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EdtheSnek
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I'm heading off to uni in September but I did 4 subjects at A level and also had a part time job and volunteered for 2 hours a week. I did Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. My job was only on Saturday mornings (3.5 hrs/week) and I feel that I would have struggled with any more. In terms of extra curriculars, I was part of our Bar Mock Team and Lighting Team all through sixth form and these proved useful at my interviews. Thankfully these were only really busy before Christmas so did not affect my studying for summer exams.
4 A levels will eat into your free time and can be pretty stressful but it is definitely possible to do 4 and do well. Is there any away you could reduce your hours at work? Those subjects have heavy workloads so you will need all the time you can get.
As suggested above, doing 4 AS levels and 3 A levels could be a good idea as you can do the subjects you love in Yr 12 but then focus on your grades for Medicine in Yr 13. Bear in mind that you may have to do interviews in Yr 13 which will take up even more time.
It is really up to you and there is no harm in trying 4 subjects out for a while and dropping one if you need to. If you have any other questions about doing 4 feel free to message me.
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bubblecat
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i definitely think taking 3 is smarter than taking 4. i saw someone the other day didnt get into their firm university because their offer was A*AAA and they got A*AAB. whereas if they only took 3 a levels they wouldve just achieved A*AA or higher and gotten in. if you see what i’m saying?

no university requires four a levels so it just feels like a waste of time and energy. better to perfect 3 subjects than do ok in 4.
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Rae5
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To the person who took physics chemistry biology and maths which 3 would you recommend as I want to take all 4 but my sixth form only allows 3
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Rae5
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(Original post by EdtheSnek)
I'm heading off to uni in September but I did 4 subjects at A level and also had a part time job and volunteered for 2 hours a week. I did Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. My job was only on Saturday mornings (3.5 hrs/week) and I feel that I would have struggled with any more. In terms of extra curriculars, I was part of our Bar Mock Team and Lighting Team all through sixth form and these proved useful at my interviews. Thankfully these were only really busy before Christmas so did not affect my studying for summer exams.
4 A levels will eat into your free time and can be pretty stressful but it is definitely possible to do 4 and do well. Is there any away you could reduce your hours at work? Those subjects have heavy workloads so you will need all the time you can get.
As suggested above, doing 4 AS levels and 3 A levels could be a good idea as you can do the subjects you love in Yr 12 but then focus on your grades for Medicine in Yr 13. Bear in mind that you may have to do interviews in Yr 13 which will take up even more time.
It is really up to you and there is no harm in trying 4 subjects out for a while and dropping one if you need to. If you have any other questions about doing 4 feel free to message me.
Sorry I didn't know you could quote but please read my other reply^^^ thankyouuuuu
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Quick-use
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(Original post by themartinipolice)
I’m a y11 student going into y12 in September. I’m now fairly certain I want to study medicine at university. I was originally planning to do Biology, Chemistry, Spanish and Classics. I really enjoy all of these subjects and would love to continue them, however I’m worried about time. I work a part time job for 8/10 hours a week, some weeks I’m required to work up to 16, however to make my application competitive I will need healthcare experience/volunteering which will likely take up at least 2 or 3 hours a week minimum. Also from what I’ve gathered on this site and from teachers at least 1 extra curricular is necessary to stand a chance to show you’re a well rounded person.

With all of this I just don’t see it being realistic that I could keep this up without burning out a bit. And if i can, is it worth it when I would likely drop a subject after y12?

What do you think, is it feasible to achieve A/A* in 4 subjects, while working a part time job, volunteering and doing extra curriculars?

Any advice is much appreciated, thanks. 🙏
Just do the 3. Pick either Spanish or Classics depending on which one will get you the best grades. Universities don't require 4 subjects and more often than not they simply ignore the 4th A level.

If you want to maximise your chances of getting in for Medicine then definitely do 3.
Last edited by Quick-use; 4 weeks ago
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EdtheSnek
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(Original post by Rae5)
To the person who took physics chemistry biology and maths which 3 would you recommend as I want to take all 4 but my sixth form only allows 3
(Original post by Rae5)
Sorry I didn't know you could quote but please read my other reply^^^ thankyouuuuu
No worries. It really depends on what you want to do at uni. If you want to do Medicine/Veterinary/Biology of some sort then I'd do Biology, Chemistry and Maths ( I felt that Physics was the odd one out for me). If you want to do Engineering or something based more in Physics/Maths then I'd do Physics. Maths and Chemistry as Biology won't be that useful (unless you are interested in Biomedical Engineering etc.).
Have a look at requirements for unis and courses you like and then decide from there.
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Quick-use
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(Original post by m2b)
Why aren’t you doing maths ?
I don't see why this is relevant or why OP should consider Maths given that they haven't mentioned it in their first post. Universities generally don't care what your third A level for Medicine is as long as you have both Bio and Chem. Cambridge is the only university that prefers a third subject in STEM but all other universities accept almost anything (as long as they're suitably rigorous). It could be History, a foreign language or English Literature among a dozen others.
Last edited by Quick-use; 4 weeks ago
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Quick-use
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(Original post by Rae5)
To the person who took physics chemistry biology and maths which 3 would you recommend as I want to take all 4 but my sixth form only allows 3
Do you want to do Medicine? Only stick to doing 3. Doing a 4th won't give you an advantage and will only be ignored by universities. Unless you specifically want to get into Cambridge, your 3rd A level can be in almost anything that's reasonably academic (English Lit, History, Religious Studies, a language etc). If you want to go to Cambridge for whatever reason, pick a 3rd STEM subject (Physics, Psychology or Maths etc).

Ergo, pick a 3rd subject that for you will be easy to get a really good grade in.
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laurence_tho
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Just do three. Don't even bother with a fourth. Sounds blunt but you will have an awful couple of years if you work yourself that hard.
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DGeorge13
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I’m doing 3 and volunteer for 3 hours a week as well as piano and a bit of exercise and church and church club and with my epq it’s plenty as I’m still doing about 25 hours study a week outside of my classes and although I could split this four ways it is working well for me and I’ve been predicted 3a*s. You could always start with four and drop one around October if it got too much? Lots of people I know started with four but now only do 3
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Rae5
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I don't want to do all 4 it's way too much but I'm unsure which 3 out of physics maths chemistry and biology to take
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DGeorge13
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(Original post by Rae5)
I don't want to do all 4 it's way too much but I'm unsure which 3 out of physics maths chemistry and biology to take
If you want to do medicine then chemistry and biology leave all med schools open although Cambridge prefer 3 sciences. The most common combination for medicine is bio, chem, maths although physics would also be fine. Out of the two you are unsure of which do you prefer? Also, which do you think you could do better at? Also, could you cope with the maths in physics without a level? I’m sure you can but I don’t know as I don’t take physics
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