medicine a level choices- so confused!!

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neurosurgically
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so i’m applying to a public school (UK) who want me to pick 4 a levels.

i had always thought bio, chem, philosophy+ethics and EPQ.

now there’s a fourth being thrown into the ring (and i’ve asked, everyone’s doing an EPQ so it wouldn’t constitute as a “fourth”)

do i pick maths or english lit?? i know maths would go very well together with my subjects as i want to do medicine and i am academically able, but it just doesn’t come naturally to me, and i really don’t want to do an a level in it (am currently doing further maths gcse)

but i’m aware for medicine bio, chem, philosophy and english doesn’t look too hot (or does it?)

do i stick with maths and hope i get better with time or do english (which i’m naturally quite good at and have a love for, but risk the medical application?)
Last edited by neurosurgically; 1 year ago
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ecolier
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(Original post by neurosurgically)
so i’m applying to a very private (public basically) school who want me to pick 4 a levels.

i had always thought bio, chem, philosophy+ethics and EPQ.

now there’s a fourth being thrown into the ring (and i’ve asked, everyone’s doing an EPQ so it wouldn’t constitute as a “fourth”)

do i pick maths or english lit?? i know maths would go very well together with my subjects as i want to do medicine and i am academically able, but it just doesn’t come naturally to me, and i really don’t want to do an a level in it (am currently doing further maths gcse)

but i’m aware for medicine bio, chem, philosophy and english doesn’t look too hot (or does it?)

do i stick with maths and hope i get better with time or do english (which i’m naturally quite good at and have a love for, but risk the medical application?)
Well, if only you knew about the "Medical A-Level subjects queries" megathread then you wouldn't be confused! https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5611422. For future reference, please post there if you have any questions.

(Basically only Cambridge cares if you did Maths as one of your A-Levels, no other Uni cares)
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THALCEDONY
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Most Medical universities want Chemistry and Biology as A-levels and won't care what other subjects you pick unless they are vocational subjects or things like Critical Thinking or General Studies. Some may want maths as well. I'm applying to Medical universities this year and I'm doing A-level Bio, Chem and Psychology.
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Muttley79
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(Original post by neurosurgically)
so i’m applying to a very private (public basically) school who want me to pick 4 a levels.

i had always thought bio, chem, philosophy+ethics and EPQ.

now there’s a fourth being thrown into the ring (and i’ve asked, everyone’s doing an EPQ so it wouldn’t constitute as a “fourth”)

do i pick maths or english lit?? i know maths would go very well together with my subjects as i want to do medicine and i am academically able, but it just doesn’t come naturally to me, and i really don’t want to do an a level in it (am currently doing further maths gcse)

but i’m aware for medicine bio, chem, philosophy and english doesn’t look too hot (or does it?)

do i stick with maths and hope i get better with time or do english (which i’m naturally quite good at and have a love for, but risk the medical application?)
Refuse to do an EPQ if you are doing 4 A levels - no uni requires four so I question why they want you to.

Why not go somewhere else for the Sixth form?
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Queen_1
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Honestly you should choose English Lit. Majority of unis mostly want biology and Chemistry and anything else. They like you to be well rounded in anything so things like history geography English lit would be really good for your application. I’m doing Biology Chemistry History and an EPQ and I go to a selective sixthform and medicine is still possible
Last edited by Queen_1; 2 years ago
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returnmigrant
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For your 3rd subject, you need to pick the subject where you feel most confident of getting an A grade.

If the University does not specify/recommend/prefer Maths or a Science. or any other subject, for the 3rd subject then they don't care. You wont get any extra brownie points for doing a 'relevant subject' - you could be doing Dance or Accountancy - all they are interested in the A grade.

PS. There is a wealth of advice and info here about all aspects of Applying for Medicine, including advice about A levels : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Medicine
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Welshvisitor
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Why haven’t you asked your school for advise ? Or a admissions officer at a med school?
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by Welshvisitor)
Why haven’t you asked your school for advise ? Or a admissions officer at a med school?
i got the email regarding choices yesterday and i’ve spoken to many admissions officers about making the third a level choice.
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by returnmigrant)
For your 3rd subject, you need to pick the subject where you feel most confident of getting an A grade.

If the University does not specify/recommend/prefer Maths or a Science. or any other subject, for the 3rd subject then they don't care. You wont get any extra brownie points for doing a 'relevant subject' - you could be doing Dance or Accountancy - all they are interested in the A grade.

PS. There is a wealth of advice and info here about all aspects of Applying for Medicine, including advice about A levels : https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/Medicine
(Original post by Muttley79)
Refuse to do an EPQ if you are doing 4 A levels - no uni requires four so I question why they want you to.

Why not go somewhere else for the Sixth form?
see i really like the EPQ and would rather drop the fourth anyways (on the same terms of uni not needing it)

also the school is amazing and i’ve fallen in love with it (and they’re offering 100% bursary)
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by THALCEDONY)
Most Medical universities want Chemistry and Biology as A-levels and won't care what other subjects you pick unless they are vocational subjects or things like Critical Thinking or General Studies. Some may want maths as well. I'm applying to Medical universities this year and I'm doing A-level Bio, Chem and Psychology.
i know but i have this irrational fear that because 1/2 and not just a 1/3 are non-scientific will show that i don’t have a scientific aptitude??? idk
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by ecolier)
Well, if only you knew about the "Medical A-Level subjects queries" megathread then you wouldn't be confused! https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5611422. For future reference, please post there if you have any questions.

(Basically only Cambridge cares if you did Maths as one of your A-Levels, no other Uni cares)
thank you so much!! will do, was in such a panic i forgot to search anything (although they were all about the third a level but hey 🤷*♀️)
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Muttley79
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(Original post by neurosurgically)
see i really like the EPQ and would rather drop the fourth anyways (on the same terms of uni not needing it)

also the school is amazing and i’ve fallen in love with it (and they’re offering 100% bursary)
Just do 3 A levels then - it may be an amazing school but that is no reason to take on too many subjects.
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returnmigrant
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No University wants 4 A levels - or will be impressed by you doing them.
And many people drop their EPQ once they have offers because alongside even 3 A levels its too much work.

AAA will always look better than BBBB - and BBBB could lose you a University place in August.
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mez_merising
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(Original post by neurosurgically)
also the school is amazing and i’ve fallen in love with it (and they’re offering 100% bursary)
congratulations!
and as someone said above, only cambridge require three stem a levels
would suggest you stick with eng lit if you enjoy it and are good at it
four a levels + epq is a lot of work but it is doable!
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Quick-use
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(Original post by neurosurgically)
i got the email regarding choices yesterday and i’ve spoken to many admissions officers about making the third a level choice.
Just do 3. By the way, I would highly recommend you do Religious Studies instead of Philosophy as your third subject. It's much, much easier, extremely interesting and has a lot of philosophy in it as well (ethics). Students generally don't do as well on A level Philosophy whereas RS is considered equally reputable all the while being much simpler and more interesting. It'd also be really relevant to Medicine as you'll most likely study ethics and topical issues like Abortion and Euthanasia etc.

P.S. Only Cambridge wants a 3rd A level in a STEM subject. Ergo, don't apply there. Just do 3 and EPQ if you want to or 4 A levels but no EPQ. But, I really wouldn't recommend 4 A levels because it's not a requirement and universities will literally ignore anything more than 3 subjects.
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THALCEDONY
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(Original post by neurosurgically)
i know but i have this irrational fear that because 1/2 and not just a 1/3 are non-scientific will show that i don’t have a scientific aptitude??? idk
Apart from Bio and Chem I'd say just go with whatever subjects you want-it's better to get good grades in all the subjects you do rather than doing badly because you forced yourself into doing them. You've already acknowledged that your fear is irrational-the only thing left is for you to overcome it .
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by Muttley79)
Just do 3 A levels then - it may be an amazing school but that is no reason to take on too many subjects.
(Original post by returnmigrant)
No University wants 4 A levels - or will be impressed by you doing them.
And many people drop their EPQ once they have offers because alongside even 3 A levels its too much work.

AAA will always look better than BBBB - and BBBB could lose you a University place in August.
ofc, i find the idea of four so frivolous
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by Quick-use)
Just do 3. By the way, I would highly recommend you do Religious Studies instead of Philosophy as your third subject. It's much, much easier, extremely interesting and has a lot of philosophy in it as well (ethics). Students generally don't do as well on A level Philosophy whereas RS is considered equally reputable all the while being much simpler and more interesting. It'd also be really relevant to Medicine as you'll most likely study ethics and topical issues like Abortion and Euthanasia etc.

P.S. Only Cambridge wants a 3rd A level in a STEM subject. Ergo, don't apply there. Just do 3 and EPQ if you want to or 4 A levels but no EPQ. But, I really wouldn't recommend 4 A levels because it's not a requirement and universities will literally ignore anything more than 3 subjects.
It’s actually RS with applied philosophy and ethics but I call it philosophy woops
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by THALCEDONY)
Apart from Bio and Chem I'd say just go with whatever subjects you want-it's better to get good grades in all the subjects you do rather than doing badly because you forced yourself into doing them. You've already acknowledged that your fear is irrational-the only thing left is for you to overcome it .
thank you for the great advice for my stubborn self!! (i’m working on it )
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neurosurgically
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(Original post by mez_merising)
congratulations!
and as someone said above, only cambridge require three stem a levels
would suggest you stick with eng lit if you enjoy it and are good at it
four a levels + epq is a lot of work but it is doable!
thank you mez!! how’s the medical journey these days?
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