anom.econ
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I am in year 12 and currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics, and also doing an economics EPQ. I am going to apply for E&M with Oxford as my first choice (and other top unis like Durham, Warwick, St Andrews) and I was wondering how important it is to have further maths a level. Does everyone doing E&M at Oxford have fm?

At the moment I am not struggling with work load. We have now nearly finished maths a level, meaning if i dropped fm I would just be revising maths a level for a year. Currently I have hardly any frees so would gain so many and could concentrate on physics (my worst a level) and further reading for econ. there's also many essay comps I would like to enter, and I am looking for a prefect role next year and would like to do more research into management.

So, ideally I would drop fm but I don't want to regret it and I don't want it to be the reason I don't get into Oxford (if I don't). Please can someone share their advice. It would be much appreciated
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Mona123456
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(Original post by anom.econ)
I am in year 12 and currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics, and also doing an economics EPQ. I am going to apply for E&M with Oxford as my first choice (and other top unis like Durham, Warwick, St Andrews) and I was wondering how important it is to have further maths a level. Does everyone doing E&M at Oxford have fm?

At the moment I am not struggling with work load. We have now nearly finished maths a level, meaning if i dropped fm I would just be revising maths a level for a year. Currently I have hardly any frees so would gain so many and could concentrate on physics (my worst a level) and further reading for econ. there's also many essay comps I would like to enter, and I am looking for a prefect role next year and would like to do more research into management.

So, ideally I would drop fm but I don't want to regret it and I don't want it to be the reason I don't get into Oxford (if I don't). Please can someone share their advice. It would be much appreciated
Hi there,

Oxford care slightly less about FM but Warwick and LSE do prefer it. However, you should definitely prioritise getting e.g. 3A* rather than A*A*AA as your predicted grades - quality not quantity is more important. Still, I would advise that FM would be useful and from what you’ve said, if you’re certain on E&M/economics as your degree choice then I’d consider dropping Physics as having FM will help your application to be more competitive - to some extent it is seen as an implicit requisite for economics at top Unis, although E&M is probably the least maths-y out of Cambridge, LSE, Warwick etc.

All that being said - I doubt that everyone would have FM and you realistically, you are better off getting 3A* predicted grades and having more time to do super curriculars, and prep for the TSA, rather than balance another A Level workload. In Year 13 things definitely step up a gear (and further maths does get considerably harder) so even if you’re managing the workload now, bear in mind that it will likely get much more intense.

From what you’ve said, I’d perhaps consider doing FM AS at least in an ideal world if you’re not keen on it. Otherwise, maybe drop Physics and keep going with FM until A2 if you can. Ideally continuing with all 4 would be great of course, but as I’ve already said, it’s better off to do 3 A Levels that you enjoy the most and do them well, and have plenty of time for essay competitions and extra reading etc, rather than take on too much (especially if you hope to be a prefect too).

Best of luck with your application, and let me know if you have any other questions (I currently hold an offer for E&M at Oxford).

Edit: for context I take Maths, FM, Physics and Economics but didn’t do an EPQ. Also, would highly recommend you take the TSA seriously and try and start practising if you haven’t already as that’s quite important in determining who gets an interview.
Last edited by Mona123456; 1 week ago
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JGoosey2002
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(Original post by anom.econ)
I am in year 12 and currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Economics, and also doing an economics EPQ. I am going to apply for E&M with Oxford as my first choice (and other top unis like Durham, Warwick, St Andrews) and I was wondering how important it is to have further maths a level. Does everyone doing E&M at Oxford have fm?

At the moment I am not struggling with work load. We have now nearly finished maths a level, meaning if i dropped fm I would just be revising maths a level for a year. Currently I have hardly any frees so would gain so many and could concentrate on physics (my worst a level) and further reading for econ. there's also many essay comps I would like to enter, and I am looking for a prefect role next year and would like to do more research into management.

So, ideally I would drop fm but I don't want to regret it and I don't want it to be the reason I don't get into Oxford (if I don't). Please can someone share their advice. It would be much appreciated
Idk how this works at ur school. Would it be possible to do further maths with ur fm class, be in a normal maths class and stay in ur econ class so drop physics. I feel like if you were to drop 1 that’s the way to go
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honeydukes01
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Can’t stress how important FM is. It’s hard to get offers from LSE/UCL/Warwick without it (if you’re applying to those also) and although the Oxford course is the least mathsy out of the top econ courses, lots of the successful applicants have FM. There was some FOI data released on this and even for PPE, which is less maths focused than E&M, FM is the 4th most common A-level amongst offer holders.

Try to keep all 4 if possible, and drop the EPQ.
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anom.econ
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(Original post by Mona123456)
Hi there,

Oxford care slightly less about FM but Warwick and LSE do prefer it. However, you should definitely prioritise getting e.g. 3A* rather than A*A*AA as your predicted grades - quality not quantity is more important. Still, I would advise that FM would be useful and from what you’ve said, if you’re certain on E&M/economics as your degree choice then I’d consider dropping Physics as having FM will help your application to be more competitive - to some extent it is seen as an implicit requisite for economics at top Unis, although E&M is probably the least maths-y out of Cambridge, LSE, Warwick etc.

All that being said - I doubt that everyone would have FM and you realistically, you are better off getting 3A* predicted grades and having more time to do super curriculars, and prep for the TSA, rather than balance another A Level workload. In Year 13 things definitely step up a gear (and further maths does get considerably harder) so even if you’re managing the workload now, bear in mind that it will likely get much more intense.

From what you’ve said, I’d perhaps consider doing FM AS at least in an ideal world if you’re not keen on it. Otherwise, maybe drop Physics and keep going with FM until A2 if you can. Ideally continuing with all 4 would be great of course, but as I’ve already said, it’s better off to do 3 A Levels that you enjoy the most and do them well, and have plenty of time for essay competitions and extra reading etc, rather than take on too much (especially if you hope to be a prefect too).

Best of luck with your application, and let me know if you have any other questions (I currently hold an offer for E&M at Oxford).

Edit: for context I take Maths, FM, Physics and Economics but didn’t do an EPQ. Also, would highly recommend you take the TSA seriously and try and start practising if you haven’t already as that’s quite important in determining who gets an interview.
Thank you so much for this advice. My school doesn't do AS further maths so it's all or nothing. I think I will continue with my 4 a levels for now, and will make my mind up about further maths once we have done more of the spec. I just don't want to limit my chances of getting into Oxford.
Congratulations on your offer! Which college are you going to? Also, did you do anything specific for the management part of the course to get an offer, and did you mention a fair bit about management as well as economics on your personal statement?
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anom.econ
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(Original post by JGoosey2002)
Idk how this works at ur school. Would it be possible to do further maths with ur fm class, be in a normal maths class and stay in ur econ class so drop physics. I feel like if you were to drop 1 that’s the way to go
I could do this but it isn't recommended as it doesn't show a range of knowledge (as it's basically 2 subjects). Also I do quite enjoy physics at the moment too and I like the variety, but I also have always loved maths and found it fairly straight forwards, but since starting the further maths topics, I feel like I am not taking it in as well.
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anom.econ
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(Original post by honeydukes01)
Can’t stress how important FM is. It’s hard to get offers from LSE/UCL/Warwick without it (if you’re applying to those also) and although the Oxford course is the least mathsy out of the top econ courses, lots of the successful applicants have FM. There was some FOI data released on this and even for PPE, which is less maths focused than E&M, FM is the 4th most common A-level amongst offer holders.

Try to keep all 4 if possible, and drop the EPQ.
Thank you for this. I will try to keep with further maths as I know I will regret not doing it, but it is an extremely full on timetable, and other people always have many frees in which they can be reviewing and revising work, which I haven't had much time to do now. Do you know whether people have into E&M without further maths. Also, do you think they would notice the fact that I dropped it (if I did) and question it?
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honeydukes01
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(Original post by anom.econ)
Thank you for this. I will try to keep with further maths as I know I will regret not doing it, but it is an extremely full on timetable, and other people always have many frees in which they can be reviewing and revising work, which I haven't had much time to do now. Do you know whether people have into E&M without further maths. Also, do you think they would notice the fact that I dropped it (if I did) and question it?
You can get into Ox E&M without it, but the issue is, if you don’t get into Ox, you are extremely unlikely to get offers from LSE/UCL/Warwick without FM. Therefore, the next best you’d get are Durham/Andies/Bristol, which are obviously great unis, but they’re not as highly targeted for grad schemes.

Oxford won’t know you dropped FM at the end of y12 unless your teachers put this in your reference.

Frees are actually not too useful anyway - most people just end up talking or getting distracted. Try to keep all 4 and drop the EPQ. You can always drop FM after you get your offers (FM is not an official requirement, so they almost always let offer holders drop it, and quite a few offer holders do drop it because A2 FM is taxing so potentially not worth doing unless it’s an official requirement for a course/you really enjoy it)
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anom.econ
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(Original post by honeydukes01)
You can get into Ox E&M without it, but the issue is, if you don’t get into Ox, you are extremely unlikely to get offers from LSE/UCL/Warwick without FM. Therefore, the next best you’d get are Durham/Andies/Bristol, which are obviously great unis, but they’re not as highly targeted for grad schemes.

Oxford won’t know you dropped FM at the end of y12 unless your teachers put this in your reference.

Frees are actually not too useful anyway - most people just end up talking or getting distracted. Try to keep all 4 and drop the EPQ. You can always drop FM after you get your offers (FM is not an official requirement, so they almost always let offer holders drop it, and quite a few offer holders do drop it because A2 FM is taxing so potentially not worth doing unless it’s an official requirement for a course/you really enjoy it)
Okay thank you so much for this advice. I will see how it goes
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Mona123456
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(Original post by anom.econ)
Thank you so much for this advice. My school doesn't do AS further maths so it's all or nothing. I think I will continue with my 4 a levels for now, and will make my mind up about further maths once we have done more of the spec. I just don't want to limit my chances of getting into Oxford.
Congratulations on your offer! Which college are you going to? Also, did you do anything specific for the management part of the course to get an offer, and did you mention a fair bit about management as well as economics on your personal statement?
I’ll send you a PM with more detailed answers to those questions. Just want to point out, as honeydukes01 said FM is pretty important, but I would be careful if you’re trying to play the game and say you’re taking it, then drop it after you have an offer - this isn’t always the case, and I’ve heard that it’s not looked favourably on at all. When you enter that you’re taking 4 full A Levels on UCAS you are legally obliged to take them, unless you email your University and explicitly ask for permission to drop one - bear in mind though that too Unis have every right to say you can’t drop one, and indeed some Unis could even drop your offer on the basis of you taking four or taking FM, in which case they may either not allow you to drop it or could raise your offer. So I would advise against putting it on UCAS then betting on the fact you’ll be able to drop it, as that’s incredibly risky and realistically, top Unis for Econ do require a high degree of mathematical ability. If you took FM it would make your degree a fair bit easier, at least in the first few terms, as FM A Level is taxing as honeydukes01 pointed out, but it’s incredibly rewarding and would make the Uni transition easier. As others have said, you really need to either continue with all four, or drop Physics. Your EPQ could also be sacrificed if worst comes to worst - personally I think 4 A Levels is hard enough, so unless you can get your EPQ out of the way in Year 12 don’t try and juggle that in Year 13 alongside your A Levels as that’ll be likely too much when you have other priorities to consider.

Feel free to tag/quote me or reply to my PM if you have any other questions.
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honeydukes01
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(Original post by Mona123456)
I’ll send you a PM with more detailed answers to those questions. Just want to point out, as honeydukes01 said FM is pretty important, but I would be careful if you’re trying to play the game and say you’re taking it, then drop it after you have an offer - this isn’t always the case, and I’ve heard that it’s not looked favourably on at all. When you enter that you’re taking 4 full A Levels on UCAS you are legally obliged to take them, unless you email your University and explicitly ask for permission to drop one - bear in mind though that too Unis have every right to say you can’t drop one, and indeed some Unis could even drop your offer on the basis of you taking four or taking FM, in which case they may either not allow you to drop it or could raise your offer. So I would advise against putting it on UCAS then betting on the fact you’ll be able to drop it, as that’s incredibly risky and realistically, top Unis for Econ do require a high degree of mathematical ability. If you took FM it would make your degree a fair bit easier, at least in the first few terms, as FM A Level is taxing as honeydukes01 pointed out, but it’s incredibly rewarding and would make the Uni transition easier. As others have said, you really need to either continue with all four, or drop Physics. Your EPQ could also be sacrificed if worst comes to worst - personally I think 4 A Levels is hard enough, so unless you can get your EPQ out of the way in Year 12 don’t try and juggle that in Year 13 alongside your A Levels as that’ll be likely too much when you have other priorities to consider.

Feel free to tag/quote me or reply to my PM if you have any other questions.
Agree that it is a risky strategy, but it’s one that lots and lots of econ applicants play - although most adopt this strategy unintentionally as they don’t realise how hard year 2 FM Pure is until January mocks. Both UCL and Warwick were fine with me dropping FM once I had my econ offer (I didn’t have time to revise for it without putting my other subjects at risk). Be prepared for them to say that you can’t drop it, but the most likely response will be that dropping it is fine.

I wouldn’t advise you dropping physics. Unis (especially LSE) may not be too happy with the lack of breadth from taking just maths, FM and econ. Definitely keep all four for as long as possible and drop the EPQ - the EPQ will only be of benefit if you’re applying to Bath.
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honeydukes01
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Just to add: even if the unis say that you can’t drop FM, if it’s one of 4 subjects, your offer won’t be conditional on it. As long as you get A*AA at least in the other 3, you’d have met your offer - even if you get a U in FM, you’d still be fine. The only exception is LSE - they always seem to offer A*AAE, with the E grade being FM.
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anom.econ
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(Original post by honeydukes01)
Just to add: even if the unis say that you can’t drop FM, if it’s one of 4 subjects, your offer won’t be conditional on it. As long as you get A*AA at least in the other 3, you’d have met your offer - even if you get a U in FM, you’d still be fine. The only exception is LSE - they always seem to offer A*AAE, with the E grade being FM.
Thank you so much. I'm not going to drop physics and I will only drop FM if my other subjects are slacking and I will try to keep it at least until I get offers.
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honeydukes01
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(Original post by anom.econ)
Thank you so much. I'm not going to drop physics and I will only drop FM if my other subjects are slacking and I will try to keep it at least until I get offers.
That’s probably the best way to do it - good luck.

Feel free to PM me if you need any help - I applied to Ox E&M last year (and got rejected lol) and econ everywhere else, but I reapplied and now have an Ox PPE place!
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