Cambridge Medicine Number of A Levels/Predicted Grades

Watch
2002student
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1
I am in year 12, and currently studying biology, chemistry, maths and physics. I'm unsure on whether I want to continue with physics next year - do applicants for medicine at cambridge doing 4 a levels have any advantage over those with 3? Does it make you stand out as extra academic? My school doesn't offer EPQs, so it would just be the 3 a levels that I apply with.

Also, it's looking like my predicted grades will be A*A*A*A , with the A in physics - I got a low A in my end of year exam so I doubt they'd predict me an A*. Is submitting an application with these predicted grades worse than A*A*A*, because the A is a distractor? Or is having that extra A worthwhile?
0
reply
Cookie0799
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 months ago
#2
(Original post by 2002student)
I am in year 12, and currently studying biology, chemistry, maths and physics. I'm unsure on whether I want to continue with physics next year - do applicants for medicine at cambridge doing 4 a levels have any advantage over those with 3? Does it make you stand out as extra academic? My school doesn't offer EPQs, so it would just be the 3 a levels that I apply with.

Also, it's looking like my predicted grades will be A*A*A*A , with the A in physics - I got a low A in my end of year exam so I doubt they'd predict me an A*. Is submitting an application with these predicted grades worse than A*A*A*, because the A is a distractor? Or is having that extra A worthwhile?
If the unis typical offer is for 3 A-Levels you wouldn't be giving yourself any advantage by doing 4. I don't believe the A would act as any kind of distractor as the way it was explained to me when I considered med was that they have their entry requirements, for example at the uni I was looking at required 10 GCSEs and if you had any more than that they would only consider your top 10. I can't see any reason why this would be different here.

I'm 99% sure it won't give you an advantage (or disadvantage) to not drop Physics, so if you love the subject and want to take it to A2 for that reason then do but otherwise don't bother.

Also big congrats on your predicted grades!
0
reply
Sony123
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 months ago
#3
Even at Cambridge, you are not likely advantaged by 4 A levels. In fact, they may end up making you a four A level offer, which would be unfortunate. For most other Unis, they stop counting once you have reached their minimum requirement (usually AAA, a few A*AA) apart from Barts where they use UCAS points (so the extra A level gives you a few more points).
In summary, it may be best to drop the fourth - I would suggest using the extra time to prepare well not only for the three A levels, but for the BMAT (Cambridge) and UCAT - a good score in this will go much much further than the fourth A level.
0
reply
orangeee22
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
I'm at Cambridge doing medicine and I did 3 A levels (biology, chem, maths), and I did physics AS. I didn't do an EPQ.Lots of people seem to have done 4 (or even 5) a levels. You can always ask your teacher if they could bump up your predicted grade if you want to continue with physics. I wouldn't stress over doing 3 or 4 A levels, I don't think it makes a difference as some schools won't let people do more than 3, so it would be unfair to penalise people for only doing 3. However, physics A level will help you with some concepts in first year (relating to cell electrophysiology) and the course is a tough one so you should be able to manage doing 4 A levels if you are planning on being able to survive it (not to scare you though!). Overall, if you enjoy physics, go for it. If you have other, worthwhile things you think you'd be able to spend your time on (any fun hobbies you enjoy, sports/music, or a job) then I doubt it would make any difference to your application.
0
reply
username4247768
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 months ago
#5
Oxford Mum
Reality Check
ecolier
GANFYD

maybe one of you could help/reassure?
0
reply
Reality Check
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 months ago
#6
Thanks for the tag, Amelia 123

(Original post by 2002student)
do applicants for medicine at cambridge doing 4 a levels have any advantage over those with 3?
Categorically not.

Does it make you stand out as extra academic?
Categorically no.

My school doesn't offer EPQs, so it would just be the 3 a levels that I apply with.
EPQs are not magic, and there is no point doing one unless you actually want one. Like multiple extra A levels, an EPQ isn't the deal-breaker between being offered a place and not being offered a place.

Also, it's looking like my predicted grades will be A*A*A*A , with the A in physics - I got a low A in my end of year exam so I doubt they'd predict me an A*. Is submitting an application with these predicted grades worse than A*A*A*, because the A is a distractor? Or is having that extra A worthwhile?
There is far too much fretting here. No-one expects you to achieve A*s in every subject you're taking - particularly when you are taking an unnecessary number. Just concentrate on getting A*A*A minimum. There are a million FOIs on medicine offers, and you will see from them that plenty of people are made an offer conditional on three A levels. To satisfy yourself, search an index of them such as WhatDoTheyKnow.
0
reply
R T
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 months ago
#7
(Original post by 2002student)
I am in year 12, and currently studying biology, chemistry, maths and physics. I'm unsure on whether I want to continue with physics next year - do applicants for medicine at cambridge doing 4 a levels have any advantage over those with 3? Does it make you stand out as extra academic? My school doesn't offer EPQs, so it would just be the 3 a levels that I apply with.

Also, it's looking like my predicted grades will be A*A*A*A , with the A in physics - I got a low A in my end of year exam so I doubt they'd predict me an A*. Is submitting an application with these predicted grades worse than A*A*A*, because the A is a distractor? Or is having that extra A worthwhile?
The A prediction is fine. Universities know that A vs A* prediction is something that schools struggle with/ get funny about. The bottom line is your predicted grades have met or exceeded their typical entrance offer, which is all you need. There's no way you will get rejected because of the A prediction.

Doing Physics should just be down to you. It's fine to drop it, its fine to continue with it. Forget about worrying if it will be an A* vs an A and just think whether you want to continue studying it (whether this is for enjoyment, to have a more impressive set of grades, for making future topics at uni easier, or simply because you think you'll work more effectively if you are just generally busier). If you think 4 A-Levels is stretching you too much you can drop it, but my experience with a lot of people in school was that they don't use that extra time to do something constructive or to revise their other subjects. One minor additional part here is that a lot of BMAT questions feature some fairly basic (GCSE-syllabus, but harder) physics questions, and doing more physics in school might make a slight difference here.

A lot of medicine students at Cambridge have done 4+ A-Levels, but this is more because they are just overachievers who want to learn, want to challenge themselves, wanted to keep all their subjects to A2, etc. It's not because the admissions team select people with 4 A-Levels over people with 3 - this simply isn't a primary factor for them. The same is true for music - a stupidly high number of Cambridge students are grade 8+ in an instrument. Unless they applied for music, this is absolutely and completely irrelevant - it's just a fact that a lot of the students fall into these kind of strong work ethic/ perfectionist /highly self-motivated/ competitive personality types. There is no need to be intimidated or worried about this specifically since it has no impact on the actual admissions procedure.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Should there be a new university admissions system that ditches predicted grades?

No, I think predicted grades should still be used to make offers (591)
34.02%
Yes, I like the idea of applying to uni after I received my grades (PQA) (720)
41.45%
Yes, I like the idea of receiving offers only after I receive my grades (PQO) (347)
19.98%
I think there is a better option than the ones suggested (let us know in the thread!) (79)
4.55%

Watched Threads

View All