ApplePi55
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EDIT: Thank you so so much for your advice I think I’ll focus on my GCSE’s for now and think about A levels after my mocks. Good luck with your results for anyone getting them soon!

I know I’m thinking about this quite early, I haven’t done my GCSE’s yet but I really do know what I want to do for college but I’m not sure if it’s too much. I want to do further maths, computer science. Media studies, psychology and business plus an EPQ and a small job. Is it too much? I heard that media studies and business aren’t too hard and isn’t that much of a workload compared to others. I’m thinking I may choose between business and psychology but I really love both so it’s really difficult and I just want to do all. I’m expected to get all 8s for GSCE btw, so I think I’ll get the grades and if I don’t get at least an 8 for maths I may switch FM to just A level maths but honestly I think the topics on that can be quite boring.I think I can do quite a lot of workload, I do somewhat moderate effort right now but I still get great grades, I’m going work a lot harder from now on though, so I think if I up my efforts, I’ll maintain.
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theJoyfulGeek
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
I know I’m thinking about this quite early, I haven’t done my GCSE’s yet but I really do know what I want to do for college but I’m not sure if it’s too much. I want to do further maths, computer science. Media studies, psychology and business plus an EPQ and a small job. Is it too much? I heard that media studies and business aren’t too hard and isn’t that much of a workload compared to others. I’m thinking I may choose between business and psychology but I really love both so it’s really difficult and I just want to do all. I’m expected to get all 8s for GSCE btw, so I think I’ll get the grades and if I don’t get at least an 8 for maths I may switch FM to just A level maths but honestly I think the topics on that can be quite boring.I think I can do quite a lot of workload, I do somewhat moderate effort right now but I still get great grades, I’m going work a lot harder from now on though, so I think if I up my efforts, I’ll maintain.
That's 6 A levels, not 5... Although Further Maths has different content from A level Maths, you need A level Maths to do it, to give you a foundation - lots of FM requires existing A level knowledge. (and no school will let you do Further but not Maths.) So doing Further Maths means you also have to do Maths. The FM topics are more interesting than the M topics, but they're also less useful, especially for university entrance exams and stuff.

I'm doing 5 (Maths, FM, Bio, Chem, Physics), and I've found it pretty easy! Apparently they're some of the most content-heavy, but I haven't really found it hard (and I'm predicted all A*s, so...)

I still had more than enough time to do hobbies, run clubs, volunteer... However, I didn't have a job (I did occasional paid tutoring, but that was pretty much it. I did unpaid volunteering instead.) How many hours a week is a small job?

My school doesn't offer EPQs, but I did have to do a research project that was basically an EPQ except without the certification at the end.

I think you'll be fine doing those 5/6A levels and EPQ, especially as you're doing Media Studies and a few less content-heavy ones.

However, the majority (or a very loud minority) of TSR users would disagree with me and tell me that it's not worth doing more than 3 and people won't have time to do extracurriculars and prepare uni exams, so...

It's all a personal decision though. Nobody except you can really know how you'll find it? Some people can do 5 no problem, while others will struggle with 3. You could maybe ask your teachers - but bear in mind that some people are very risk-averse (and doing 5 is a risk).
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Deggs_14
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I don’t understand how you can fit everything in and still maintain a devote amount of time to everything you do. I think you underestimate how time consuming and more intensive an a level is to a GCSE, and how you’ll grow as a different person compared to GCSEs. Have you looked at the IB if is available instead at your school or college?
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gomgossa
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It might be possible for some people to handle that but theres no reason whatsoever to put yourself through such unnecessary stress? As predicted I very very much disagree with the person above (sorry haha!). Maths+ further maths I think would be an okay addition (you have to do maths to do FM) to make it 4, and it's one thing to be doing an extra subject when they're all science and some are related, but the subjects you've chosen are all pretty random. It will be more content than most people can handle, and your grades might suffer because of it. 3 A*s is better than 5 Bs, for example.

And seriously, a levels can be stressful enough with 3. Theres just no point piling on extra unnecessary stuff when theres other things in life. Unis only need 3 a levels (you also need to think about which course you want to get on with such an interesting combination of subjects).

Most sixth forms will NOT allow you to do that. It's just really not feasible. Looking after yourself and making sure you don't pile on work is SO important.
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
That's 6 A levels, not 5... Although Further Maths has different content from A level Maths, you need A level Maths to do it, to give you a foundation - lots of FM requires existing A level knowledge. (and no school will let you do Further but not Maths.) So doing Further Maths means you also have to do Maths. The FM topics are more interesting than the M topics, but they're also less useful, especially for university entrance exams and stuff.

I'm doing 5 (Maths, FM, Bio, Chem, Physics), and I've found it pretty easy! Apparently they're some of the most content-heavy, but I haven't really found it hard (and I'm predicted all A*s, so...)

I still had more than enough time to do hobbies, run clubs, volunteer... However, I didn't have a job (I did occasional paid tutoring, but that was pretty much it. I did unpaid volunteering instead.) How many hours a week is a small job?

My school doesn't offer EPQs, but I did have to do a research project that was basically an EPQ except without the certification at the end.

I think you'll be fine doing those 5/6A levels and EPQ, especially as you're doing Media Studies and a few less content-heavy ones.

However, the majority (or a very loud minority) of TSR users would disagree with me and tell me that it's not worth doing more than 3 and people won't have time to do extracurriculars and prepare uni exams, so...

It's all a personal decision though. Nobody except you can really know how you'll find it? Some people can do 5 no problem, while others will struggle with 3. You could maybe ask your teachers - but bear in mind that some people are very risk-averse (and doing 5 is a risk).
Thank you for your reply!
So I’d have to do A level maths if I want to do FM? I thought the maximum amount of A levels you could have was 5?? Is it difficult doing FM and A level maths alongside?

Wow, so you can do those five content heavy ones pretty well, and have plenty time too! I love art as a hobby and I was kind of worried I wouldn’t have much time to do so but you’re going great. I think I can also do if I have a high workload.

Yes, I’ve seen many people say it’s not worth taking more than 3 but I feel like those options would be perfect for me and I don’t want any less.

I’m not sure about the job, how much do you think is mangeable?
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theJoyfulGeek
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(Original post by gomgossa)
It might be possible for some people to handle that but theres no reason whatsoever to put yourself through such unnecessary stress? As predicted I very very much disagree with the person above (sorry haha!). Maths+ further maths I think would be an okay addition (you have to do maths to do FM) to make it 4, and it's one thing to be doing an extra subject when they're all science and some are related, but the subjects you've chosen are all pretty random. It will be more content than most people can handle, and your grades might suffer because of it. 3 A*s is better than 5 Bs, for example.

And seriously, a levels can be stressful enough with 3. Theres just no point piling on extra unnecessary stuff when theres other things in life. Unis only need 3 a levels (you also need to think about which course you want to get on with such an interesting combination of subjects).

Most sixth forms will NOT allow you to do that. It's just really not feasible. Looking after yourself and making sure you don't pile on work is SO important.
I agree with you about the subjects - the more alike they are, the easier it is. Have you thought about what you want to study at uni OP?

Sixth forms really don't like it - something that I forgot to mention (oops ) was that my school had a sixth form, so everybody already knew me, and I had to have a meeting with the director of studies and all that to discuss my A level choices. I was only allowed because of my GCSE Y10 mock grades (the meeting was in autumn year 11), and I actually had to find enough evidence and stuff to prove that I would survive... All of my teachers got asked their opinions.

That's something that most people don't mention (as you already get enough hate for not doing 3) and talking about all of your difficulties in convincing the school to make a double exception will lead to someone punching you (please don't punch me!)

(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thank you for your reply!
So I’d have to do A level maths if I want to do FM? I thought the maximum amount of A levels you could have was 5?? Is it difficult doing FM and A level maths alongside?

Wow, so you can do those five content heavy ones pretty well, and have plenty time too! I love art as a hobby and I was kind of worried I wouldn’t have much time to do so but you’re going great. I think I can also do if I have a high workload.

Yes, I’ve seen many people say it’s not worth taking more than 3 but I feel like those options would be perfect for me and I don’t want any less.

I’m not sure about the job, how much do you think is mangeable?
If you want to do more, go for it. It's your life and nobody can tell you what to do. If you really want to do them, you'll find time and will get the grades.

A level maths and further maths is great. My school does all of maths, then all of further maths (so it's not directly alongside), however, lots of other schools do both at once? If you love maths, it's amazing. If you don't...

Also, if you struggle, there's no shame in dropping one A level (my school said that if I got below a certain mark in end of topic tests for a subject I'd have to drop that subject). If you realise that in year 12, you'll never reach the point where you're getting Bs in all of them.
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Also, if someone tells you that you'll get 5 Bs and won't get into Oxbridge, could you please tell them to go **** themselves? Because somebody said that to me when I was in year 10 and excited about choosing my A levels next year and I really regret not saying that to her. Thinking about that comment really does not help my Cambridge application and personal statement stress (i.e. all my summer holiday work).

EDIT: Also, just a tip - always stay at least a few months ahead of the school work if possible. Don't let yourself fall behind or even stay at the place where you should be as then your timetable will kill you (my school only has time in the timetable for 4 subjects, so I'm doing FM on reduced hours. The quantity of compulsory meetings with the head of maths at my school...) If you're a few weeks ahead of where you should be, then all of your classes will be very easy and your homework will take much less time. Also, it really helps to know your teachers, so you should definitely ask them for help/book recommendations/university advice if you need it!
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by gomgossa)
It might be possible for some people to handle that but theres no reason whatsoever to put yourself through such unnecessary stress? As predicted I very very much disagree with the person above (sorry haha!). Maths+ further maths I think would be an okay addition (you have to do maths to do FM) to make it 4, and it's one thing to be doing an extra subject when they're all science and some are related, but the subjects you've chosen are all pretty random. It will be more content than most people can handle, and your grades might suffer because of it. 3 A*s is better than 5 Bs, for example.

And seriously, a levels can be stressful enough with 3. Theres just no point piling on extra unnecessary stuff when theres other things in life. Unis only need 3 a levels (you also need to think about which course you want to get on with such an interesting combination of subjects).

Most sixth forms will NOT allow you to do that. It's just really not feasible. Looking after yourself and making sure you don't pile on work is SO important.
Thank u for the advice! What do you think an average six form would allow?
I don’t think I’d be adding too much unnecessary stress, I love computer science, media and maths and I’d genuinely enjoy doing them so I wouldn’t really see them as work. I haven’t done business or psychology because my school didn’t offer it but I’ve always been really interested in them. But if it’s really too much stress I could drop one? I really want to do business because I feel it’s really important and the skills it builds, but I hear it’s not as respected as psychology which I also really love.

They’re random?? I thought they came together quite a bit, mostly with the computer sciences and maths.

If my grades do suffer I will definitely drop one, but I’m confondent I can stay pretty on top of everything.
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
I agree with you about the subjects - the more alike they are, the easier it is. Have you thought about what you want to study at uni OP?

Sixth forms really don't like it - something that I forgot to mention (oops ) was that my school had a sixth form, so everybody already knew me, and I had to have a meeting with the director of studies and all that to discuss my A level choices. I was only allowed because of my GCSE Y10 mock grades (the meeting was in autumn year 11), and I actually had to find enough evidence and stuff to prove that I would survive... All of my teachers got asked their opinions.

That's something that most people don't mention (as you already get enough hate for not doing 3) and talking about all of your difficulties in convincing the school to make a double exception will lead to someone punching you (please don't punch me!)


If you want to do more, go for it. It's your life and nobody can tell you what to do. If you really want to do them, you'll find time and will get the grades.

A level maths and further maths is great. My school does all of maths, then all of further maths (so it's not directly alongside), however, lots of other schools do both at once? If you love maths, it's amazing. If you don't...

Also, if you struggle, there's no shame in dropping one A level (my school said that if I got below a certain mark in end of topic tests for a subject I'd have to drop that subject). If you realise that in year 12, you'll never reach the point where you're getting Bs in all of them.
Spoiler:
Show
Also, if someone tells you that you'll get 5 Bs and won't get into Oxbridge, could you please tell them to go **** themselves? Because somebody said that to me when I was in year 10 and excited about choosing my A levels next year and I really regret not saying that to her. Thinking about that comment really does not help my Cambridge application and personal statement stress (i.e. all my summer holiday work).

EDIT: Also, just a tip - always stay at least a few months ahead of the school work if possible. Don't let yourself fall behind or even stay at the place where you should be as then your timetable will kill you (my school only has time in the timetable for 4 subjects, so I'm doing FM on reduced hours. The quantity of compulsory meetings with the head of maths at my school...) If you're a few weeks ahead of where you should be, then all of your classes will be very easy and your homework will take much less time. Also, it really helps to know your teachers, so you should definitely ask them for help/book recommendations/university advice if you need it!
Thank you!
Don’t laugh but what does OP mean? I’ve never heard of it before???

So I may be able to convince the schools if I get high enough in my mocks? 😂 I can imagine the hate

Thanks and yea I do love maths so I guess it will be amazing! If I do drop out of a subject, at least I know I tried but I oh the smug faces of everyone around me.

Wow seriously? That girl must be hella jealous, I hope you get into Cambridge so she can go stuff it. And I will keep that in mind for later!

Thank you for the tip! It leaves more room and how can I get the information of what we will be doing for the following months? Do they provide those when starting, sorry I don’t really know.
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by Deggs_14)
I don’t understand how you can fit everything in and still maintain a devote amount of time to everything you do. I think you underestimate how time consuming and more intensive an a level is to a GCSE, and how you’ll grow as a different person compared to GCSEs. Have you looked at the IB if is available instead at your school or college?
Thank you and no, I haven’t looked At any IB’s. I just searched it for the sixth form and the only things it shows is a UCAS leaflet :/

I may be but I feel like I have a good memory and can absorb content quite quickly so even if it is a bigger workload...
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theJoyfulGeek
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thank you!
Don’t laugh but what does OP mean? I’ve never heard of it before???

So I may be able to convince the schools if I get high enough in my mocks? 😂 I can imagine the hate

Thanks and yea I do love maths so I guess it will be amazing! If I do drop out of a subject, at least I know I tried but I oh the smug faces of everyone around me.

Wow seriously? That girl must be hella jealous, I hope you get into Cambridge so she can go stuff it. And I will keep that in mind for later!

Thank you for the tip! It leaves more room and how can I get the information of what we will be doing for the following months? Do they provide those when starting, sorry I don’t really know.
OP is original poster, or the person who created the thread. It's used more on Reddit than on here, and it took me a while to get it at first too - don't worry!

For what you'll be doing, you can ask people in the year above when you're in year 11, or just look at a few textbooks (the AS/year 1 ones - most schools follow a logical order). In my school we did get told what we were doing, but I just read through the textbooks in the order it was in first. The exam board specifications are also useful (also for GCSEs - read the specs)!

What I did was get A level textbooks for all my subjects a long time in advance and then I read them to see what the A level was like.

Just find out what your school's policy on A levels is (some are stricter than others) and do as much as possible to show that you would be capable of doing them. It will probably take forever, and they will probably say no around a million times (you might also hear the classic "3 A*s are better than 5 Bs", "you're throwing away your chances at Oxbridge" and "what about your social life?".

However, just remember that you have other options (applying to other schools, doing them outside school...), so even if your school doesn't let you, it isn't the end of the world. Private schools tend to be more flexible with A level subjects (which is partly why I'm able to do 5), and rather a lot of them give out bursaries (so can get a full or large discount on fees), so if your college doesn't offer the A levels you want you can always apply to one of them.

Sorry about the longwinded post.
Summary: Just be persistent and convincing enough, do well academically, and do as much of the A level content as possible in advance and you'll be fine.
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999tigger
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
I know I’m thinking about this quite early, I haven’t done my GCSE’s yet but I really do know what I want to do for college but I’m not sure if it’s too much. I want to do further maths, computer science. Media studies, psychology and business plus an EPQ and a small job. Is it too much? I heard that media studies and business aren’t too hard and isn’t that much of a workload compared to others. I’m thinking I may choose between business and psychology but I really love both so it’s really difficult and I just want to do all. I’m expected to get all 8s for GSCE btw, so I think I’ll get the grades and if I don’t get at least an 8 for maths I may switch FM to just A level maths but honestly I think the topics on that can be quite boring.I think I can do quite a lot of workload, I do somewhat moderate effort right now but I still get great grades, I’m going work a lot harder from now on though, so I think if I up my efforts, I’ll maintain.
Depends how clever you are.
Imo a complete waste to time to be thinking about such things considering where you are.
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Moonbow
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Yes, you are most certainly going to overwork yourself. Look after yourself! Don't get burned out
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laurawatt
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It will be an awful lot of work , worth pointing out that you can’t do further maths without doing maths alevel

Also, there’s no need to do 5/6 Alevels and an EPQ - you’ll get an offer based on 3 (or max 4) of your alevels, so it might be better to just do independent research/study about one or two of them in your free time (or do an EPQ about them) and focus on 4 alevels and EPQ if that’s what you’re set on.

Alternatively, if your school allows you to take that amount and combination then you can always drop one or two if the workload becomes too much
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
OP is original poster, or the person who created the thread. It's used more on Reddit than on here, and it took me a while to get it at first too - don't worry!

For what you'll be doing, you can ask people in the year above when you're in year 11, or just look at a few textbooks (the AS/year 1 ones - most schools follow a logical order). In my school we did get told what we were doing, but I just read through the textbooks in the order it was in first. The exam board specifications are also useful (also for GCSEs - read the specs)!

What I did was get A level textbooks for all my subjects a long time in advance and then I read them to see what the A level was like.

Just find out what your school's policy on A levels is (some are stricter than others) and do as much as possible to show that you would be capable of doing them. It will probably take forever, and they will probably say no around a million times (you might also hear the classic "3 A*s are better than 5 Bs", "you're throwing away your chances at Oxbridge" and "what about your social life?".

However, just remember that you have other options (applying to other schools, doing them outside school...), so even if your school doesn't let you, it isn't the end of the world. Private schools tend to be more flexible with A level subjects (which is partly why I'm able to do 5), and rather a lot of them give out bursaries (so can get a full or large discount on fees), so if your college doesn't offer the A levels you want you can always apply to one of them.

Sorry about the longwinded post.
Summary: Just be persistent and convincing enough, do well academically, and do as much of the A level content as possible in advance and you'll be fine.
Ohh okay 😂 thanks for explaining
Okay, I’ll ask anyone I know who’s done the courses before. Thank you, I was wondering if the textbooks would have the logical order of what we would be doing or if it was sporadic and all over the place, I’ll read the spec.
Do I could purchase the textbooks now? That’s a great idea! I’d see what they were like and maybe plan to see what I may be missing from GSCE’s as some I’m doing I didn’t do for GCSE.

Thank you, I’ll do as much content as I can in advance. The sixth form isn’t with my school however, how could that work? Do I ask the sixth form constantly with the work I’ve done or does my school contact them??
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Depends how clever you are.
Imo a complete waste to time to be thinking about such things considering where you are.
Thanks for the reply, I think I need to convince the schools to let me do the extra though and that means doing more content and things in advance and since I’m starting year 10 I want to know how much I should be doing. Does that make sense 😂
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thanks for the reply, I think I need to convince the schools to let me do the extra though and that means doing more content and things in advance and since I’m starting year 10 I want to know how much I should be doing. Does that make sense 😂
Wait, you are year ten!? Woah slow down tiger, you’ve not seen year 11 yet :laugh:
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Loving the enthusiasm though! 😊
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thanks for the reply, I think I need to convince the schools to let me do the extra though and that means doing more content and things in advance and since I’m starting year 10 I want to know how much I should be doing. Does that make sense 😂
So you’ve barely started GCSE content in the majority of your subjects and your planning A level subjects?
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
I know I’m thinking about this quite early, I haven’t done my GCSE’s yet but I really do know what I want to do for college but I’m not sure if it’s too much. I want to do further maths, computer science. Media studies, psychology and business plus an EPQ and a small job. Is it too much? I heard that media studies and business aren’t too hard and isn’t that much of a workload compared to others. I’m thinking I may choose between business and psychology but I really love both so it’s really difficult and I just want to do all. I’m expected to get all 8s for GSCE btw, so I think I’ll get the grades and if I don’t get at least an 8 for maths I may switch FM to just A level maths but honestly I think the topics on that can be quite boring.I think I can do quite a lot of workload, I do somewhat moderate effort right now but I still get great grades, I’m going work a lot harder from now on though, so I think if I up my efforts, I’ll maintain.
I've got quite terrible advice but maybe start to think about the end path after A-Levels. You want relevant A-Levels for your course at uni, apprenticeship (if eligible) etc. For example, if you studied Art, Health and Social Care, Media Studies - this wouldn't be useful for a Medicine degree as you haven't got A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry.

You just need to HACK your revision method for quick, efficient revision to be able to fit all this in. I've seen a guy in my school drop from like 6 A-Levels to 3 now as he couldn't handle it. Loads of people drop their 4th/5th option as they find it too much and don't actually enjoy it, so, by all means, try the subjects in first few weeks of A-Levels and see which one you like more, then drop the one(s) you don't particularly like or can't see you studying for 2 years. You have to have your heart set on the A-Levels because there's much more workload than GCSEs.
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katmai
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That’s way to much ngl. I do 3 a levels, an epq and have a part time job and sometimes find it too much. To maintain high grades at a levels (I assume you’ll aim for A/A*) you can’t do too many A levels
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by Moonbow)
Wait, you are year ten!? Woah slow down tiger, you’ve not seen year 11 yet :laugh:
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Loving the enthusiasm though! 😊
😂 I like planning ahead, and thank you
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