I'm really stuck on what to take for my A-levels...

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16shayeb
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Hi, I'm a year 11 student trying to decide what to take for my A-levels next year. I really have a passion for English, and was instinctively drawn to taking essay-type subjects like History, English, Geography, etc, with the aim of pursuing a career in Law in the future.
However, I'm worried about the lack of stability that English, History and Geography A levels offer in the wider world, especially since about 90% of the girls in my grammar school are playing it safe and aiming for jobs in medicine (taking biology, chemistry maths.) I do like the stability that the job of a doctor offers, and I do pretty well in those subjects at school, but I don't love them the way I love English.
So, I was thinking of taking Biology, Chemistry, History and English Lit for A level, to leave my options open for careers in both medicine and law. Is this a good or a bad idea? Am I biting off more than I can chew?
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SomethingFun
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I reccomend choosing the subjects you enjoy and theres always a career to fall into once you're settled into your subjects and become more aware of opportunities. I'd also say to choose law if you want to peruse a career in law, history is good too for law.
Wishing you success!
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by 16shayeb)
Hi, I'm a year 11 student trying to decide what to take for my A-levels next year. I really have a passion for English, and was instinctively drawn to taking essay-type subjects like History, English, Geography, etc, with the aim of pursuing a career in Law in the future.
However, I'm worried about the lack of stability that English, History and Geography A levels offer in the wider world, especially since about 90% of the girls in my grammar school are playing it safe and aiming for jobs in medicine (taking biology, chemistry maths.) I do like the stability that the job of a doctor offers, and I do pretty well in those subjects at school, but I don't love them the way I love English.
So, I was thinking of taking Biology, Chemistry, History and English Lit for A level, to leave my options open for careers in both medicine and law. Is this a good or a bad idea? Am I biting off more than I can chew?
Hey 16shayeb!

If you want to go for law then you should do it! If you don't have a passion for medicine then its probably not worth the hard work and all the studying

Having said that if you do take Biology, Chemistry and even just one of history or english you could still choose to take law at uni
Law doesn't require any specific prior knowledge - and having one essay based subject through A-level will help you to be at the level you need to be at for uni

Also take into consideration that most students only do 3 A-levels - so it may be better to stick with 3 and get better grades in them than try and push for 4 A-levels

I hope this helps you!
Eloise - Official Student Rep
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absolutelysprout
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if you're interested in english and other essay based subjects take those your heart really needs to be it if you want to pursue medicine especially as it's really competitive! if you are interested in biology, chem, history and english lit you could take them to keep your options open but 4 subjects is a lot of work and unnecessary imo. perhaps drop history or english lit?
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becausethenight
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I would echo that your heart needs to be in it for medicine! As the great ecolier says, if you're thinking of med or something else, do something else.

English, History and Geography and then a Law degree or humanities degree from a decent uni is a perfectly 'safe' choice, and if you're doing what you love you'll get better grades and open more doors. Ultimately if only doctors got jobs the world would be a very odd place

A first in English is obviously more employable than dropping out of Medicine, and there's no point going for a 'safe option' that will make you unhappy or that you won't enjoy. The only reason to do medicine is that you want to be a doctor - yes it's a stable career, but that doesn't matter if you don't actually like it
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Panjsuce
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Maths is really the subject that would keep your options open, go for that, plus uni’s love law applicants having a broader range of subjects now.
If you don’t love science then no point in trying to leave those doors open (and especially if you aren’t passionate for medicine).
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y_katz
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I was in the exact same situation and really empathise with you. I wanted a stable and fulfilling career, to make my family happy and felt the pressure of four fifths of my year doing STEM subjects! So I put down Biology, Chemistry, English and History with a view to do medicine. I did those A-levels for the first four weeks of Year 12 and they were going well but I felt a bit miserable to be honest (except for in my English lessons). I could feel the next fourty years of my life stretching out before me in a career I wouldn't 100% love but chose because certain unhappiness felt bizarrely safer than uncertainty.

I decided to switch to humanities subjects that better complemented each other and I'm a lot happier! If I'd continued with the above A-levels I would have probably dropped History. I think four humanities A-levels are manageable but sciences require too much time and it's better to ultimately do three STEM-combo A-levels and do well.

On the other hand, one of my friends in the year above also did Bio, Chem, English and History to leave the door open to either History, which he loves, or medicine. He's decided to apply for medicine but has dropped English because the above combo, like I said, is a massive amount of work.

You're obviously capable of doing well down either path. (In defence of law it's still pretty stable and, if you naturally prefer humanities subjects, may even be more enjoyable...) Starting with those A-levels would leave the door wide open to either medicine or English, so are a safe bet if you're utterly divided but will make for quite a stressful sixth form experience - I had no free time. However, they're all really well respected and Biology's pretty fun as an A-level (lots of experiments!) so you'd have a great combination of A-levels even if you decided not to do medicine and dropped Chemistry.

Do what's right for you, not the other girls at your school - or your family, they don't have to live your life!
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RainbowWriter
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(Original post by 16shayeb)
Hi, I'm a year 11 student trying to decide what to take for my A-levels next year. I really have a passion for English, and was instinctively drawn to taking essay-type subjects like History, English, Geography, etc, with the aim of pursuing a career in Law in the future.
However, I'm worried about the lack of stability that English, History and Geography A levels offer in the wider world, especially since about 90% of the girls in my grammar school are playing it safe and aiming for jobs in medicine (taking biology, chemistry maths.) I do like the stability that the job of a doctor offers, and I do pretty well in those subjects at school, but I don't love them the way I love English.
So, I was thinking of taking Biology, Chemistry, History and English Lit for A level, to leave my options open for careers in both medicine and law. Is this a good or a bad idea? Am I biting off more than I can chew?
My opinion**

I would recommend taking what you like. Getting jobs in law may seem difficult. However, I wouldn't necessarily say anyone's playing it safe with any A Levels because at the end of the day people trying to get into medicine will also have to get really good grades.

All the best
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16shayeb
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(Original post by y_katz)
I was in the exact same situation and really empathise with you. I wanted a stable and fulfilling career, to make my family happy and felt the pressure of four fifths of my year doing STEM subjects! So I put down Biology, Chemistry, English and History with a view to do medicine. I did those A-levels for the first four weeks of Year 12 and they were going well but I felt a bit miserable to be honest (except for in my English lessons). I could feel the next fourty years of my life stretching out before me in a career I wouldn't 100% love but chose because certain unhappiness felt bizarrely safer than uncertainty.

I decided to switch to humanities subjects that better complemented each other and I'm a lot happier! If I'd continued with the above A-levels I would have probably dropped History. I think four humanities A-levels are manageable but sciences require too much time and it's better to ultimately do three STEM-combo A-levels and do well.

On the other hand, one of my friends in the year above also did Bio, Chem, English and History to leave the door open to either History, which he loves, or medicine. He's decided to apply for medicine but has dropped English because the above combo, like I said, is a massive amount of work.

You're obviously capable of doing well down either path. (In defence of law it's still pretty stable and, if you naturally prefer humanities subjects, may even be more enjoyable...) Starting with those A-levels would leave the door wide open to either medicine or English, so are a safe bet if you're utterly divided but will make for quite a stressful sixth form experience - I had no free time. However, they're all really well respected and Biology's pretty fun as an A-level (lots of experiments!) so you'd have a great combination of A-levels even if you decided not to do medicine and dropped Chemistry.

Do what's right for you, not the other girls at your school - or your family, they don't have to live your life!
Thank you so much for your reply - its great to hear from someone who can actually empathise with my situation, as everyone in my year thinks I'm mad to want to take English! Having read everyone else's replies, I'm feeling more inclined to try out the four A-levels I had in mind, and drop chemistry in year 12 if the workload is too stressful...
May I ask what humanity based A-Levels you switched to later on in Year 12?
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