How should you choose what subjects for A levels?

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ApplePi55
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Should you go for a wider range of choices and subjects or in just one area?? Should you take an EPQ alongside?? Does the college you go to really matter when it comes to University??

Sorry if my questions are kinda stupid
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etohin
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they're not stupid at all.

i think really just go for what you enjoy and what you think you could do well in; it doesn't really matter whether they mesh well together, imo. unless you're planning to do something specific, like medicine, or vetmed, just do what you're interested in.
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ashtolga23
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Big questions here so you really need to break it down. I know it can seem like such a big decision, which in a way it is, but eventually I feel you come to a point where you're more certain of your choices.

Have you any idea what you want to study at university, as your questions really depend on the course?
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ziggy03
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Personal opinion but hear me out,

1) Look at uni courses you might want to do and what subjects you will need (you don't want a nasty shock a in a year and a halfs time when you realise that you can't study your dream course at your dream uni)
2) Take subjects you are interested in - you'll have to be spending hours a week doing it so make it worth your time !
3) EPQ is very good for uni applications and can give you one grade lower on your offer but is quite a lot of work so if you can motivate yourself easily and just get through it its definitely work it.
3) It doesn't matter as much about doing similar subject areas unless you want to do something like medicine who normally ask for bio and chem
4) Colleges definitely do NOT matter when unis are considering your application don't worry about that.

These are not stupid questions at all, good luck!
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by etohin)
they're not stupid at all.

i think really just go for what you enjoy and what you think you could do well in; it doesn't really matter whether they mesh well together, imo. unless you're planning to do something specific, like medicine, or vetmed, just do what you're interested in.
Thank you so much for your answer, I’m thinking maths, FM, computer science and physics. They’re all so much maths and I was kind of worried it was too restrictive, I want to pursue computer science. What do you think??
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Big questions here so you really need to break it down. I know it can seem like such a big decision, which in a way it is, but eventually I feel you come to a point where you're more certain of your choices.

Have you any idea what you want to study at university, as your questions really depend on the course?
Thank you, I was worried I would regret my choices as I continued. I want to do computer science
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by ziggy03)
Personal opinion but hear me out,

1) Look at uni courses you might want to do and what subjects you will need (you don't want a nasty shock a in a year and a halfs time when you realise that you can't study your dream course at your dream uni)
2) Take subjects you are interested in - you'll have to be spending hours a week doing it so make it worth your time !
3) EPQ is very good for uni applications and can give you one grade lower on your offer but is quite a lot of work so if you can motivate yourself easily and just get through it its definitely work it.
3) It doesn't matter as much about doing similar subject areas unless you want to do something like medicine who normally ask for bio and chem
4) Colleges definitely do NOT matter when unis are considering your application don't worry about that.

These are not stupid questions at all, good luck!
Thank you so much!! I’m so glad to hear colleges don’t matter much, the college that most of the people that go to my school go to isn’t really that good....(though I might go to another one farther away). When do you have to decided to take an EPQ? Sorry, I have a vague idea of it and people (like you) have said it’s a good thing but I’m not sure about the process of it. Thanks again for your answers, they’ve helped a lot
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thank you, I was worried I would regret my choices as I continued. I want to do computer science
No problem! Sometimes there is some regret, but generally if you take things you're more inclined to enjoy then it's okay. Probably look at the "specification at a glance" of the subjects you're considering to make sure there's no nasty shocks, and remember you'll probably be able to change in the first term of A-Levels if you realise you've made a mistake.

I had a quick look into computer science and I can't see any subject requirements so far, but you may want to check out a couple of unis you like because this can sometimes vary. The UCAS page might be of interest, and includes an entry requirements section almost halfway down.

What are you most into at the minute subject-wise? Is there anything you're interested in that's offered exclusively at A-Level (eg. psychology, politics, and economics at my school are all offered to sixth-formers only)?
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ziggy03
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thank you so much!! I’m so glad to hear colleges don’t matter much, the college that most of the people that go to my school go to isn’t really that good....(though I might go to another one farther away). When do you have to decided to take an EPQ? Sorry, I have a vague idea of it and people (like you) have said it’s a good thing but I’m not sure about the process of it. Thanks again for your answers, they’ve helped a lot
Yep you'll be judged on academic performance. You'll either write it with what subjects you want to study when officially applying for the college or they'll ask you when you start if you're interested. I wouldn't worry about missing the opportunity to sign up for it - they definitely wouldn't keep it a secret from you haha
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something_orphic
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thank you so much!! I’m so glad to hear colleges don’t matter much, the college that most of the people that go to my school go to isn’t really that good....(though I might go to another one farther away). When do you have to decided to take an EPQ? Sorry, I have a vague idea of it and people (like you) have said it’s a good thing but I’m not sure about the process of it. Thanks again for your answers, they’ve helped a lot
If your nearest college isnt that good then unis will know that and somewhat take it into account (depends how bad lol) but you might wanna consider the one further away if you think the college's teaching is not up to scratch.
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
No problem! Sometimes there is some regret, but generally if you take things you're more inclined to enjoy then it's okay. Probably look at the "specification at a glance" of the subjects you're considering to make sure there's no nasty shocks, and remember you'll probably be able to change in the first term of A-Levels if you realise you've made a mistake.

I had a quick look into computer science and I can't see any subject requirements so far, but you may want to check out a couple of unis you like because this can sometimes vary. The UCAS page might be of interest, and includes an entry requirements section almost halfway down.

What are you most into at the minute subject-wise? Is there anything you're interested in that's offered exclusively at A-Level (eg. psychology, politics, and economics at my school are all offered to sixth-formers only)?
Thank you! I’ll make sure to look at them and the UCAS page!
Well it would be maths and computer science, I’ve always been interested in loads of things but I’ve always been most interested in those. I used to think I might take psychology as it is very interesting and it’d be lovely to take as a A level, it’s on my list if I ever decide not to take any of the others, but I don’t think taking all those A levels would be wise...
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by ziggy03)
Yep you'll be judged on academic performance. You'll either write it with what subjects you want to study when officially applying for the college or they'll ask you when you start if you're interested. I wouldn't worry about missing the opportunity to sign up for it - they definitely wouldn't keep it a secret from you haha
Thanks so much, I understand so much better now
:lol::lol:
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by something_orphic)
If your nearest college isnt that good then unis will know that and somewhat take it into account (depends how bad lol) but you might wanna consider the one further away if you think the college's teaching is not up to scratch.
Yeah I want to go to the one farther away, it’s definitely much better and many of the academic students or ones who do amazingly go either there or somewhere else. Also I couldn’t find a single mention on further maths on their website???? They’re a 6th form, is that normal? My friend says her brother is doing further maths but they don’t have it at all on their website...
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gjd800
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I didn't want to go to uni (didnt really want to go to college, tbh) so just picked what I thought I'd be most interested in. It wasn't enough to save my 6th form career, alas, because it turns out that I wasn't interested at all :lol: . So I think it helps sometimes to have an end goal (i.e. a specific uni and course) to aim for, so you know that you are doing certain subjects for certain reasons.

But there's also much to be said for doing what you love. I did this by the time I got around to doing degrees and it has sustained me since, even in the face of a crap job market and hostile gatekeeping in academic publishing. You need to figure out which one applies to you and move from there, imo
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by gjd800)
I didn't want to go to uni (didnt really want to go to college, tbh) so just picked what I thought I'd be most interested in. It wasn't enough to save my 6th form career, alas, because it turns out that I wasn't interested at all :lol: . So I think it helps sometimes to have an end goal (i.e. a specific uni and course) to aim for, so you know that you are doing certain subjects for certain reasons.

But there's also much to be said for doing what you love. I did this by the time I got around to doing degrees and it has sustained me since, even in the face of a crap job market and hostile gatekeeping in academic publishing. You need to figure out which one applies to you and move from there, imo
So sorry to hear your choices didn’t turn out to be as interesting
I’m not exactly sure what I’d absolutely love love to do as a career/ job, all I know is in the computer science field 😅😅 I really hope I can find something during college
You do academic publishing? That sounds so interesting
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gjd800
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
So sorry to hear your choices didn’t turn out to be as interesting
I’m not exactly sure what I’d absolutely love love to do as a career/ job, all I know is in the computer science field 😅😅 I really hope I can find something during college
You do academic publishing? That sounds so interesting
Ah don't feel sorry! It was a good time in my life, I just didn't care about education so didn't put in any effort. That was in part because I had no real end goal in sight (and also because I had discovered metal bands, girls, and drinking) - so you have an advantage already because you know you wanna go into CS!

If you get the basics picked that you'd need for CS, then you can potentially add on other subject(s) that you just fancy doing, so I think you will be just fine

Yeah, in a weird twist of fate I ended up going to university in my mid-20s and going right through to PhD. I teach now, and write on the side (when I have time, which is a rarity these days)
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
Thank you! I’ll make sure to look at them and the UCAS page!
Well it would be maths and computer science, I’ve always been interested in loads of things but I’ve always been most interested in those. I used to think I might take psychology as it is very interesting and it’d be lovely to take as a A level, it’s on my list if I ever decide not to take any of the others, but I don’t think taking all those A levels would be wise...
Maths, computer science, and psychology sounds pretty great to me. Why wouldn’t you like the combo?
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by gjd800)
Ah don't feel sorry! It was a good time in my life, I just didn't care about education so didn't put in any effort. That was in part because I had no real end goal in sight (and also because I had discovered metal bands, girls, and drinking) - so you have an advantage already because you know you wanna go into CS!

If you get the basics picked that you'd need for CS, then you can potentially add on other subject(s) that you just fancy doing, so I think you will be just fine

Yeah, in a weird twist of fate I ended up going to university in my mid-20s and going right through to PhD. I teach now, and write on the side (when I have time, which is a rarity these days)
Ahhh 😂😂 I’m so grateful now that I have a field in mind!
Yes, I think I’ll be able to choose one other A level, though I’m not sure if it should be physics or another subject
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ApplePi55
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
Maths, computer science, and psychology sounds pretty great to me. Why wouldn’t you like the combo?
I’m not sure whether to have psychology or physics, a lot of people going on to computer science did physics as A level and some unis recommend it as a A level, though I’m not sure if that would mean I would do it.
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ashtolga23
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(Original post by ApplePi55)
I’m not sure whether to have psychology or physics, a lot of people going on to computer science did physics as A level and some unis recommend it as a A level, though I’m not sure if that would mean I would do it.
That's tempting, but not a necessity I'd say. If you're stuck for options then that's cool, but if you don't like physics I wouldn't put yourself through it.
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