Trouble with choosing A Levels

Watch this thread
_globglogabgalab
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
I'm currently in Y11 and I'm having problems choosing which A Levels to take, as I am heavily interesting in Engineering (particularly Mechanical Engineering) and Medicine for different reasons. I know if I took Maths, Chem, Bio and Physics I'd keep my options open to both (as Bio + Chem are required for Medicine, while Physics + Maths are required, generally speaking for Engineering), but I'm concerned as to whether I could maintain the same grades with 4 A Levels as I could with 3.

I'd like to know how difficult 4 A Levels are in practice, and what persuaded or dissuaded you or someone you know to study Medicine as, while Medicine interests me more than Engineering, I don't think I truly understand the sacrifices it takes to be a doctor.

Thanks in advance, feel free to ask me any questions.
0
reply
neelamm0001
Badges: 12
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
(Original post by _globglogabgalab)
I'm currently in Y11 and I'm having problems choosing which A Levels to take, as I am heavily interesting in Engineering (particularly Mechanical Engineering) and Medicine for different reasons. I know if I took Maths, Chem, Bio and Physics I'd keep my options open to both (as Bio + Chem are required for Medicine, while Physics + Maths are required, generally speaking for Engineering), but I'm concerned as to whether I could maintain the same grades with 4 A Levels as I could with 3.

I'd like to know how difficult 4 A Levels are in practice, and what persuaded or dissuaded you or someone you know to study Medicine as, while Medicine interests me more than Engineering, I don't think I truly understand the sacrifices it takes to be a doctor.

Thanks in advance, feel free to ask me any questions.
I’m best mate is doing engineering in uni- the subjects he chose as A level was - physics,maths and business
0
reply
Abasix
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
You sound literally exactly like me at that age haha.

I decided to do all 4 but my school gave me the option to drop any if I wanted due to how the timetabling worked. I'm not sure if this is available to you? Running with 4 is a lot harder than 3 for sure and I ended up deciding medicine was for me over Engineering hence I dropped Physics. I managed to use this spare time reading and researching about Medicine and doing extra-curricular activities that all play a part in your CV. Work experience (although very difficult right now) is extremely important, even now in second year of Medicine I relate back to my work experience and understand the things I saw a whole lot better now.

I'd suggest to do all 4 and then drop one if you feel you can make up your mind.

Any questions or things to note, let me know
0
reply
m3lih_
Badges: 7
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by _globglogabgalab)
I'm currently in Y11 and I'm having problems choosing which A Levels to take, as I am heavily interesting in Engineering (particularly Mechanical Engineering) and Medicine for different reasons. I know if I took Maths, Chem, Bio and Physics I'd keep my options open to both (as Bio + Chem are required for Medicine, while Physics + Maths are required, generally speaking for Engineering), but I'm concerned as to whether I could maintain the same grades with 4 A Levels as I could with 3.

I'd like to know how difficult 4 A Levels are in practice, and what persuaded or dissuaded you or someone you know to study Medicine as, while Medicine interests me more than Engineering, I don't think I truly understand the sacrifices it takes to be a doctor.

Thanks in advance, feel free to ask me any questions.
I completely understand the situation you are in! I am in year 12 and I study Biology (OCR A), Chemistry (AQA), Maths and Further maths (Edexcel). I am also planning on applying to medicine and like you have said these subjects, excluding further maths in your case, will allow me to apply to medicine.

To be honest with you, you dont need 4 a levels so you could get away with not taking biology. For the universities I am looking at, none of them require biology, only chemistry and one of: biology, maths, physics and further maths - however, this might be different for the universities you are looking at. If you do this this will allow you to still apply for both medicine and engineering. Although from my research the first few years of medicine (pre-clinical) are heavily theory based and a lot of molecular biology is involved, i.e. there will be more biology than physics if any at all so you could get away with not doing physics a level too. This is completely down to you, obviously, but if you are more for medicine then I’d say don’t do physics and do biology instead as its unnecessary stress haha.

If you are more 50/50 between eng and medicine then I’d say start with 4 at AS and see how you find it - you can always drop a subject at AS and then carry the 3 on that are more relevant to whichever degree you pick to A2. I thought I would struggle but I found that further maths picked up the slack in normal maths so its like I’m only revising one subject but getting 2 qualifications out of it.

Year 1 chemistry physical is very similar to GCSE other than some new topics like Hess’ law, Kc and kinetics. Inorganic is pretty straight forward too just quite dense. Organic is harder than both I’d say, a lot of new concepts and mechanisms.

Maths for the first 3 chapters is pretty much GCSE with spice. The harder topics and new ones are towards the end of the year.

Biology is really interesting, lots of new concepts and many that are developed from GCSE.

I can’t speak for physics but I’m assuming it is similar to the others, a bit of easier stuff and then new AS content.

Medicine is a great degree! It has the best of both worlds, theory and application. Obviously it is an amazing degree but the things that come after are not glamorous by any means - I mean its not exactly a 9-5 job with a routine that is followed everyday. You never know what’s coming at you and ultimately you will have days that might be your worst but on the contrary you might very well have one of your best days because your patient with a chronic illness has been cured idk I think you get what I’m trying to say.

But I’d say, go for medicine. There is so much you can do with a degree in medicine, obviously relevant to medicine but you can go into research, scientific journalism and obviously being a doctor. The world is your oyster with medicine.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by m3lih_; 1 year ago
0
reply
University of Portsmouth Student Rep
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by _globglogabgalab)
I'm currently in Y11 and I'm having problems choosing which A Levels to take, as I am heavily interesting in Engineering (particularly Mechanical Engineering) and Medicine for different reasons. I know if I took Maths, Chem, Bio and Physics I'd keep my options open to both (as Bio + Chem are required for Medicine, while Physics + Maths are required, generally speaking for Engineering), but I'm concerned as to whether I could maintain the same grades with 4 A Levels as I could with 3.

I'd like to know how difficult 4 A Levels are in practice, and what persuaded or dissuaded you or someone you know to study Medicine as, while Medicine interests me more than Engineering, I don't think I truly understand the sacrifices it takes to be a doctor.

Thanks in advance, feel free to ask me any questions.
Hi there,

I am currently a Mechanical Engineering student at Portsmouth University.

Taking 4 A-levels is clearly more challenging than 3 and will require you to put in more work hours as you have a higher work load. I would consider, if this is a suitable option for you, and if you think you can manage this higher work load.
Most Universities will only require 3 A-levels, whilst a 4th may help your application, it is not compulsory. To study engineering, you need to have maths and usually one other STEM subject. To study medicine you will usually need Chemistry and Biology. This will vary depending on the university, so it is important to check.
I would recommend not taking this decision lightly, and talking to your subject teachers and considering if you could manage the work load and achieve the same results. Often it is better to have 3 strong grades than 4 slightly less grades.

I hope this helps
Ethan - UOP Rep
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

Were exams easier or harder than you expected?

Easier (17)
27.87%
As I expected (17)
27.87%
Harder (24)
39.34%
Something else (tell us in the thread) (3)
4.92%

Watched Threads

View All
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