Picking a level options!! Need brutal honesty

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HollyMGreening
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Hey, I’m a Year 11 student looking to do these A Levels this September:

Geography
Government and Politics
Psychology

And I’m currently torn between choosing A Level Religious Studies or A Level Biology as my fourth.

Which would you recommend I choose and what are your thoughts on my other three options?

EDIT: Looking at doing 3 A Levels and dropping Psychology for an AS Level. Interested in either international relations or dental hygiene at university which doesn’t require chemistry (polar opposite field I know, but hey)
Last edited by HollyMGreening; 4 weeks ago
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username4218074
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Geography - good
Government and politics - soft subject, some universities may not like it (although this depends massively)
Psychology - good but less so than geography
Biology - great but hardest

Don't do 4 a-levels, do 3.
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anonymous#192
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I did bio and loved it. There’s a lot of content but it’s not difficult - just a lot to remember. I didn’t do any of your other subjects though so I’m afraid I can’t comment on them (I did bio, chem and maths)
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something_orphic
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(Original post by Levi.-)
Geography - good
Government and politics - soft subject, some universities may not like it (although this depends massively)
Psychology - good but less so than geography
Biology - great but hardest

Don't do 4 a-levels, do 3.
Since when is politics a soft subject?

Soft subjects aren't a thing anyway anymore but politics never was a soft subject. All unis accept it and its certainly not disliked.

In my opinion, I am inclined to agree that its better to do 3 subjects than 4 as doing 4 doesn't really benefit you OP.
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username4218074
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(Original post by something_orphic)
Since when is politics a soft subject?

Soft subjects aren't a thing anyway anymore but politics never was a soft subject. All unis accept it and its certainly not disliked.

In my opinion, I am inclined to agree that its better to do 3 subjects than 4 as doing 4 doesn't really benefit you OP.
historically it was, its definitely not a facilitating subject atleast.
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HollyMGreening
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(Original post by something_orphic)
Since when is politics a soft subject?

Soft subjects aren't a thing anyway anymore but politics never was a soft subject. All unis accept it and its certainly not disliked.

In my opinion, I am inclined to agree that its better to do 3 subjects than 4 as doing 4 doesn't really benefit you OP.
Thank you kindly for this comment, much appreciated!
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username4218074
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what do you want to study at university?
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by HollyMGreening)
Thank you kindly for this comment, much appreciated!
It is difficult to advise you but the most important issue is you pick subjects you will enjoy and do well in. Otherwise look into subjects that will be necessary for any future course. All subjects are fine individually.
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something_orphic
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(Original post by Levi.-)
historically it was, its definitely not a facilitating subject atleast.
Yes it wasn't ever a 'facilitating subject' but it defo was not ever considered a 'soft subject'. Im pretty sure facilitating subjects have been scrapped now anyway.

Idk why you would mention that as psych was never a facilitating subject and you didn't mention that.
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HollyMGreening
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(Original post by swanseajack1)
It is difficult to advise you but the most important issue is you pick subjects you will enjoy and do well in. Otherwise look into subjects that will be necessary for any future course. All subjects are fine individually.
Thank you very much for this response, I think if pushed I would excel in either but when reading other people’s advice I think I’ll most likely end up picking RS as it’s what I have a more dominant enthusiasm for and need to bite the bullet and ignore the perceptions around it as a weak or soft subject. Many thanks!
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HollyMGreening
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(Original post by something_orphic)
Since when is politics a soft subject?

Soft subjects aren't a thing anyway anymore but politics never was a soft subject. All unis accept it and its certainly not disliked.

In my opinion, I am inclined to agree that its better to do 3 subjects than 4 as doing 4 doesn't really benefit you OP.
Hi there!
I just wanted to thank you for your lovely private message and just your help in general in this thread The perceptions about certain subjects being weak or soft has definitely thrown me for a loop when picking my options so your clarification is very much appreciated to me as a newbie aha! I’m wishing you all the best as a Year 13 student (especially after this tumultuous year), stay safe and have a lovely evening
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username4218074
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(Original post by something_orphic)
Yes it wasn't ever a 'facilitating subject' but it defo was not ever considered a 'soft subject'. Im pretty sure facilitating subjects have been scrapped now anyway.

Idk why you would mention that as psych was never a facilitating subject and you didn't mention that.
psych isn't super easy compared to most a-levels
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by HollyMGreening)
Thank you very much for this response, I think if pushed I would excel in either but when reading other people’s advice I think I’ll most likely end up picking RS as it’s what I have a more dominant enthusiasm for and need to bite the bullet and ignore the perceptions around it as a weak or soft subject. Many thanks!
You really shouldnt worry about strong or weak subjects. For years the Russell Group used their facilitating subject list but even they have withdrawn their advice because hardly anybody followed it. In any case it was meant to be a list of subjects that were most often asked for if you didnt know what course you wanted to study at university.

Some universities publish a list of their preferred subjects and all the subjects that you are looking at are usually included. As a general rule most of these lists include English Literature, History, Geography, RE, Government and Politics, Law, Economics, Psychology, Sociology, Computer Science, Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and several more. They ask you take 2 subjects of this list. You third can usually be almost any subject expect Critical Thinking and General Studies. The exception is some courses require a set subject eg Maths for Computer Science, Economics and sometimes Psychology. That is the main thing you need to check.
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Kogomogo
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I did a quick google of those courses. Oral health science at manchester uni require Biology at A-level and i think others would too, so if you're strongly considering that as a career then you'd likely need to do Biology to not cut yourself off from that.

International relations for DMU and Birmingham seem to have no specific course requirements, just getting enough points / grades from any a-levels. I don't think the government and politics course would therefore be necessary, but might help your justification when applying to study. I think Geography might also achieve the same thing though, depends how much much of the course goes into human geography.

Psychology is a respected and solid subject, and although not directly relevant to your aspirations it is another science which could help your application to dental hygiene.

I'd definitely recommend looking more in depth at the entry requirements of uni courses you're interested in at the unis you'd want to go to, just to make sure you aren't going to cut yourself off later on.

Personally I'd say take Bio and whichever other two courses that interest you the most and you feel you can get the best grades in, as your grades will be the most important for getting in.
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something_orphic
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(Original post by Levi.-)
psych isn't super easy compared to most a-levels
Nor is politics.

I am honestly not trying to be rude - just trying to provide the OP with the correct info.

Please don't be offended.
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swanseajack1
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You might find these useful

https://www.informedchoices.ac.uk/
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-st...-requirements#
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username4218074
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(Original post by something_orphic)
Nor is politics.

I am honestly not trying to be rude - just trying to provide the OP with the correct info.

Please don't be offended.
politics is quite easy, i revised maybe 2 hours for the whole course (and watched a youtube vid with everything you need to remember) and got an A* doing the entire A-level in my first exam. Politics cannot be placed in the same boat as a-levels like maths, chemistry geography etc. Its quite niche and in *some* minds considered soft.
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gaycinnamonbean
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considering your uni course, i’d say go with a-level biology on the basis that one of your desired courses requires it, but IR doesn’t require R.S, nor is it even particularly beneficial I imagine. if you didn’t like a-level biology, at least you’d know dental hygiene most likely wasn’t for you
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something_orphic
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(Original post by Levi.-)
politics is quite easy, i revised maybe 2 hours for the whole course (and watched a youtube vid with everything you need to remember) and got an A* doing the entire A-level in my first exam. Politics cannot be placed in the same boat as a-levels like maths, chemistry geography etc. Its quite niche and in *some* minds considered soft.
Just because you found it easy - doesn't mean other people do.

Yes I agree it isn't in the same boat as 'facilitating subjects' but it also isn't 'soft' like business studies/film studies etc... its just kinda in the centre ground.
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Yaz013
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(Original post by anonymous#192)
I did bio and loved it. There’s a lot of content but it’s not difficult - just a lot to remember. I didn’t do any of your other subjects though so I’m afraid I can’t comment on them (I did bio, chem and maths)
do u have any tips on how to revise for Bio?
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