actuallystarfish
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I'm definitely going to do Computer science and Maths for A-Levels but I'm stuck between Art and English(Literature btw, forgot to say) for my third choice.

I'm planning on going to university to study something computer science related, for now I'm thinking about something to do with game development, but I'm looking into the other courses too.

In terms of grades, in GCSE I got a 7 in Art (I did it early), and I'm expected a 7 in English.

In terms of whether I like the subject or not, I really don't know. Both subjects have their positives and negatives: both are interesting to me, for art we don't have as much exams, but for english there isn't that constant coursework due in all the time.

I've told my school I want to do Art because I thought I didn't want to do english anymore but now I'm just so confused because I think English would be fun as well, and more useful for getting into university.

Any advice at all?
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username3477548
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Do english. From what I've heard art is a lot of work.
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artful_lounger
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Art is a very high ongoing workload, although if you are motivated for it and keep on top of things that needn't necessarily be an issue. Note that English (literature) at A-level is a lot more in-depth than at GCSE and you really need to enjoy literary analysis and not just enjoy reading generally. The broader thematic and character analyses you can get away with in GCSE don't cut it at A-level and you really need to be doing the close reading and then linking that close reading and literary criticism with the broader thematic and character analysis. I did well in GCSE English (got As in both) and thought it was ok (not my favourite subject but I didn't hate it) went on to do HL English Lit in IB, and absolutely loathed the experience. You definitely need to be sure of what you're getting into with that.

As far as applying to CS degrees neither art nor English are "better" inherently since neither is really that relevant to the course (although if you were doing some kind of game development course art might be marginally more relevant). For CS itself A-level Further Maths would be the most relevant/ideal subject.
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Immortal-Reaper
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I would definitely have to second artful_lounger in that there is a lot more analysis than at GCSE in English literature, and as someone who does both Literature and Language at a-level, language is objectively easier although there is a lot of analysis as its more applied rather than learnt (if that makes sense ).

In terms of relating to computer science and game development, either could work and have their own strengths - maybe look into typical entry requirements of some degree courses to gage if any require one or another
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by Qxi.xli)
Do english. From what I've heard art is a lot of work.
I understand your point because even at GCSE there was a lot of work and I didn't even manage to finish all the work.

But on the other hand, english is a real pain. I wasn't the best at managing my time in exams and I don't really want to have more essay-exams if i can help it.

Also, one of my teachers said her daughter, who did art at A-Level, did all her coursework asap, so when it was exam season, she could spend more time on her other exams.

So, although it'll be a pain doing all the art stuff, if I put in the effort, it could pay off, as in I could spend more time on Maths and CS.

But I don't know ;( Because this can just as easily backfire in my face. For GCSE I wasn't organised and I wasn't able to finish all my coursework so I got a 7. This could just be a repeat of that if I'm not careful.
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
A-level Further Maths
*shudders*
I mean I understand it's a good choice for my future, but I don't know if I'm that good at Maths (expected a 7 btw).

If I were better at it, and if there were a better teacher lmao, I might have instead chosen Physics because it relates to CS kinda, but unfortunately I'm not that good.

I think for english (lit) learning how to adapt to A-Level's more in depth writing style wouldn't be impossible. My teacher said my writing style was kinda like how they do it at A-Level so it wouldn't be too horrible learning how to do A-Level writing (but i dunno how reliable she is because she might have just been trying to get another person on her course lmao). I'm just worried about the actual exams because I literally can not, for the life of me, write a cohesive essay with good points and write more than like 2 paragraphs in the exams. And that's with like the 4 years I've been studying English at GCSE.

The benefit of art is that there is not really a proper "exam" (apart from the "exams" where u have like 10 hours to make a piece but you can plan everything about that before the exam so you're ready for it). The only downsides to art that I think I'll genuinely struggle with are the constant deadlines and also the creativity. I wouldn't describe myself as very creative, and when I get an idea for art it's not really spectacular. If I don't know what media to use or what artists to cover or what I should do for my final piece, I will be screwed. On the other hand, I think for English it's easier to get an idea because you can use your own ideas and you find new ideas with the class as you go through the texts.

And as for university, I heard English is a more "facilitating" subject or whatever, and that it's viewed more highly by universities than Art. I'm just afraid that choosing Art would be limiting myself but I dunno. I was also thinking that Art would be useful for Game Development, but I dunno.

But honestly, sharing my opinion on the subjects with u guys has me leaning more towards Art again. But I don't know because apparently I like to yo-yo with my opinions.
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ashtolga23
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I'd go with English if I were you. A lot of people who like art seem to find it very stressful at A-Level and their enjoyment ceases. Just to warn you there is still some coursework if you didn't know but it's just one piece from my experience. It's more respected and the exams seem more structured.

Having said all that I do have a bias as I did English lit, and I dropped art in year 9. I'm trying to think which subject may feed into your university course more. English just generally improves analytic and essay skills, but maybe art would help with creativity.
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by ashtolga23)
enjoyment ceases.
That is true, after doing it at GCSE I literally don't do art anymore in my free time, but maybe that's just because I know how bad I am at it oof-

I was looking at university courses and now I want to do Business Studies because apparently there's a CS with Business course and I want to keep my options open, oh Lord help me make up my mind soon lmao
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actuallystarfish
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Things are looking up, I think I'm going with Art . Hurrah!
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by actuallystarfish)
*shudders*
I mean I understand it's a good choice for my future, but I don't know if I'm that good at Maths (expected a 7 btw).

If I were better at it, and if there were a better teacher lmao, I might have instead chosen Physics because it relates to CS kinda, but unfortunately I'm not that good.

I think for english (lit) learning how to adapt to A-Level's more in depth writing style wouldn't be impossible. My teacher said my writing style was kinda like how they do it at A-Level so it wouldn't be too horrible learning how to do A-Level writing (but i dunno how reliable she is because she might have just been trying to get another person on her course lmao). I'm just worried about the actual exams because I literally can not, for the life of me, write a cohesive essay with good points and write more than like 2 paragraphs in the exams. And that's with like the 4 years I've been studying English at GCSE.

The benefit of art is that there is not really a proper "exam" (apart from the "exams" where u have like 10 hours to make a piece but you can plan everything about that before the exam so you're ready for it). The only downsides to art that I think I'll genuinely struggle with are the constant deadlines and also the creativity. I wouldn't describe myself as very creative, and when I get an idea for art it's not really spectacular. If I don't know what media to use or what artists to cover or what I should do for my final piece, I will be screwed. On the other hand, I think for English it's easier to get an idea because you can use your own ideas and you find new ideas with the class as you go through the texts.

And as for university, I heard English is a more "facilitating" subject or whatever, and that it's viewed more highly by universities than Art. I'm just afraid that choosing Art would be limiting myself but I dunno. I was also thinking that Art would be useful for Game Development, but I dunno.

But honestly, sharing my opinion on the subjects with u guys has me leaning more towards Art again. But I don't know because apparently I like to yo-yo with my opinions.
The term "facilitating subject" has been retired by its originators (the Russell Group consortium) because they decided it was confusing and unhelpful for school students. Taking art wouldn't limit you unless maybe you were applying to LSE - and since they don't offer any relevant courses for your interests, that's kind of a non-issue anyway.

Note that if you do a degree in CS you would cover at least some of the content from A-level Further Maths once you are on the degree - it is helpful to have done it at A-level beforehand because you will have had longer to study and absorb the material, and you will also be in a smaller group and have more opportunities for individual attention from your teacher in A-level (compared to being in a lecture of 150-250 students). If you're not that keen on maths though it's probably not a good option - although equally if that is the case I would encourage you to lean more towards the games development angle rather than computer science for degree choices, because CS is necessarily fairly mathematical (it's not a degree in "programming").

My point about A-level English lit wasn't about writing style, it was about the actual analysis you are doing. Also the fact you indicate you struggle with writing long form essays that are consistent and coherent I think is a strong indicator you should not do A-level English lit.

However do bear in mind the lack of a formal unseen written exam doesn't make A-level Art the "easy" option. It still requires a very high commitment and as noted has a high ongoing workload throughout the course. I did HL Art in IB and it was definitely the subject I spent the most time on. You need to be very committed to it to see the course through.

As far as creativity goes, that's harder to quantify and justify. I don't think most A-level Art work is enormously original and creative, and the emphasis is maybe more on being able to demonstrate a coherent creative/design process by documenting the influences on the work you are doing and exploring different artists and artworks (including ones you might not like - because a negative response to an artwork or artist still can influence your process!), and on your experimentation in working towards a final piece.

If you're happy with doing the above in art then just take art - it's not going to be a limitation except for the unis where the limitation would be more likely to be a lack of further maths than the presence of art in your combination. So in those cases it's more about the opportunity cost of not taking FM instead of art, but as above if maths is not a strong point for you I'd suggest aiming more for those games development type courses you indicated an interest in, for some of which art might be a useful background.
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Elliej94
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(Original post by actuallystarfish)
I'm definitely going to do Computer science and Maths for A-Levels but I'm stuck between Art and English(Literature btw, forgot to say) for my third choice.

I'm planning on going to university to study something computer science related, for now I'm thinking about something to do with game development, but I'm looking into the other courses too.

In terms of grades, in GCSE I got a 7 in Art (I did it early), and I'm expected a 7 in English.

In terms of whether I like the subject or not, I really don't know. Both subjects have their positives and negatives: both are interesting to me, for art we don't have as much exams, but for english there isn't that constant coursework due in all the time.

I've told my school I want to do Art because I thought I didn't want to do english anymore but now I'm just so confused because I think English would be fun as well, and more useful for getting into university.

Any advice at all?
Talk to your school or college and ask if theyll let you start four Alevels with a view to cutting down to three once you've decided. I started four alevels and it really helped me realise that one just wasnt for me. Once you properly know what you're getting yourself in for, you can make an informed decision and talk to teachers as well when you've started.
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Emma:-)
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(Original post by actuallystarfish)
I understand your point because even at GCSE there was a lot of work and I didn't even manage to finish all the work.

But on the other hand, english is a real pain. I wasn't the best at managing my time in exams and I don't really want to have more essay-exams if i can help it.

Also, one of my teachers said her daughter, who did art at A-Level, did all her coursework asap, so when it was exam season, she could spend more time on her other exams.

So, although it'll be a pain doing all the art stuff, if I put in the effort, it could pay off, as in I could spend more time on Maths and CS.

But I don't know ;( Because this can just as easily backfire in my face. For GCSE I wasn't organised and I wasn't able to finish all my coursework so I got a 7. This could just be a repeat of that if I'm not careful.
Check the courses you are thinking of doing at uni on unis websites to see if they specify any particular subjects.
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
The term "facilitating subject" has been retired by its originators (the Russell Group consortium) because they decided it was confusing and unhelpful for school students. Taking art wouldn't limit you unless maybe you were applying to LSE - and since they don't offer any relevant courses for your interests, that's kind of a non-issue anyway.

Note that if you do a degree in CS you would cover at least some of the content from A-level Further Maths once you are on the degree - it is helpful to have done it at A-level beforehand because you will have had longer to study and absorb the material, and you will also be in a smaller group and have more opportunities for individual attention from your teacher in A-level (compared to being in a lecture of 150-250 students). If you're not that keen on maths though it's probably not a good option - although equally if that is the case I would encourage you to lean more towards the games development angle rather than computer science for degree choices, because CS is necessarily fairly mathematical (it's not a degree in "programming").

My point about A-level English lit wasn't about writing style, it was about the actual analysis you are doing. Also the fact you indicate you struggle with writing long form essays that are consistent and coherent I think is a strong indicator you should not do A-level English lit.

However do bear in mind the lack of a formal unseen written exam doesn't make A-level Art the "easy" option. It still requires a very high commitment and as noted has a high ongoing workload throughout the course. I did HL Art in IB and it was definitely the subject I spent the most time on. You need to be very committed to it to see the course through.

As far as creativity goes, that's harder to quantify and justify. I don't think most A-level Art work is enormously original and creative, and the emphasis is maybe more on being able to demonstrate a coherent creative/design process by documenting the influences on the work you are doing and exploring different artists and artworks (including ones you might not like - because a negative response to an artwork or artist still can influence your process!), and on your experimentation in working towards a final piece.

If you're happy with doing the above in art then just take art - it's not going to be a limitation except for the unis where the limitation would be more likely to be a lack of further maths than the presence of art in your combination. So in those cases it's more about the opportunity cost of not taking FM instead of art, but as above if maths is not a strong point for you I'd suggest aiming more for those games development type courses you indicated an interest in, for some of which art might be a useful background.
Dude now I'm considering Further Maths, ;(
I think I no longer want to do english so it's probably going to be Art but now Further Maths is a contender in the ring ;(((((
I just am not sure about Further Maths because I might find it nice because at GCSE I was good at it and it was cool, but I don't know if I actually enjoy maths that much or if I just found it easy at GCSE because I just had to memorise all the methods.
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by Elliej94)
Talk to your school or college and ask if theyll let you start four Alevels with a view to cutting down to three once you've decided. I started four alevels and it really helped me realise that one just wasnt for me. Once you properly know what you're getting yourself in for, you can make an informed decision and talk to teachers as well when you've started.
My school does let us do that, but if you do that, then you can't do an EPQ, and I'm pretty sure I want to do an EPQ because, if I do it well, it'll help lower grade boundaries when applying to uni ;;((((
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by Emma:-))
Check the courses you are thinking of doing at uni on unis websites to see if they specify any particular subjects.
Pretty much all the Courses (cs related btw) need maths mainly, and don't mind whatever else subject you did. You don't even necessarily need to do Computer Science but I want to do it because I love the subject ;(
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Chris2892
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What about physics?
I’d of thought it would fit in nice with the Math A level, and be useful for game design?
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by Chris2892)
What about physics?
I’d of thought it would fit in nice with the Math A level, and be useful for game design?
;( Yeah, it honestly is the perfect subject to take alongside Maths, not only because of how well it goes with game design, but also because of the overlap between Maths and Physics.
Unfortunately though, towards the end of the GCSE, I just completely could not care about the subject partly due to my lack of motivation, and partly due to my teacher being swapped by another Physics teacher who, let's just say, can ramble on for quite a long time with the whole class just lost on whats happening. And he is one of the 2? teachers of physics at A-Level, so it would be very difficult to learn the stuff if you get what I'm saying lmao
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Emma:-)
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(Original post by actuallystarfish)
Pretty much all the Courses (cs related btw) need maths mainly, and don't mind whatever else subject you did. You don't even necessarily need to do Computer Science but I want to do it because I love the subject ;(
In that case for your 3rd choice I do whichever you enjoy most and think you will get the best grade in.
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actuallystarfish
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(Original post by Emma:-))
In that case for your 3rd choice I do whichever you enjoy most and think you will get the best grade in.
That's the issue ;( All my subjects have their ups and downs and so I'd say I enjoy them all. Also, I have no idea what I'll do well in because I don't know if I'm actually good at my subjects or if I'm just average and lucky ;(((((((((
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(Original post by actuallystarfish)
;( Yeah, it honestly is the perfect subject to take alongside Maths, not only because of how well it goes with game design, but also because of the overlap between Maths and Physics.
Unfortunately though, towards the end of the GCSE, I just completely could not care about the subject partly due to my lack of motivation, and partly due to my teacher being swapped by another Physics teacher who, let's just say, can ramble on for quite a long time with the whole class just lost on whats happening. And he is one of the 2? teachers of physics at A-Level, so it would be very difficult to learn the stuff if you get what I'm saying lmao
Khan academy got me through my engineering degree, I didn’t even do A levels.
I’d still consider it, the theory is really easy, I only struggled with the math.
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