Assistance about A-level subject choices

Watch
This discussion is closed.
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#1
I could be attempting A-levels soon, I'd be picking Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and English Literature. Does anyone have tips for them? Additionally for Further Maths I can simply self-study, since it requires no laboratory. And what about EPQ (just asking)?
0
Vapordave
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 month ago
#2
Why 6 A-levels?
2
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#3
(Original post by Vapordave)
Why 6 A-levels?
Further Maths is simply something if I have extra time. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant five A-levels. Three sciences for all the sciences, with lab work, then Maths, and then Eng Lit for breadth.
0
Vapordave
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 month ago
#4
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Further Maths is simply something if I have extra time. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant five A-levels. Three sciences for all the sciences, with lab work, then Maths, and then Eng Lit for breadth.
The workload is still far too much and unnecessary. Drop a science or English Lit.

Are you self-studying or studying at a 6th form?
2
aurora1025
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
I know everyone hates epq but if you’re doing something like architecture or a course that has a massively wide range of topics, I can’t recommend something like an epq enough.

Maths and physics are fine if you get on with the work and work hard to understand the content well, and looking at your ambition I doubt it’ll be a problem.
I love the extra of English lit - it makes you a more stand-out candidate based on subject choice, but personally I don’t think it’s as beneficial to do it as an actual A-level (you can do wider reading outside of lesson time?). Depends what you want out of doing English tbh…
Lol I guess you can always drop subjects later on so I wouldn’t stress about starting too strong
Last edited by aurora1025; 1 month ago
1
Bilbo's Pocket
Badges: 4
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 month ago
#6
(Original post by justlearning1469)
I could be attempting A-levels soon, I'd be picking Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and English Literature. Does anyone have tips for them? Additionally for Further Maths I can simply self-study, since it requires no laboratory. And what about EPQ (just asking)?
If the goal is university you literally just need 3. If you want to get into Oxbridge, St Andrews, LSE etc you will need 4 but they need to be complimentary (to an extent).

Taking too many A-Levels for the sake of it is irrational as you can end up doing worse due to mismanaged workload; if you believe you can do it, that is great, but you are just essentially just wasting time as it'll just be overlooked. Additionally, it looks far better on a personal statement / CV / interview to demonstrate your "breadth" through hobbies and extra-circular activities as it makes you look more interesting as an actual person.

Employers do seek A-Levels but they also seek employees who are kind, warm, determined, contributing team member who has experience and a eagerness to work on weaknesses alongside developing new skills. So, once again, you need A-Levels but you also need the other core elements.

Therefore, if you feel you have a strong academic ability, pick the ones you would enjoy, but don't go over 4.

Hope this helps and good luck with your A-Levels!
1
artful_lounger
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 month ago
#7
(Original post by TSB1712)
If you want to get into Oxbridge, St Andrews, LSE etc you will need 4
This is patently false, and both Oxford and Cambridge among other unis have stated multiple times on record that they do not require, nor even prefer for the vast majority of courses, applicants to be taking 4 A-levels. 3 A-levels are their standard offer and are what is required - they would be loathe to even implicitly require 4 A-levels because the simple fact is many state schools cannot support the timetabling and teaching resources required to be able to offer 4 A-level subjects to students regularly. If they required this, even implicitly, they would be directly discriminating against applicants from those backgrounds - who are the exact kinds of applicants they are focused on doing a lot of outreach with to try and encourage them to apply and move away from the perception of Oxbridge being only available to those who went to "elite" schools and private schools.

The only subjects where 4 A-levels are even suggested to be beneficial are physical sciences where two of the four are maths and further maths. This is more feasible for students from state schools to achieve even if their school doesn't offer FM or have the facility to offer it as a fourth subject, because the AMSP helps support students who might not otherwise be able to take it. It's also recommended mainly just because it provides the best specific preparation for those courses, as opposed to taking extra subjects just for the sake of it.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 month ago
6
Emma:-)
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 month ago
#8
(Original post by justlearning1469)
I could be attempting A-levels soon, I'd be picking Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and English Literature. Does anyone have tips for them? Additionally for Further Maths I can simply self-study, since it requires no laboratory. And what about EPQ (just asking)?
Why 5 a-levels?
0
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#9
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#9
(Original post by Vapordave)
The workload is still far too much and unnecessary. Drop a science or English Lit.

Are you self-studying or studying at a 6th form?
Studying at a 6th form. I'm choosing three sciences because they have a laboratory component which can't be replicated privately. Maths to go along the sciences. eng lit for breadth
0
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#10
(Original post by aurora1025)
I know everyone hates epq but if you’re doing something like architecture or a course that has a massively wide range of topics, I can’t recommend something like an epq enough.

Maths and physics are fine if you get on with the work and work hard to understand the content well, and looking at your ambition I doubt it’ll be a problem.
I love the extra of English lit - it makes you a more stand-out candidate based on subject choice, but personally I don’t think it’s as beneficial to do it as an actual A-level (you can do wider reading outside of lesson time?). Depends what you want out of doing English tbh…
Lol I guess you can always drop subjects later on so I wouldn’t stress about starting too strong
What university choices could I go to with my combination? And also Eng lit can open options, I could go into theology, psychology, or even Scots law, or maybe Islamic studies. I'm mostly going for STEM while keeping the fringes open.
0
med100
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 month ago
#11
(Original post by justlearning1469)
I could be attempting A-levels soon, I'd be picking Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths and English Literature. Does anyone have tips for them? Additionally for Further Maths I can simply self-study, since it requires no laboratory. And what about EPQ (just asking)?
how come you want 6? thats why I dont understand when people make it harder for themselves when only 3 are needed? take 4 at most but 5 would not be ideal i think cuz the workload increases so maybe take 4 and the drop ur worst one after year 12?
0
Vapordave
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 month ago
#12
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Studying at a 6th form. I'm choosing three sciences because they have a laboratory component which can't be replicated privately. Maths to go along the sciences. eng lit for breadth
Why do you need to do all three sciences?
0
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#13
(Original post by med100)
how come you want 6? thats why I dont understand when people make it harder for themselves when only 3 are needed? take 4 at most but 5 would not be ideal i think cuz the workload increases so maybe take 4 and the drop ur worst one after year 12?
Misunderstanding, I'm just picking five. Three sciences, one mathematics, and one subject for expanding options (Eng lit). Only further math if I have time.
0
TheKira
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 month ago
#14
My tip: Do fewer subjects. Unless you are sure you've got the support and understand the workload then go for it. But if you can't handle it, drop the subject asap

Don't make studying FM a priority
1
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#15
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#15
(Original post by TheKira)
My tip: Do fewer subjects. Unless you are sure you've got the support and understand the workload then go for it. But if you can't handle it, drop the subject asap

Don't make studying FM a priority
I'll do all five subjects. And yes FM will be on the back burner. It's not a priority.
0
DeBeauvoir2
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 month ago
#16
You might be able to do all these, but it really does not mean you should. If you must do five swap one for further maths, because maths and further maths combined would be alighter than say maths and english, assuming you have the ability. Honestly, if you look at requirements, doing so many has no real benefit. I would advise you think about what you want to do afterwards, and pick which sciences from that. I know a couple of people doing five, but they are Physics, Maths, FM, Chem and either Spanish or computing, so they feed into each other pretty well. Even if you know you could cope with the choices, make sure it is definitely what you want, because even then it would be a huge time and organisational commitment (these people have no frees whatsoever, so all homework, plus extra Oxbridge work, plus any extra curriculars and social life has to fit in the weekends at evenings). When your subjects have less overlap, I imagine this would be very very hard work.
0
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#17
(Original post by DeBeauvoir2)
You might be able to do all these, but it really does not mean you should. If you must do five swap one for further maths, because maths and further maths combined would be alighter than say maths and english, assuming you have the ability. Honestly, if you look at requirements, doing so many has no real benefit. I would advise you think about what you want to do afterwards, and pick which sciences from that. I know a couple of people doing five, but they are Physics, Maths, FM, Chem and either Spanish or computing, so they feed into each other pretty well. Even if you know you could cope with the choices, make sure it is definitely what you want, because even then it would be a huge time and organisational commitment (these people have no frees whatsoever, so all homework, plus extra Oxbridge work, plus any extra curriculars and social life has to fit in the weekends at evenings). When your subjects have less overlap, I imagine this would be very very hard work.
Well we don't need to decide our degree path and beyond so early, y'know, I'd still do five subjects, one as a side, four main subject. Plus don't worry, I still have time to finalise my choices. Occasionally I can still squeeze out a free period to depressurise, plus I don't spend that much time outside of class revising, studying and doing homework anyway. Oxbridge work is an extra. Sometimes I do finish homework well in advance, so I could have time for social activities, including gaming with classmates and networking with teachers/professors in the evenings. And also I'll still have time to exercise every day.
0
DeBeauvoir2
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 month ago
#18
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Well we don't need to decide our degree path and beyond so early, y'know, I'd still do five subjects, one as a side, four main subject. Plus don't worry, I still have time to finalise my choices. Occasionally I can still squeeze out a free period to depressurise, plus I don't spend that much time outside of class revising, studying and doing homework anyway. Oxbridge work is an extra. Sometimes I do finish homework well in advance, so I could have time for social activities, including gaming with classmates and networking with teachers/professors in the evenings. And also I'll still have time to exercise every day.
Sorry I don't mean to sound like you wouldn't be able to manage it. But I think anyone would agree that it is a step up and complacency is a mistake - tbh I doubt anyone is able enough to not spend considerable time outside lessons studying. But if you are sure, you should do it.
As a note I didn't mean exact degree, just like a maths/physics type, or social science etc.
0
justlearning1469
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#19
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
#19
(Original post by DeBeauvoir2)
Sorry I don't mean to sound like you wouldn't be able to manage it. But I think anyone would agree that it is a step up and complacency is a mistake - tbh I doubt anyone is able enough to not spend considerable time outside lessons studying. But if you are sure, you should do it.
As a note I didn't mean exact degree, just like a maths/physics type, or social science etc.
Apologies, didn't mean I wouldn't spend considerable time outside lessons studying. I just meant I wouldn't be overloaded, I would still have time for social activities. And maybe I'd take a mental health day leave.
0
Reality Check
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#20
Report 1 month ago
#20
(Original post by justlearning1469)
Well we don't need to decide our degree path and beyond so early, y'know, I'd still do five subjects, one as a side, four main subject. Plus don't worry, I still have time to finalise my choices. Occasionally I can still squeeze out a free period to depressurise, plus I don't spend that much time outside of class revising, studying and doing homework anyway. Oxbridge work is an extra. Sometimes I do finish homework well in advance, so I could have time for social activities, including gaming with classmates and networking with teachers/professors in the evenings. And also I'll still have time to exercise every day.
'squeeze out a free period to depressurise'
'networking with teachers/professors in the evenings'?!

Wow. How old are you? You sound pretty hot-housed to me. Are you a UK student?

No-one does five A levels and does well in them, principally because it's entirely unnecessary and counter-productive. You don't sound like you've been receiving any good advice about what you need for university, nor getting a good balance between academic work and the rest of your life.
Last edited by Reality Check; 1 month ago
1
X
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

Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (3)
3.75%
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (11)
13.75%
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (14)
17.5%
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (9)
11.25%
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (29)
36.25%
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (14)
17.5%

Watched Threads

View All