Is taking 6 highers worth it?

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rose.clm
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#1
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I have to pick my subjects soon, and I'm aiming to go to a really good uni (oxbridge, edinburgh or yale are the ones i'm mainly interested in). My school usually does 5 highers but I'm wondering if it would be worth doing an extra one by myself to make my application stand out? I'm definitely taking maths, english, physics, computing science and modern studies, but I'm tempted to take chemistry as well. I find chemistry really easy at Nat 5 (got 2 marks off in my entire prelim), I know higher is a big jump but I think I could handle it, but I just wanted to ask if it's actually worthwhile doing or if it'll just stress me out more.
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a-rosethatpricks
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I think it is it will stand out in ur application & cv
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finlunn
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I wouldn't say that it was necessarily worth it. I doubt having 6 Highers would be particularly stand out when applying to schools like that. However, Higher Chem is (in my opinion) easier than Nat5 so I don't think you would find it particularly challenging. It's up to you but if it was me, I would only take 5 Highers because some subjects (i.e. Maths) are considerably harder than at N5 and so take up more time. I originally planned on self-teaching Modern Studies as a sixth Higher but had to drop it after a couple of months because the workload was just very extreme (however, I took all three sciences, Maths and English which are all known for having larger workloads than other subjects).

Returning to your universities, I would say that your personal statement, interviews and entrance exams are considerably more important than the number of Highers you have. Schools like Oxford and Cambridge have their own entrance exams that are very important to the application process (more important than a 6th Higher) because it is a standardised exam - meaning they can accurately compare results and rank applicants (which is difficult to do across different exam boards).

However, I would say to give it a go! You can always drop it midway through the year if you're finding it too overwhelming!
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rose.clm
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#4
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(Original post by finlunn)
I wouldn't say that it was necessarily worth it. I doubt having 6 Highers would be particularly stand out when applying to schools like that. However, Higher Chem is (in my opinion) easier than Nat5 so I don't think you would find it particularly challenging. It's up to you but if it was me, I would only take 5 Highers because some subjects (i.e. Maths) are considerably harder than at N5 and so take up more time. I originally planned on self-teaching Modern Studies as a sixth Higher but had to drop it after a couple of months because the workload was just very extreme (however, I took all three sciences, Maths and English which are all known for having larger workloads than other subjects).

Returning to your universities, I would say that your personal statement, interviews and entrance exams are considerably more important than the number of Highers you have. Schools like Oxford and Cambridge have their own entrance exams that are very important to the application process (more important than a 6th Higher) because it is a standardised exam - meaning they can accurately compare results and rank applicants (which is difficult to do across different exam boards).

However, I would say to give it a go! You can always drop it midway through the year if you're finding it too overwhelming!
Thank you! This is super helpful. I think I'll talk to my guidance teacher and definitely give it a shot, but I won't put too much pressure on myself.
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