Taking a 4th subject at A-level because I'm interested?

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radicaledward
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#1
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#1
I'm starting A-levels in September and I'm taking maths, physics and cs, but I want to do a 4th in History or something else just because I'm interested.

Is it worth it? Or will I just eventually get bogged down with work + revision?
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JesseKansas
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#2
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#2
not really much point - you'd be better off taking fm rather than history
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radicaledward
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#3
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(Original post by JesseKansas)
not really much point - you'd be better off taking fm rather than history
yeah that was what I wanted to do but I'm not gonna get the 8
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rebelw
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#4
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(Original post by radicaledward)
yeah that was what I wanted to do but I'm not gonna get the 8
u should defo use AMSP to do further maths outside of school if u have time - I did 4 a levels not including fm, but wish I had learnt maths along side
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rebelw
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#5
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(Original post by radicaledward)
I'm starting A-levels in September and I'm taking maths, physics and cs, but I want to do a 4th in History or something else just because I'm interested.

Is it worth it? Or will I just eventually get bogged down with work + revision?
I did maths, phys, latin and history as an extra out of interest - but it ended up being the hardest and I found it kinda boring and only got an A
I guess just bear in mind that history is a lot of work, but go for it if u rly want
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radicaledward
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#6
(Original post by rebelw)
u should defo use AMSP to do further maths outside of school if u have time - I did 4 a levels not including fm, but wish I had learnt maths along side
thats actually great! thank you! i'll def use AMSP
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JesseKansas
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#7
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#7
(Original post by radicaledward)
yeah that was what I wanted to do but I'm not gonna get the 8
i say take the 3 and then go absolutely overboard on supercurriculars in your spare time - history as your extra a level won't have much bearing on a uni application and you can learn history recreationally as not as an a level
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rebelw
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(Original post by radicaledward)
thats actually great! thank you! i'll def use AMSP
https://amsp.org.uk/resource/fm-videos
the video lessons are so clear as well
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aamilah16
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#9
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#9
(Original post by radicaledward)
I'm starting A-levels in September and I'm taking maths, physics and cs, but I want to do a 4th in History or something else just because I'm interested.

Is it worth it? Or will I just eventually get bogged down with work + revision?
Two of my elder bros took six subjects for Alevel, and they did really well. I think you can do it!
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artful_lounger
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#10
The thing is that there is no benefit in doing a 4th A-level as far as uni admissions goes, and there is a real risk you will spread yourself too thinly across your subjects by doing so. Therefore it's normally only advised to take 3 A-levels, unless two are maths and FM. You may want to swap one (for example CS, which is not required for any other degree) for history if you prefer that.

Otherwise if it's purely for personal interest you could just develop that in an extracurricular fashion outside of a formal qualification - lots of people have interests outside of their main subject area(s). This also gives you the benefit of being able to focus on exactly the topics that are of interest to you (which may include topics not covered in the A-level syllabus anyway!)
Last edited by artful_lounger; 4 weeks ago
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Rena66
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#11
I'll also be doing maths, physics and cs next year at a level! Though I am doing further maths as well mostly because where I'm going for 6th form you have to take 4 alevels and I'm very confident in my maths. I don't see why you can't take history as 4th a level if you're interested. Since maths, physics and cs are maths based, a subject where you can spend time away from maths might be nice! Also if you wanted to you can drop out of it (I think but this might depend on the school).
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Medic Mind
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#12
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#12
(Original post by radicaledward)
I'm starting A-levels in September and I'm taking maths, physics and cs, but I want to do a 4th in History or something else just because I'm interested.

Is it worth it? Or will I just eventually get bogged down with work + revision?
Heya! When I did my a-levels I used to do 4 (maths, chem,bio and econ). The odd one out in that combo was economics and I chose it purely because I just really liked it. However, after my undegraduate course (Forensic Science) I have realised how much I missed business/economics so for my masters i'm doing Pharmaceutical with Business studies and having done economics A-levels has really helped. Using this as an example, you'll never know if you decide to change your mind in the future and decide you want to change your area into something you like more!

I would recommend having a talk with your history teacher and see how hard exams/ what topics are covered and etc. If you do decide to do it, it will be extra work but for most unis you need 3 a-levels only so it's up to you if you want to do a 4th one! You can also just get history books and learn it as a hobby rather than an a-level, perhaps ask your teacher if you could come to lessons but not take an a-level? Some of my classmates used to do that if they had extra time and wanted to learn about a subject they havent taken. Additionally if you ever need help with any of your chosen subjects, I would recommend checking out these resources such as free past papers!
Hope this helps and good luck!
Milena G.
Study Mind
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radicaledward
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#13
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#13
(Original post by aamilah16)
Two of my elder bros took six subjects for Alevel, and they did really well. I think you can do it!
6?!? What did they take? And how - I thought you could only take a max. of 4?
Last edited by radicaledward; 4 weeks ago
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radicaledward
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#14
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#14
(Original post by artful_lounger)
The thing is that there is no benefit in doing a 4th A-level as far as uni admissions goes, and there is a real risk you will spread yourself too thinly across your subjects by doing so. Therefore it's normally only advised to take 3 A-levels, unless two are maths and FM. You may want to swap one (for example CS, which is not required for any other degree) for history if you prefer that.

Otherwise if it's purely for personal interest you could just develop that in an extracurricular fashion outside of a formal qualification - lots of people have interests outside of their main subject area(s). This also gives you the benefit of being able to focus on exactly the topics that are of interest to you (which may include topics not covered in the A-level syllabus anyway!)
Good point, I would take FM but I need an 8 for maths and I'm on a 6 so I can't lol. I'm planning on doing it outside of school though
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golden_oldie
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#15
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#15
(Original post by radicaledward)
I'm starting A-levels in September and I'm taking maths, physics and cs, but I want to do a 4th in History or something else just because I'm interested.

Is it worth it? Or will I just eventually get bogged down with work + revision?
If by entering A-Levels you mean you are starting out in your first year (making you an AS Student) then definitely ask your college! Many colleges used to have first years pick four A-Levels and then drop one in their second year (actual A-Level year).
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radicaledward
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Rena66)
I'll also be doing maths, physics and cs next year at a level! Though I am doing further maths as well mostly because where I'm going for 6th form you have to take 4 alevels and I'm very confident in my maths. I don't see why you can't take history as 4th a level if you're interested. Since maths, physics and cs are maths based, a subject where you can spend time away from maths might be nice! Also if you wanted to you can drop out of it (I think but this might depend on the school).
Good to hear you're doing them as well! I wish I could take FM, I need an 8 but I'm only on a 6.. but I'm gonna do it outside of school.
I was thinking about taking 4 and dropping 1 of them on the second year, I'll look into it more.
Thanks!
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radicaledward
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#17
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#17
(Original post by Medic Mind)
Heya! When I did my a-levels I used to do 4 (maths, chem,bio and econ). The odd one out in that combo was economics and I chose it purely because I just really liked it. However, after my undegraduate course (Forensic Science) I have realised how much I missed business/economics so for my masters i'm doing Pharmaceutical with Business studies and having done economics A-levels has really helped. Using this as an example, you'll never know if you decide to change your mind in the future and decide you want to change your area into something you like more!

I would recommend having a talk with your history teacher and see how hard exams/ what topics are covered and etc. If you do decide to do it, it will be extra work but for most unis you need 3 a-levels only so it's up to you if you want to do a 4th one! You can also just get history books and learn it as a hobby rather than an a-level, perhaps ask your teacher if you could come to lessons but not take an a-level? Some of my classmates used to do that if they had extra time and wanted to learn about a subject they havent taken. Additionally if you ever need help with any of your chosen subjects, I would recommend checking out these resources such as free past papers!
Hope this helps and good luck!
Milena G.
Study Mind
Thanks! I'm definitely more inclined to taking 4 now after looking at the replies, I'll ask my history teacher about the workload.

P.S. Is the study mind website a company you work for/with? Because if so you might wanna look at your English lit section on the GCSE tab, it looks broken. Sorry if I'm being presumptuous!
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Muttley79
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#18
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#18
(Original post by aamilah16)
Two of my elder bros took six subjects for Alevel, and they did really well. I think you can do it!
How long ago was that and were they modular?
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Muttley79
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#19
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#19
A lot of replies are from people who did A levels when they were modular - this ended in 2019 in England.

The linear A levels are more demanding - stick to 3.
(Original post by radicaledward)
Thanks! I'm definitely more inclined to taking 4 now after looking at the replies, I'll ask my history teacher about the workload.

P.S. Is the study mind website a company you work for/with? Because if so you might wanna look at your English lit section on the GCSE tab, it looks broken. Sorry if I'm being presumptuous!
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ringi
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#20
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#20
Many employers will be very impressed with an "A in history" from a candidate for a computer programming job (for example) as it shows the person can explain ideals in English as well as the technical skills the other qualification prove.
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