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    I'm 21 and after some time I've figured what I want my career to be - astronomy. This would mean going to uni and ending up with a Doctorate. Thus, for A Levels I believe I should do Physics, Mathematics and ICT (maybe another one, if I qualify for it).

    What this means is improving my GCSEs. A combination of being told by teachers that GCSEs didn't matter and not knowing what I wanted to do in my life led to 3 Cs (double Science, English), 3 Ds (French, Religious Studies (Philosophy and Ethics), Mathematics), 2 Es (English Literature, Geography) and 2 Fs (Drama, Design + Technology: Electronics) plus a C in English Speaking + Listening.

    This was enough to do a course in I.T. in college during my 'business/office job' phase, but I was new to computers and it snowballed into a fail. However during the course I passed Level 2 Application of Number (equivalent to A*-C in GCSE Mathematics), a pass in a level 2 I.T test and presumably a pass in Comms (equivalent to C in GCSE English, they never got round to telling me how I did but I assume I passed with flying colours). I then did a Media course for my 'music business' phase, but that was a fail after I found it wasn't what I wanted to do.

    Now I have put my finger on a career in astronomy. It is a life hobby and interest and even though the truth is the work would involve only a few hours a year looking up at the stars and the rest computing and maybe teaching, it is something that the appeal of never died down. I then applied for and am currently self-studying a GCSE Astronomy course which I started in October and the exam is in May. Other than the "you ain't seeing bugger all tonight" weather, it's pretty easy. I decided it's a good starting point and you can't go wrong with an extra and relevant GCSE.

    So those are my qualifications at the moment. The quick question is: generally, what should be improved (or what new subject should be taken perhaps) to do the 3 A Levels and then uni? I've figured I should do Maths again because a proper GCSE would be better than an equivalent. That would also mean I have Cs in the big 3 of Science, English and Maths. I'm not sure about Geography.

    Thanks for the help.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    I'm 21 and after some time I've figured what I want my career to be - astronomy. This would mean going to uni and ending up with a Doctorate. Thus, for A Levels I believe I should do Physics, Mathematics and ICT (maybe another one, if I qualify for it).
    Physics yes, Maths yes. ICT? Not really. Further Maths or perhaps Chemistry would be more appropriate.
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    Really? I thought it would be good due to the amount of time spent on computers and that it would look good if, due to the competitive nature of the available jobs in astronomy, I had to move to a different area that would use the uni degree but is similar in the work done.
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    ICT is a very easy course though - if you want to boost your grades I would recommend it as a 4th A-level.
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Really? I thought it would be good due to the amount of time spent on computers and that it would look good if, due to the competitive nature of the available jobs in astronomy, I had to move to a different area that would use the uni degree but is similar in the work done.
    You'll be taught the relevant bits of computing at uni as part of your physics/astronomy degree. I'm doing a course in programming at the moment, and basic ICT skills can always be learnt pretty easily. You don't need A-level ICT, trust me.

    You'll be doing a LOT of maths when you get to university, so doing Further Maths would be handy, if only to ease the transition into your degree.
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    Ah ok thanks. What about the GCSEs though? Is there anything other than Maths that should be improved or done? I'm having trouble finding places that do A Levels that aren't Sixth Form. Only place I know of is somewhere I'd rather not go and for Physics I think I'd have to have a BB in Science.
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    Anyone?
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    (Original post by ozzyoscy)
    Ah ok thanks. What about the GCSEs though? Is there anything other than Maths that should be improved or done? I'm having trouble finding places that do A Levels that aren't Sixth Form. Only place I know of is somewhere I'd rather not go and for Physics I think I'd have to have a BB in Science.
    Not too sure what your asking here in your post, however if you're asking about doing a levels somewhere then a levels are taken in 6th form or colleges or in your case a private tutor can teach you... your choices for astronomy, i'd say should be Maths, physics, (further maths or chemistry) you could also consider geography if you dont like one of further maths or chemistry

    you should be aiming for atleast AA in sciences GCSE, GCSEs overall could be A*s and As depending on if you want to study astronomy at a top university where in addition you have AA in maths and physics a leevel... all depending on where you want to study astronomy...
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    Dam, so I should re-do Science too? So much for Cs being the benchmark!

    This is costing money. -_-
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    Well, it depends on where you intend to study astronomy further?
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    Wherever's best. It's a few years from now so I am not sure where is better than the other and what to expect with A Levels. As far as uni is concerned all I know is I'd like to do the best at A Level and the degree I'd be taking would involve physics/astrophysics and take 7 years.
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    I would recommend you do your gcse's again mate. I was in a similar circumstance to you in my gcse's not being very good (due to personal circumstances). I did them again and got AAABBBBCCC, one of the B's being in astronomy. Astronomy is a quite a hard gcse, much more than double science. get the book 'Astronomy for GCSE' by Moore and Lintott, memorise the main points and you should get at least a B in that subject. Also i think if you work hard you should do well in your A-level's, i got ABBB through hard work, so you can to!
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    You think I should re-do all my GCSEs? That would be my last resort as that's going to cost a lot of money which I don't have.

    I plan on asking unis to see their views on GCSEs. I was gonna hope that common sense would prevail in that an A or B at A level would far outweigh a C/D/E at the notoriously inaccurate GCSE level. Especially if they're gonna be replaced by the new 14-19 diplomas soon anyway.
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    Hate to be a bumper but it's always good to get more opinions!
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    dont do ict m8 big waste, do a science instead.
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    Ok then, how about the GCSEs though?

    P.S. Iran ftw!
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    Le bump.
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    I did astronomy GCSE :woo: -The coursework is a ***** though!
 
 
 
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