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What should I drop? Chem or AS FM?

Hi,

I'm a Year 13 student currently studying Maths, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and AS Further Maths. I've achieved an A* in the EPQ. I want to study Computer Science at university and my most aspirational choice is Cambridge. I attend a state school.

I started doing AS Further Maths this year (Year 13) because my school wasn't offering Further Maths last year. I've been doing 5 subjects for the last month as a trial and I feel like the work is too much for me and that I should drop a subject. The options for me are between Chemistry and Further Maths.

Chemistry is obviously least relevant to my degree choice (Computer Science), but I am predicted an A* in it and find it very enjoyable. I can't see myself doing a degree related to Chemistry or working in a field related to Chemistry, though. I just chose it because I wanted to do 4 subjects at the start of Year 12 to keep my options open and I never ended up dropping it because I was pretty good and it was not very demanding on time.

Since I've picked up Further Maths now, the work has become too much for me. I have constantly been handing in my work late for Further Maths because the homework is way too much for me to handle. This isn't an issue for others in my class since they are doing 4 subjects and have 6 free periods per week to do this work in. I don't want to be behind in Further Maths work like this because I feel like I end up rushing it and don't practice the content thoroughly enough. Hence, the natural choice would be to now drop Chemistry. I've come to make this post because I guess I want affirmation.

Chemistry is still probably the most fun subject I do and I'm predicted an A* in it. The homework is pretty light for it and I haven't found the content very challenging. However, having 6 extra free periods per week (by dropping Chemistry) would allow me to do a lot more work on my other 4 subjects and ensure I get my predicted grades in all of them. The other subjects are obviously more relevant to my degree choice. I'm enjoying Chemistry more than Further Maths, but having FM would really boost my chances of getting to study Computer Science from what I've read. I guess the main dilemmas I'm having are:

1) It's a bit of a struggle convincing myself to do 3 A-Levels and 1 AS instead of 4 A-Levels when I'm capable of doing either imo. Will universities really appreciate AS Further Maths more than A-Level Chemistry for Computer Science at degree level? Cambridge say they prefer as much maths as possible, so I'm guessing yes? Would appreciate if anyone could tell me more about this.

2) Chemistry's a lot more fun and I know that I can do well in it, as opposed to Further Maths which not only is less fun but I'm not sure how good I will be at it.

I need to decide pretty soon (i.e. before my application gets sent, I'm doing UCAS early entry). It's looking like I should drop Chemistry, but I'm just looking for some affirmation from people who are more experienced making similar decisions. Dropping Chemistry and doing the AS in Chemistry is also an option as I've already learnt all the content in Year 12, but I'm just a bit concerned that I will have to take some time out of revising for my other subjects when the actual A-Levels come around.

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks for reading :smile:
If you're struggling with AS-Level Further Maths, then you should seriously re-consider Cambridge University for Computer Science, since it will cover the content of A-Level Further Maths in Year 1.

Maths, Physics, Computer Science and AS Further Maths is okay with AS Chemistry. But remember most Cambridge University applicants have 4 or 5 A-Levels.
Original post by thegeek888
If you're struggling with AS-Level Further Maths, then you should seriously re-consider Cambridge University for Computer Science, since it will cover the content of A-Level Further Maths in Year 1.

Maths, Physics, Computer Science and AS Further Maths is okay with AS Chemistry. But remember most Cambridge University applicants have 4 or 5 A-Levels.

Sorry if I wasn't clear enough, it was very late when I was writing that. I'm not struggling with Further Maths, it's just that I don't have time to do all of the homework (finishing exercises) so I'm concerned that this lack of practice might have an impact on my results. If I was to drop Chemistry, this wouldn't be a problem as I'd have 6 more free periods per week to do the work in. I'm not struggling with any subjects, it's just about reducing my overall stress and giving myself more time to study to ensure I get the grades I want.

Considering Russel Group universities other than Cambridge, do you have any idea if they'll typically prefer A-Level Chemistry or AS Further Maths for Computer Science? No problem if you're not sure.
Original post by ChronicOnline
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough, it was very late when I was writing that. I'm not struggling with Further Maths, it's just that I don't have time to do all of the homework (finishing exercises) so I'm concerned that this lack of practice might have an impact on my results. If I was to drop Chemistry, this wouldn't be a problem as I'd have 6 more free periods per week to do the work in. I'm not struggling with any subjects, it's just about reducing my overall stress and giving myself more time to study to ensure I get the grades I want.

Considering Russel Group universities other than Cambridge, do you have any idea if they'll typically prefer A-Level Chemistry or AS Further Maths for Computer Science? No problem if you're not sure.

Why are you not using the SolutionBanks? They are written by the examiners of the textbooks for Pearson Edexcel for every module and are model answers. :wink:

You should also be using YouTube videos to aid your understanding further.

Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, Edinburgh, Durham, Warwick, Manchester and others would prefer AS Further Maths with AS Chemistry. :smile:
Hey, I know it's been 5 months so probably too late for any advice, but I would say choosing A-level Chemistry over AS Further Maths would be better.
A full A-level always gets more credit over an AS because I don't think AS levels count for anything much anymore, and Chemistry is still a very difficult and respected A-level, and it's facilitating, so it would be a good choice for Cambridge.

Especially considering you seem to really like Chemistry too, it looks like a no-brainer there. I suppose you could take the Chemistry AS, though my concern is that AS levels don't count when you apply to Cambridge and doing full A-levels of Maths, Computing and Physics, then 2 AS levels is still only 3 A-levels, whereas A-level Chemistry, Maths, Computing and Physics is 4. However, I've also heard Cambridge don't care whether you do 3 or 4 subjects, so it may just be up to preference.
I know it's very late but I just want to say this in case anyone sees this. There's a quite a bit of misinformation on this thread. Cambridge do not expect you to do 4 A levels and you would have not been at a disadvantage if you did 3. Therefore 3.5 (the half being AS FM) is perfectly reasonable. Also, Cambridge and most other unis strongly recommend that you take FM if you are applying for CS. So, if your school offers it and you don't take it, you may be at a disadvantage compared to other candidates. I know its too late but if I were you I would have definitely chosen AS FM. If it didn't affect your grades you could also do AS Chemistry on top of that simply because you enjoy it.

Also I have just one question. I'm just curious, why do you want to study Computer Science at university? It doesn't seem like you enjoy Maths very much, or at least not as much as Chemistry. Anyways, lmk what you decided on and how the application process went. Gl with your exams!

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